Find Time for Gratitude, Even When the Unexpected Hits

The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one’s “own” or “real” life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.   C.S. Lewis

IceThe ice storms that hit the Northeast last Thursday have wreaked havoc. They tore down tree limbs and power lines and left hundreds of thousands of people without power.  Utility company workers still labor to address the devastation. And we’ve been surveying the damage to our farm. At the same time, we’re adjusting to a new daily schedule and gratefully using our generator for key power needs (and occasional internet access).

The power and reach of this storm is difficult to fathom, unless you are right in the middle of it.

That is true of most sudden or unexpected change.

For those who are not touched by it, it can be hard to imagine.  For those in its midst, it can be well nigh impossible to see a light at the end of the tunnel (let alone find things to feel grateful about)!

Here on the farm, we’ve been without power since last Thursday morning, and don’t expect to have it restored for some days, still.  The road to town remains impassible, and many large trees in our marsh have been uprooted or their branches snapped like matchsticks.  Trees and power lines are down everywhere.  We had a great big beech (my favorite tree) fall right between two pieces of farm equipment – miraculously not seriously damaging either!

The ice wreaked havoc in our orchard, where many hundred-year-old trees were taken down.  This is such a sad loss to me!  They were old, wonderfully gnarled cider apple trees of a variety that no longer exists.  They were a favorite place for our chickens – and for deer and other animals seeking sustenance.  Now most of these old trees are gone, and with them some deep history.

Turning my heart toward gratitude…

I feel so grateful for the years I enjoyed those trees.  And I am thankful for our generator, for extension cords, for candles and headlamps!  I am grateful to the great grey beech tree that fell between (not on) our two pieces of farm equipment.  I am grateful to the workers who have streamed into New Hampshire from other states – so many hands are needed!  And I am grateful to be learning and growing, as I adjust my routines to the new realities that the ice storm has temporarily imposed on my world.

How do you deal with the sudden changes that sometimes visit your life? I’d love to hear from you!

What if you could find another hour every week?

You can! For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, twice-weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Dear Paula, I appreciate your article on gratitude. In this great country, we have so much to be grateful for, yet so often people forget and focus on negative events and news. It seems that the more we are grateful for, the more we notice we have to be grateful about. I think a good starting point for anyone who wants to practice gratitude–just to see how much good really is in his or her life–would be oh, say, 50 items each day.

  2. Paula Harvey says

    I love what you say here about gratitude. I talked about gratitude on my blog this week as well. I also suggest starting a gratitude journal. This helps you connect to that energy and stay in the energy of gratitude so that it is eventually you live in a state of gratitude.

    Paula Harvey
    Life Transition Coach and Passion Test Faciltator

  3. Thank you, Paula and Kathryn, for sharing your insights and ideas here. I love the tips you both offer for practicing and staying with the energy of gratitude. It is such a powerful, life-changing vantage point – and your practical insights are spot on. Thank you – and happy holidays!

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