This morning I woke up at 4am to a thunderstorm. Just the night before I’d been woken up at 4am by something else, so I’d taken a sleeping pill last night to catch up on sleep. As a result, when the storm came through, I was in a deep sleep and having a weird dream about trying to sculpt my face out of cookie dough as a gift for someone. Thank you, sleeping pills, for that crazy visual.
Suddenly awoken by the loud rain, thunder and 20+ flashes of lightning in under a minute, it took me a moment to gather what was going on. The rain was so loud that I had to focus in my sleepy stupor to figure out if it was pouring through the ceiling into the bedroom. (It wasn’t.)
Then, I had to check in on the boys (i.e. my husband and dogs). Now, the theory is that my husband is a light sleeper and my dogs are scared of storms. I quietly whispered my husband’s name to see if he was awake. You know, one of those whispers you hope will wake the other person up but you can play off like you weren’t trying to wake them. 😉
He was in a deep sleep and didn’t hear me. As the flashes of lightening continued to fill the room, piercingly bright and only seconds apart, I saw my dogs curled up like two little cinnamon buns, completely unfazed by Armageddon outside.
The thunder, lightening and rain continued to rage on. I started to wonder things like, “Does our homeowner’s insurance cover lightning striking our house?”, “Should we rescue more dogs to keep them out of storms?”, “What was that thud?”, “Did a tree or lightning hit the ground?” and “Can I get electrocuted inside the house somehow by what’s going on outside?”
As my sleeping pill impaired and sleep deprived brain tried to rationalize what to do next, I found myself in the kitchen making chicken tenders. I knew I needed to eat at some point this morning, so 4am seemed like a good enough time and chicken tenders were easy to heat up. I tried to watch tv while I ate them, but the cable was out from the storm.
So, there I was at 4:30am, eating chicken tenders in bed, staring at a tv with just an error message. The storm continued well past 5am, but munching on my chicken tenders really helped.
My point from all of this is that sometimes we’re woken up in an unexpected storm. After our feeble attempts to figure out what exactly to worry about, who can share in this storm with us or all things we need to do next, we need to just start doing something – even if it’s simple. Even if it’s making chicken tenders at 4am.
We don’t always have the luxury of seeing a problem coming from a mile away. Sometimes it’s just something that seems to come out of nowhere. Or maybe it’s a problem we’ve created ourselves and are caught up in it after years of struggling – unsure of how to ever unravel it all.
Either way, take a small step and do something. You don’t have to fix the entire situation immediately. You don’t have to figure out every detail of how you got there. You’re in the situation. There you are. Start there. Find a solution for that specific moment and tackle the next challenge later.