By now, if you watch, read, or listen to the US news, you’ve heard about that parking lot called Atlanta last week.
Now, I grew up about an hour from the Canadian border, and I did all my graduate work in Madison, Wisconsin, so snow is no stranger to me. However, when the flakes started coming down last Tuesday, my first thought was “WTF?! Who threw all that pollution in the air?”
Ha… Ha… Harrowing for most Atlanteans, apparently, who don’t have radials on their cars, and don’t know how to drive on snow-covered ice. Because apparently what few salt truck exist in this nearly sub-tropical town of over 5 million could not get on the road because every other vehicle in the city was clogging all the thoroughfares.
People abandoned cars on the road and walked for miles, or stayed with their cars and it took some nearly 2 rotations of the clock to get home. Ouch.
Hundreds of schoolchildren had to stay overnight at their schools because their parents couldn’t get there to pick them up. Ouch.
But here’s the thing: even though it was traumatic for most adults, very few people got hurt, and a few days later all the ice was gone and people could go out and get their cars. Heck, it was even 70 degrees here by Sunday! Snow? What snow?
I find last week’s Atlanta weather to be a noteworthy metaphor for what lots of people are experiencing right now: a big ole pile of “What the #%@?!”
Not what we expected.
Not what we were ready for.
And certainly NOT what we wanted. Or so we think.
What actually happened was this:
The kids who had GOT to stay overnight at school (if they had smart teachers who didn’t freak them out), got to have a massive sleepover with hundreds of their friends in the school gym. Fun.
The people who got out and walked were often picked up by others traveling in the same direction. People opened their cars, homes, and hearts to their neighbors in a way or on a scale rarely seen. The connections were genuine.
Everyone, whether safe at home or stuck on the road, got invited to an amazing display of nature. Snow in the South. Beautiful, glittery snow blanketing everything. Pure majesty.
Plus, this magical snow was perfect for friendly snowball fights. Not wet enough to create snowpeople, but GREAT for a ball that would stick together in the air yet not hurt when it landed in someone’s face.
I know this because before my Mastermind got underway on Wednesday, I went out and threw some snowballs with my daughter. She + I had a grand old time!
The people of Atlanta lived a true adventure last week, and it’s up to them (us for those of us who are here) to decide whether to see it as a blessing or as a curse.
Last week’s storm was all about SURRENDER. Hundreds of thousands of people were caught in it, and there was nothing they could do but wait it out or trudge home. The kids had the best idea—go enjoy it!
I invite you to take a look at where you’re feeling stuck, or even paralyzed in your life. Are you letting it stress you out? If so, consider re-framing. Every time you feel “stuck,” that’s a learning opportunity. Learn to see it for what it is.
(By the way: I’m not looking down on you from above–I’m right in the middle of it with you. My MM was not supposed to be virtual. About 3 weeks before—when everyone needed to be buying plane tickets—all signs pointed to “do it remotely.” Which wasn’t my plan. I wanted to do videos here with my peeps. I wanted to see everyone. I, I, I. What I didn’t know was that the Universe was planning some massive snow days for us here in the Peach State, so it’s a good thing it shut the in-person plans down!)
Ask yourself this: “Am I being called to take action?” (trudging home), “Am I being called to take a break and be still for a while?” (sitting in the car), “Or am I being called to enjoy this moment?”
Whatever answer you hear, honor it. If you do, the Universe won’t need to declare total stoppage to get your attention the next time.
Please leave YOUR answers and comments below. I look forward to reading + responding.
* All credit to Jon Stewart + the Daily Show for today’s blog post title.