Shoveling Nemo

We had an insane snowstorm in New England about a month ago. It was so big it even got a name – Nemo. It was crazy. Grocery stores were wiped out of supplies. Wind, white-out conditions, travel bans, blizzarding snow. And when it was all over we were left with 24+ inches of snow…and no where to put it. That’s the problem with living in the city. There are only so many places you can pile up humungo snow banks.

We spent the next few days just trying to get back to normal. Trying to shovel out. Trying to find places to park. Taking different routes to work so we wouldn’t get stuck on poorly plowed roads. Trying to walk around without being swallowed by snowbanks or hit by snowplows.

It was rough. It lasted a long time. But we survived and not too long after Nemo we got some warm days that helped to melt down the towering snowbanks until they were smaller, icier reminders of the storm.

Today we got another snow storm. It was not a small one, we actually ended up with something close to 10 inches of snow when all was done. But the thing was, most of us were not very impressed with it. I shoveled out my car and drove to the yoga studio. I took class. I made the decision to hang out at the studio and wait till the conditions outside improved with some fellow teachers. We had a great time. Plows took care of the road and everything was well salted and safe to drive on by the time we left.

Now if we had not dealt with Nemo just a few weeks prior, we may have reacted differently. 10 inches is a lot more snow than no snow. Plows would have not been as prepared. We would have not known the safest roads to take. We probably would have all hunkered down in our houses and put life on hold.

Same storm. But this storm felt less challenging because of the huge challenge we faced with Nemo.

Big things happen in our lives. We face hardships with our finances. We lose loved ones. We struggle through break-ups. We deal with tough, tough, things. Sometimes it feels like we will never be able to dig out from underneath it all. It seems like there is nowhere to put the grief, the anger, the sadness, the hopelessness. But somehow we do. Somehow the challenge melts over time. We may still struggle (I still curse Nemo for the mysterious disappearance of a panel of my car during the storm) but we learn a lot of valuable lessons along the way. We learn we are stronger than we think. More resourceful. That people want to help more than we think they do. That we always figure out a way. And when that the next challenge comes down the pipleline, we can not only handle it, but we can also lend a helping hand to others.

When the next Nemo comes into your life, don’t get scared. Acknowledge the challenge, rest when you need to, shovel when you can, and know that the warmer days and snow melt is right around the corner.

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