Until further notice, this is my office. Tina’s office looks pretty much the same. So does Michelle’s and Susie’s and…well, you get the picture.
I feel like I’m stuck in a loop, like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” Two years ago, almost to the day, a team of technicians from ABSOLUT Restoration in Phoenix converged upon our 3,000 square feet of office space, dodging dozens of giant droning fans, waist-high dehumidifiers and hundreds of yards of tubing as they swept through each room, carefully packing and labeling each item.
At 9am today, that same team of bright blue T-shirts will arrive to do the same thing.
Everything we have not put in our cars will be packed off to a warehouse, where it will remain in limbo as we navigate our own. It’s Day 4 of The Great Office Flood of 2012. Not to be confused with The Great Office Flood of 2010 — or the two less dramatic, but equally frustrating, floods we have experienced in between.
I was planning to work from home today anyway (I have window washers and air condition maintenance scheduled) but I certainly wasn’t planning on working at home because I had no other choice.
This latest glitch has been a real test to my resolve. Several months ago, I learned that my heart is showing signs of damage from years of “adrenaline spill.” Apparently I have been in such a constant state of “fight or flight” preparedness during 23 years of publishing that I have all the signs of someone with chronic high blood pressure.
But my blood pressure is rock-bottom low. So there is no medication they can give me, no magical cure. I was told by a team of physicians at Mayo Clinic that I need to work on reducing the stress in my life. I don’t think this flood, this fourth flood is what they had in mind.
Or maybe it is.
I have sought advice from many different professionals in this new medical journey. I have come to realize that there is only so much someone else, or something else, can do to help me. I’ve tried yoga, meditation, exercise. I’ve given up my beloved Grande Nonfat Latte (though sometimes I cheat and get a “half caf”). I’m vigilant about what I eat.
So I suppose I could be forgiven for the tiniest bit of self-pity that crept into the corners of my consciousness when I learned Tuesday morning that we were once again under water at work. Why me? Why this again? But I am much more in tune with the workings of my heart and mind these days. So when I felt the tiny shudders of arrhythmia and the surge of adrenaline that makes my pulse race, I thought, “Stop. This is not about what happened. It’s about how you handle what happened.”
The words of a trusted counselor have been my mantra all this week: “Life is just a series of problems to be solved.”
The heavens are not conspiring against us. Our situation is unfortunate but fixable, inconvenient but do-able. I am strong, I am resilient and I will get through this. I am supported by an amazing staff of people who are more like family members than co-workers. They care about our company as much as I do. They are thinking ahead, volunteering extra time and keeping our business on track while I am absorbed in phone calls, paperwork and decisions.
With their support — and my Mayo Clinic Meditation App encouraging me to breathe — I will beat this flood, too. And I won’t let it break my heart.