As my anxiety issues have somewhat subsided over the years to the point where the mere potential for disaster no longer is an exercise in marathon suicidal ideation, I was faced this last week with a minor hurricane barreling toward my city.
Well, that’s how the national news portrayed it. Barreling. As if it were going to steamroll my city. It wasn’t. Everyone knew that.
However, because the three or four days that all of this was in question afforded me time away from work, my OCD got to take charge for a longer stretch than usual. I wasn’t going to dive deep into thought as I need to with work, as I feared the electricity going out. Which is not my OCD talking, the electrical system in my city is about as old as the light bulb. Yes, they pretty much invented the light bulb then set up our electrical system and called it a day.
Now, it turns out the electricity did not go out, we did not flood, pretty much nothing happened.
Oh, but that doesn’t encompass every eventuality that could have transpired. And my OCD was here to build a plan for next time when I am assured that the worst possible will happen.
So my brain has free time, this is what I ruminated over:
1. I need a generator
I’m not going to spend the money on a whole-house generator, but I feel I need one. I’ve lived without electricity for five-plus days before and promised myself I would never do that again. I also promised myself a lot of other major life changes during those five days. Those changes have been made. Not the electrical generator, though.
2. I need another set of backups of my data
I obsessively (amazing, huh?) backup my data. I have at least four completely different ways all of my data is backed up, as well as at least three ways just the important stuff is backed up. Because the important stuff should be backed up seven times? Yes. However, I now have waterproof containers. And I have a miniature closet ten feet in the air. So I think I should purchase another (fifth) external drive just to put into the water-tight container and into the said closet. So my data is safe if we get a thirteen-foot flood.
3. I don’t need much food. Just granola.
I find that I’m most happy with food when I have fewer choices. Now, I love discovering new tastes and all of that. In principle. But really, I generally find myself attracted to the ritual of eating more so than the adventure. I eat a box of granola every night, and it seems like a pretty hurricane-proof diet for me.
4. When you don’t need much, you worry less
It’s pretty damn amazing how much less anxious I am now that I’ve adopted a very minimalist lifestyle. Look, I’m not going to write a book about it. There are already books about this, and even though they’re not very good, they are selling better than anything I believe I could write. This is kind of becoming enlightening. I was prepared to write a list of all of the anxiety in preparation I was going through, but I realize that I don’t care much about my stuff. Except for hard drives full of my data.
5. Oh, yeah, my art
I need to protect my art. I’m still in love with the work I do. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not looking for you to be in love with my work. My work is for me. It has also survived a hurricane that destroyed my house, as well as a bunch of other really bad stuff. And my art found a way to survive. Without question. So I sort of assume it’s going to survive anything and everything.