Hurricane Sandy brought much suffering – but also many gifts and insights.
Here are a few that I would like to share with you, my dear readers.
- Cultivate positive relationships – they are the flowers in the garden of our lives.
o The support of family, friends colleagues, neighbors, and all relationships is very important. Being a professor gives my life a sense of purpose and community.
o Be kind and respectful to others and protect and take care of yourself. Forgive others and yourself for mistakes. If you cannot forgive, keep some distance, but do not let your mind dwell on bitterness. Stay away from negative influences, and look for positive associations.
Sue Piano Home
Cultivate something that you love to do – give it value, and stay connected to your passions and interests.
o I love to sing, play piano, and write songs. When I was isolated at home, I spent many hours every day at my piano singing and improving my songs. I also like painting, and I painted a thank you card for a friend.
o What do you love? We all need interests and activities we enjoy.
o Learn to enjoy reading – you will not be dependent on electricity or outside entertainment if you have the companionship of a book or magazine – even by candle light.
- Learn skills and knowledge – including languages, computer, and cell phone. All skills are valuable – you never know when you need them.
o My languages have helped me make friends across cultures. My cross-cultural friends supported me in my hours of need.
o My writing/communication skills have opened many doors for me. I hope you will learn skills that give you opportunities in life.
o My only communication with the outside world (aside from my neighbors) was by cell phone. To save my battery, I charged my cell phone via my computer (which I did not use), restricted my cell phone use to text and Emails (talking uses more battery power than text or email), and removed the battery when not in use (thanks to the good advice of my brother). By the last day, my computer battery was used up, and my cell phone was down to low power – but better low power than none! Without some knowledge of computers and cell phones, I would have been stuck!
- Be wise and be positive – prepare for the worst, and focus on the best.
o I stored water and food and used them frugally, and I carefully laid out a flashlight, candles, lighter (for my gas stove), and matches. I cooked food in advance so it would not spoil, and rationed food so it would last. I ate a stove top dinner by candle light with a glass of wine. Maybe I couldn’t shower or flush the toilet, but I could still enjoy the comfort of food and feel elegant!
o I focused on what I had (not what was missing) and used my imagination – if Lincoln read by candle light, so could I. I couldn’t go out because I did not want to climb 17 flights of stairs with a knee problem in the dark – uh-oh! But that gave me the time to stay connected to music and art.
o We all believe different things, and some of us are atheists. Personally, I do not care or judge what people do or do not believe. But I do believe that it is important to have faith in something – whether it is traditional religion or a general sense of hope and gratitude. When the light grew dim, and darkness and long night came into the sky, I played and sang the song “Amazing Grace” with the beautiful verse: “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come, ‘twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
The hurricane was hard in some ways, but it brought me wonderful gifts – I connected to the people I love, to my art, and to my faith.
Please enjoy my song “Dare to Believe” You can download it free from my CD “Keys of Love” www.cdbaby.com/drsue
I hope that you are well, safe, and happy. Thank you for reading my blog.
Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.
Book: “Queens of Comedy”
(Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers,
Phyllis Diller, and more!) www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367
Musical: “SssWitch”: www.ssswitch.net