I’ve had a hard time writing this post and just writing in general. My brain is fried and I have had a difficult time tearing myself away from the coverage of Hurricane Harvey. I’m a very big consumer of news as it is (which is both good and bad), but I’ve found myself practically paralyzed and stuck watching every bit of this hurricane coverage.
If you are a fairly new reader, you may be wondering why I am so concerned and sad about the happenings in Houston. Clint and I lived there for almost 5 years after business school. Houston is where we first lived together, bought our first house and had our first child. I really feel that I developed and changed so much as a person while we lived in Houston, that it is a big part of my personal story and I strongly identified as a Houstonian (and feel that part of me still is one!). We also have lots of wonderful friends, former colleagues and so many people we love who are still there, and it’s a place we love, as well.
Over the last few days it has just made me sick and sad to watch the waters rise, to see the highway I drove to work be impassable, friends be forced from their homes and our old street fill up with water (but then to thankfully see it recede). I’ve felt at times like I wished I could get there to help, to volunteer or just do SOMETHING. It’s been a helpless feeling that I know many of my Houston friends are feeling, as well. I hear from friends who live there that they want to get out and do something and, even if their houses are fine, they just can’t get anywhere because of all of the flooding and high water spots on the roads.
After a fairly sleepless night last night, I woke up this morning and came to the realization that my being sad and anxious, plus the non-stop news watching is getting me no where and I’m not helping a single person by feeling this way and doing nothing. This morning I decided to re-center myself and get out of the negativity as best I could. I took a quick ride on my Peloton bike, because that’s what lowers my anxiety, gets me into a positive mindset and brings me good energy. Then I sat at my computer and focused on reading a few positive stories (where I also shed a few tears) like Mattress Mack opening his stores, the love shown in Houston by neighbors and strangers, and local businesses like Biscuit Home donating bedding and Baanou collecting loads and loads of donations.
I’m far away, and maybe you are too, but maybe you’re as compelled to help as I am. I share things I love here on this blog and Houston is one of those things, so what I want to share now are some ways to help. I’ve created a “Hurricane Harvey” tab on my top navigation bar with ways to donate and help. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the information up, but it’ll be for a while and I will update it as I find out more. A few of the ways I’ve chosen to donate are by sending diapers to the Texas Diaper Bank through Amazon Smile, as well as donating to JJ Watt’s YouCaring page. I also will be shipping some clothing and toiletries to a blogger friend who is doing some distributions in Houston, and then I plan on buying one of these tees.
I also encourage you to look for opportunities in your own community to volunteer and give back in that way. I re-joined my local Junior League chapter for this exact reason and I’m driven to find other ways to volunteer in my community, as well. It’s a goal I’m setting for myself and I’m starting my research today.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this long post and for anything you are able to do to help those in Houston and in your own communities. The best thing I can think of to do right now is to be active and do something good, and I hope you will join me.