Difficult Decisions in Difficult Situations: Family First Always

mom 3

It turns out being a grown-up is entirely too overrated. I mean, honestly.

You guys…we are facing some serious problems here in Florida. Serious problems – and this is a serious post. I know you want fashion and lifestyle tips and things like that, but this week things these seem a little less important than what’s happening. Or perhaps that’s what I’m telling myself as I cross off one flight, two flights, hotels, limos, and dinner reservations as cancelled/refunded/rescheduled one at a time. You see, I’m leaving tonight for NYFW. This is my third year going – and it’s my all-time favorite part about what I do for a living.

Except that I’m not leaving. For the first time in three years, I’m missing Fashion Week in New York City. Am I disappointed? Oh, I’m crushed. I love NYFW. I love NYC. It’s my home away from home. My husband and I spend several weekends a year in NYC, and I was certainly looking forward to a weekend of quality time with him. But…our kids, our home, our family. Those things are more important.

Fashion Week happens again in February. I’ll be there. This weekend is all about being safe. It’s about praying and being with my family and hoping Hurricane Irma doesn’t devastate us and our sweet Coastal Florida community. Could we make it Friday and come home Saturday first thing so we don’t miss my most important day of shows and presentations on Friday? Yes, we probably could.

Do we want to take the chance this beast changes track at the last minute, speeds up, or anything else changes and we can’t get home even on a 6 am flight Saturday morning? No. Absolutely not. There’s not a chance in HELL we want to be away from our kids if that happens. We don’t even know about being here as it stands right now. We’re fortunate we both work from home and have the option to pick up and go anytime we want/need. We are also very fortunate my father-in-law lives in North Carolina and has always made it very clear to us his door is always open (I mean, we totally know it’s because we bring all these cute grandkids of his with us, but we’ll take it).

So, we make grown-up decisions this week; all kinds of grown-up decisions. Does it suck? Yep. Absolutely. But, I’ve officially managed to get FULL REFUNDs on every single thing we booked this weekend. I’ve been refunded our flight costs, our hotel costs, our limo costs – all of it. Everyone has been so accommodating and amazing and wonderful and kind and sweet, and I love that. And our parents have been so gracious to offer to keep the kids so we can rebook our trip for the end of the month to celebrate my birthday. No NYFW, but we still get to spend a long weekend away with one another focusing on us and our marriage – and my 34th birthday.

On that note, I want to address a few very serious things.

Be Kind – If you’re not being kind right now in the midst of this storm, change your attitude. Don’t be a miserable bitch at the gas pump because the lines are long. Don’t be an ass because someone else got the last bit of water before you. We ae all scared. We are all worried. We have a Cat 5 hurricane breaking records left and right barreling down on us – some of us worse than others – and we are all terrified. Be kind. The world needs more of that. Offer a helping hand rather than a snide eye-roll. Know there will be more gas. Know there will be more water. Work together to help your neighbors with their window covers. Work with them to communicate when you’re evacuating or staying behind. Be kind, people. Please.

Be Respectful – This is a great time of need for many people. The storm is taking a more Easterly track at the moment (and that’s very good for me and my West Coast Florida address) but it’s not great for any of us. There will be rain. There will be flooding. There will be power outages. Stay home once it begins. Don’t be the jerk driving through flood waters if you aren’t on your way to check on your family, home, or business. Every time you drive through those waters – even slowly – you push the water into homes and businesses more than it’s already in those homes and businesses. The devastation is going to be everywhere – and we must all be respectful.

Be Safe – Have a plan, have a system, and have some common sense. This is not the time to worry about increasing your Instagram following by posting a crazy video of you driving your Golf Cart through the backyard in hurricane-force winds. This storm is a killer. It’s a beast. It’s not a joke, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by treating it as such. If you’re ordered to evacuate, get out. Don’t play games. The governor doesn’t require you do this because he loves to see traffic backed up all over the place. He does this to keep you alive.

Be Welcoming – Do you have an elderly neighbor without a spouse or family? Do you have a single mom living next door with her small baby? Do you know someone who has no one? If you do, consider opening up your home if you’re staying behind. Think about how terrified you are, and now think about how terrified that single mom/child/elderly person is all by him or herself without anyone in the dark, the heat, the damp, the storm. Open your door by opening your heart.

Be Prepared – I know this is tough. Supplies are low (but the wine aisle is FULL, so that’s something to consider). It’s a mess out there. But be prepared. Know where you’ll go in your home if there is a tornado. Have a safe place. For example, my husband’s closet has a door on the back wall that opens up into a room beneath our staircase. We keep blankets, pillows, non-perishable items, shoes, and other things in here for us and our kids if ever there is a tornado or other dangerous situation. We want to be safe – and you should know where you will go in your home if something happens. There is no time in the moment to think about this. Think now. It might save your life.

Be Prepared…Again – Be prepared for what might occur. This is not a Cat 1 or even a Cat 2. This is a Cat 5. Even if this storm loses some of its power, it’s still going to be a strong storm. This storm has 185 mph winds. Even if it loses significant strength, it can still be a powerful storm. Be prepared for what might happen.

Friends, I don’t love this situation. I hate it. I don’t hate, because hate is such a wasted emotion. But I hate thinking of what might happen, but it’s time to for us to do that. Understand and be prepared for the worst. You might lose your home. You might lose your belongings. You might come home after evacuating to a mess unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You might come home to nothing wrong. You don’t know. But you must prepare yourself. Know how to get in touch with your insurance agency. Take photos and videos of the interior of your home before you go. Take photos and videos of all your belongings. Do this for you and your family.

You guys, this is going to be a very long road for so many of us. I’m praying that this thing doesn’t affect us nearly as much as it could. I’m praying that this storm goes out to the Atlantic and misses the states. I’m praying for all the people in the islands. I’m praying for us. I’m praying.

I’m praying.

Night. Day. I’m praying. Our strength at this time lies in Him. Pray. And be prepared. And be nice. Because honestly, mean people suck. Don’t suck.

Good luck. Stay safe. And may the odds be ever in OUR favor. We are in this together, and we will get through this.

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