It has been a wild six weeks.
As you may have noticed, I usually participate in our #Reverb project, however, this year, some unexpected personal and professional matters overtook my December. A few weeks ago, I got the news that I had some health issues that needed to be dealt with rather urgently. I had surgery this past Friday, and when this whole situation is a bit clearer, I’ll be more forthcoming.
As this the madness was unfolding in December, Paul and I decided that I would spend Christmas with his family in Dublin, and then we would go somewhere warm for a little holiday before I had to go back to New York and face this surgery. We booked a last-minute trip to Ile de la Reunion, through Paris, and all was set.
We landed in Saint-Denis just after Christmas, and just in time for a Category 3 cyclone to hit the island straight-on.
(100+ mph winds)
(Happy New Year, indeed!)
After a very tense few days, with intermittent water/power, and no mobile phone service, we eventually made it back to the airport and got back to Paris.
It was all…hard. You know, I wanted it to be easy. And it wasn’t.
The very fact that we can do stuff like that — decide at the last minute to take a sunny holiday; fly to places near and far — reveals how privileged we are. I’m not unaware of that. But in those difficult moments in December — when I had few answers about what was happening to me, and I was physically and emotionally spent from the year — I just wanted it all to be perfect. I wanted the scrambled eggs to be the way I like them, and I wanted to sink into a fluffy white-linen’d bed every night, and I wanted to take dramatic hikes to volcanoes and waterfalls each day and look out and feel…okay.
Instead, I got a hurricane. And Paul and I were at each other’s throats the whole time as we coped with changed plans, and changing expectations, and disaster and uncertainty.
But we made it through alive. And finally made it back to the airport a few days into the new year.
So we were on the flight back from Saint-Denis to Paris, and we hit more storms, and the plane dropped significantly in the air. Paul’s wine flew off the tray and went all over me; dishes were falling; flight attendants were diving for their seats.
And we had no choice but to look at each other and say, So what happens now?
The answer: Nothing. We were powerless to do anything. The only thing we could do was sit still and wait out the storm. It wasn’t up to us to guide the plane, or make the decisions…all we could do was sit and let others do their jobs.
That was it, really. I spend a lot of time trying to control or compensate for or understand things by being and doing, and I often forget that there is so much value in just sitting still; letting someone with more experience or expertise take the wheel.
We made it to Paris alive; made it back to Dublin safely.
And in the midst of travel chaos, and life-madness, I wrote a list of resolutions to guide the rough ride of 2014.
Right now, I am incredibly grateful for wonderful friends, a good surgical outcome, and a great partner, I am mostly trying to embrace even the suckful moments.
I am trying to sit still and wait out the storm.