Between the Hurricane and Thanksgiving we are truly stressed. Here are some tips I shared on air today to weather the storm. We also discussed the ramifications of social media at these times and others, too. Here’s the link to a recording of the short interview.WICC_112112_830am_49055
There are missing voices at the table. There are old feuds. There are the attention seekers and getters. There are silences and oversights. The bounty of the day may not reflect the daily financial struggle we have at home. Thanksgiving can be rough waters. Families simply aren’t Norman Rockwell paintings.
Put your imagingation and memory to rest. What was is no longer. What is today has meaning. Find the blessings of this moment, and this year. Make peace. Enjoy. And put the CD’s in your mind of memories on the shelf. I am.
If we didn’t experience real trauma, like the loss a loved one, a home, significant damage to property or other disaster from Hurricane Sandy, then without electricity we were basically just inconvenienced. For me, it lasted a full week, but the high winds didn’t stir up any emotional turbulence.
I had no heat, no lights, no phone, and no work or income. I did have hot water, plenty of food, clean clothes, a husband at home with me, and friends nearby. I had no control over the situation and there were no local predictions as to when things would straighten out.
Crankiness, boredom, arguing, or anxiety never set in here. (Power OUTage.) Adventure did. How can I use the grill creatively? The fondue pots? When was the last time we played Chinese Checkers? Listen to the wind howl! (Power SURGE.) The storm took care of the annual “fall cleanup” which costs time and money by simply blowing our leaves away. Thank you Sandy. (Power SURGE.) The trees which fell did NOT hit the house.
Hopefully, it did the opposite. Instead, did you find something to enjoy together? (SURGE!) My cousin in New Hampshire did three sewing projects and is rounding up donations from up north to deliver to real hurricane victims. (Power SURGE.)
My father-in-law did virtually nothing to prepare for the event. He was lucky and unharmed. While we had plenty of lanterns and batteries, three weeks ago I’d suggested that we finally invest in a generator. Now I’ll act on it. I’m using this opportunity, grateful for having been passed over by much worse, to be even more responsible and ready for the next go round. Whether I donate my extra canned goods tomorrow or tuck them away for the next time, there’s still plenty I can give. The extra clothes will go tomorrow where they are needed. I have more than enough.
I can’t control the serendipity of the weather–but I know that contentment within, with my life and loved ones is always, at least to a degree, my choice. We’ve weathered the storm together–and gathered more stories and history. And for that, the lights, laundry machine, computer, hair dryer and phones which will all be at warp speed soon are far less important after all.
Coverage. People are obsessed with it. “Do we have enough coverage?” Insurance. “Do I have coverage for the kids?” Parenting woes. Then there’s SPF. “Do you really need more than SPF 30 for the sun? Do I have enough coverage?” And of course, the lack of coverage is in full bloom this summer at the beach, supermarket, and just about everywhere, particularly with the clothes worn by teenagers.
What is “coverage,” anyway? Why do people want “coverage” for their kids? Kids don’t need to be covered. They need to be inspired, interacted with, trained, stimulated, and engaged. Not covered. When I hear parents at the town pool talk about “coverage,” I wonder if they know what really goes on with the babysitters while they’re gone. If children are merely covered, then eventually, they’ll be bored. Sooner or later bored children will create their own fun, and it may not be to our liking.
Insurance coverage? Ha! I thought we’d have coverage by working hard, saving, Medicare and some savings set aside. Wrong. Our family medical “coverage” has a $5,000 deductible and, before switching companies not long ago, cost this family of two nearly $35,000 out-of-pocket before any reimbursement! We are both self-employed and not eligible for any significant group discount. So, having to earn $50,000+ simply to buy “coverage” is seriously insane. To me, that is not coverage. It feels like robbery.
Finally, I grew up in the ’60s and painted flowers on my cheeks and wore maxi tie-dye dresses. This was rebellion. And I never, not once, saw my boyfriend’s boxers above his pants line. This is actually very, very unappealing for most adults. Bending over just does not present a good view. This is not good coverage.
Let’s call coverage what it is. Often, it is an escape from responsibility. Skimming over what’s really required.
Parenting is a full-time job. If we’re not actually tending directly to our kids, then we should be certain they are well provided for. That means recommending or creating opportunities for their caretakers to engage with and provide an outlet for them. “Coverage” should not mean just keeping an eye on the kids so they don’t hurt themselves.
As for insurance, I found someone I trust. He explained what “coverage” meant to me, personally, and gave me a good sense of what I need — versus what might result in the greatest commission. He also explained how to improve “coverage” without extra insurance. And, when it comes to the sun, I don’t care what the SPF actually stands for. Just keep slathering if you can’t stay out of the sun. It’s good coverage. Finally, mystery breeds romance. Covering up those body parts isn’t old-fashioned. It can actually be inviting! Really. Modesty works. Parents might suggest their teenagers give it a try.
Aside from covering body parts, most of us do not want to be just “covered.” A covering is a veneer, a cover over something else that is not as shiny and finished as the thin outer layer. For close personal relationships, the veneer will not suffice. “Covering” actually drops the relationship and the responsibility out of the picture. A relationship builder is “Whatever you need, buddy,” or, “You know you can count on me.” When the response is, “I’ve got it covered,” it sounds rather like the relationship has become an impersonal business transaction, and the minutiae of life’s balancing act is center stage. “I’ve got it covered” is dismissive. And worse, when someone at work says, “I’ve got you covered,” there’s likely something amiss. “I’m up to no good” so I need to be “covered” and “I’m going to owe whomever’s `covering’ for me big time.” And, when it comes back to haunt me, it may even serve me right. If not immediately, then sooner or later. It always will.
Watch your kids. Take care of your health. Think ahead. Cover up. And make your relationships authentic.
Forget the coverage.