"How did you do in the storm?" That question has been asked by us and of us with each and every customer who has walked into Ace Office Furniture. Only a few - mainly because who has time to shop for office furniture when you've had three feet of water in your business - have said, "We took a real hit. I don't know if we'll ever recover." Most of the answers have varied from "Oh, we did just great!" to "Well, we had a little water but nothing compared to so many." At Ace Office Furniture, and in our homes, we were fortunate. We lost no furniture and had only a patch of wet carpet. We were very fortunate.
The thing we all have in common, regardless of our answer to the question, "How did you do in the storm?" is that most of us are asking, "Why me?" Ten percent of people in the Houston area may be asking why their property was destroyed, but another ninety percent is asking, "Why was I so lucky to be spared?", experiencing a type of survivor guilt. And regardless of the amount of water we had or didn't have in our homes and business, we ALL have experienced PTSS - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome /Post Tropical Storm Stress. We may find ourselves sleeping fitfully or sleeping much more than usual. We may feel kind of paralyzed or, the opposite, feel almost hypervigilant. We may catch ourselves watching the weather reports, particularly now that the East Coast is dealing with Hurricane Irma, with heightened anxiety, empathy for the Floridians that wait to return to their homes and sympathy for those who may have no home to return to. If we had to evacuate during Harvey, we may freeze each time we hear a siren or helicopter. If we had to boil your water, we may have difficulty drinking tap water even though it's been declared safe.
We may wonder if things will ever be normal again in Texas - and in our own lives. So, we need to go easy on ourselves and give ourselves time to heal from the losses we and all of we have experienced, personally or vicariously. We will be normal again, but it will be a NEW normal and we will have learned, if we are fortunate, some very important things about what's really important. And I hope we'll continue to ask that question of each other, regardless of the situation: "How did you do in the storm?"
~ Linda Wood Astala (9-08-17)