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Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. by Ambrose Redmoon
This quote is meaningful to me for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I am grateful for the first responders that contained the fire that broke out very close to my house today. Sadly, California is often plagued with fires. Our winter last year was wetter than usual which meant more growth of weeds. The weeds dried out in our uber hot summer and now the winds are spreading fires everywhere.
I have never been as close to a fire as I was today. As I watched the smoke and helicopters fill the sky from my backyard, I grew more and more anxious. I have never had to evacuate before. I knew I should be prepared but I was unsure as to what to take. My brain went to the obvious first. I needed all my meds, my spouse’s meds, dog food, and Annie’s toys. I know I am supposed to get important papers, but what exactly constitutes “important” papers. I thought of my marriage certificate, my mom’s death certificate, my tax papers, my car titles, and past that I was lost.
I thought I should go online and try to see if there is an evacuation list. Much to my dismay our internet is down. It seems something was destroyed in the fire. The first responders and firefighters would not allow Spectrum to go into the area to fix the problem. I could have used my phone, but I was busy keeping updated on the fire situation. Our city has a Facebook site and it was being updated by the city council. Many in our city lost both TV and internet because of Spectrum’s loss. (Thankfully my spouse knows how to use my phone as a mobile hotspot so I can use the internet.)
I was proud of myself for not freaking out about something that might happen. If we were indeed told to evacuate my immediate plan was to use my phone to video every room in my house. At least that way I could prove what was there if necessary. I am grateful that this was not necessary. I am grateful for all the people who came to the aid of my city. I am sad for all the people who are evacuated and especially for those who lost their homes.
Then my head went to the personal struggles I have had to deal with. I know I am not finished with my fear script. I know it is still present to a degree. But I also know I am moving forward because what is on the other side of fear is more important to me.
I feel I have had to be courageous to move forward. I was living in fear for far too long. Living a happy life and enjoying my retirement is far more important than living in fear. I am grateful for the friends I have made. I am grateful for the wisdom I have integrated in my life. I am grateful for the physical and emotional growth I have made. I am grateful for the opportunities I have sought out. I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained. I am grateful for the life I am living past the overwhelming fear. I have so much to be grateful for, and courage is a major factor in all that I now have.