As anyone who has been watching the news lately will know, Queensland (Australia) is experiencing the worst flooding in many years. Many rural areas are experiencing severe flooding for the second time in less than two weeks.
The damage is horrendous with the tragic loss of twenty lives. Homes, properties and livelihoods have been destroyed and damaged.
I personally have been very lucky. A fact that I am extremely grateful for. No damage has been sustained to my home or property. I have also been fortunate to have had no power outages. The only problem I experienced was an outage with my telephone and Internet (which is why I faltered on my brand new commitment last week to post 3 times a week). As it turned out, my old modem had packed it in and had to be replaced.
Many people have not been so lucky.
While I did personally come out of the experience unscathed, it is impossible not to feel saddened by everything that is going on around me.
As many of you know I took six months off to focus on my writing from February – July 2010. As I have mentioned on several occasions I have been steadily working towards a plan (the details of which I have not fully disclosed as yet).
My plan however hit a serious snag last week, when one of my pivotal milestones was not reached due to the flood crisis.
Which leads me to wonder – should I put my plans on hold at least for the time being? How do we know after an event such as a natural disaster when the time is right to continue on our original path. When to go back to business as usual, particularly if that business happens to involve making some significant changes in our life, when we are feeling a little shell shocked and risk adverse.
Should we stay with our course of action or come up with a more sensible Plan B?
Here are some of the thoughts and feelings that are floating around my head at the moment.
Whilst I have been incredibly lucky not to sustain any damage to myself or my home, watching the news and seeing the devastation feels somewhat overwhelming. So much so that you wonder how things will continue as normal. Deep down I know Queensland will get back on its feet – they are a tough bunch after all. The question is how long will it take and how will people cope in the meantime?
The cost to the Australian economy will be profound. Already the press are talking about the price rises about to hit us, higher prices already obvious at the supermarkets. Insurance companies will be struggling to make payouts. Small businesses who sustained damage will have to overcome financial setbacks. Tourism will take a long time to recover. The list goes on.
No one knows what is around the corner. There has been talk of more bad weather heading our way. People are nervous (and yet trying to stay hopeful at the same time!). Noone can predict how long the recovery will take and the exact short or long term implications of such a disaster.
To be honest, right now I feel guilty writing this. How can I possibly plan on following my dreams after so much loss, grief and destruction? It feels like I am being selfish by considering sticking to my original plan.
Fear can stop us in our tracks at the best of times. Fear of failure, fear of looking foolish – you name it.
If you turn on the television, look at the Internet or open a paper – doom and gloom are everywhere at the moment. Add that sense of doom to a good dose of vulnerability and you can find yourself indecisive or downright paralysed to make an important decision.
Importance of Timing
I know from experience both good and bad that timing is everything. Good decisions made at the wrong time can be disastrous. Bad decisions at the wrong time, even more so. Good decisions at the right time, well we all want to be making those don’t we? Just when is the right time, well naturally that is the tricky part.
There will always be something
Whilst I pray to the heavens that a natural disaster of this magnitude does not hit Queensland again, life has a way of throwing other obstacles at us. Whether they be natural disasters or personal tragedies, there will always be something we have to tackle that has the potential to knock us off course.
I know that some things simply stop us in our tracks. no matter what our plan of action is. I imagine that will be the case for many people that have lost their entire homes and all of their possessions.
Ten years ago my father passed away after being sick for several months. I had just gotten back from living overseas where my relationship had ended (which meant I was broken hearted and homeless) when I found out my Dad was dying. The next 8 months of my life was the worst I personally have ever experienced. During this time, I put all of my writing on hold. Basically I put everything on hold. I know that sometimes we simply have to deviate from our path.
Time marches on
This may sound rather cliche and I apologise to the people that are suffering through the floods. I certainly don’t mean to sound that way. For the people that are mourning loved ones who tragically lost their lives as well as the families and friends of the people that are still missing – life would feel like it is standing still. Right now they are probably wondering how life will go on at all.
Yet looking at the calendar, today in Brisbane is 17 January. While we are still welcoming in the New Year, half of the month is already gone. Time keeps rolling on. The question is do we roll with it?
Obviously this is not one of those posts where I have all the answers. Right now I simply have a lot of questions. Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself and share them with you.
If you can relate to the thoughts in the above post, I would love to hear from you. Did you march ahead with your plans despite the adversity around you or did you put your plans on hold and seek out success at another time?