It’s been a snow day here in Texas. Those are simple words, but they carry enormous implications. We woke up to about five inches of snow and were giddy messing around outside. Then around 11:30 this morning, our power went out, and the giddiness I felt disappeared with it. As the house got colder, my anxiety level rose. How long would we be without power? Would it be into the night? What would happen to our house and the plumbing? How would the cats manage in a cold house? Would we all make it through okay?
The answer was that it would be four hours that we were without power, and we would be fine. But those four hours put equal parts fear and gratitude in me. As soon as the power came back on, I made coffee. We had been without something hot to drink for four whole hours, so that felt like the right next step. And that coffee was delicious!
With the power back on, I felt like I could focus on my work again. I read what I needed to read and outlined what I need to write tomorrow. And with that behind me, my mind is wandering back to what could happen in the next five days of below freezing temperatures. I’m reminded that we have so little control over anything.
The whole last year has been about recognizing how little we control and embracing that reality. Embracing it in the face of COVID has made me appreciate that I have work that I am able to do from home, that I have a home I love, and that I have a partner in my home who I love even more. (We even got married in this crazy season, which made perfect sense in my brain because if we could be happy together at home for ten months, I’m pretty sure we can be happy together forever.) I also realized that I am fortunate that my life has been largely unaffected by the events of the world. My activities have changed, but my life has not. I still have. I still do. I still live. It looks a little different, but I haven’t been without anything really.
Sitting in these realizations is a pretty good place to be. Then throw in some snow coupled with power outages, and I’m reminded again that these walls are not without their issues. They are not able to withstand all they might encounter. Instead, I’ve been fortunate that they have not been asked to encounter much. In that, I have not been asked to encounter much.
I live in privilege. That’s not to say I haven’t worked hard and faced my own battles. I have. But I know there are so many who would give so much to face only what I’ve faced in my lifetime – to have what I’ve had in my lifetime. Parents who love me. Opportunities they made and presented to me. Friendships that sustain me again and again. Work. A home. A community of people. Health. Happiness. This life that I have. I take none of it for granted. Not my ability to type these words. Not the small, gas heater my dad brought over today in case our power goes out again. Not even the coffee.
So tonight, as we bundle in for another cold evening, I’m thinking ahead to the next few days, fully aware that the power could go out again. Mentally, I’ll be more ready should that happen a second time. Should that happen, I’m hopeful that I will not immediately fall into fear and that I will instead see the opportunity to look up from what’s right in front of me and see that even without power, I am secure in this space. Even without power, I have a roof over my head, someone to keep me warm, and parents who show up, even when it’s snowing, to make sure I have a source of heat.
I could not be more fortunate. And I could not be more grateful.