An earthquake, hurricane, and what happens when our routines are messed with

by Annie Carlin

Hi Mother Nature! In a bad mood or something?

So as you all know, this was natural disasters week in DC and NY. First we had the earthquake, which had the bad manners to wake me up from a nap and to destroy my badly fastened kitchen shelf. When I first felt the tremors, I actually thought it was the cats fighting or doing laps around the apartment. But as I got up to go yell at them, the building shook harder and I fell back into bed. At that point my brain went, “NOT THE CATS!” and I lay in bed, waiting for the shaking to subside.

Once it was over, I gingerly got up and went into the hallway to survey the damage. Amazingly no glass bottles broke, so I cleaned up – assured the cats it was safe to come down from off the ceiling and headed to the internet to see what happened. A few frantic emails with the parents later, things were more or less back to normal.

I was slated to teach at the rec center/library that evening, so I took my car out expecting traffic. Things weren’t bad though and you really couldn’t see any damage. I had been sick (why I was home napping instead of at work when the earthquake hit), and wasn’t really up to teaching, but I had written a sequence and was giving myself pep talks in the car on the way, so I felt reasonably prepared.

(As an aside, having to teach while I wasn’t feeling well was REALLY making me appreciate the paid time off I get from my day job!)

But when I got to the rec center/library, there were a bunch of people outside staring at the doors. Puzzled, I parked my car and walked up to investigate. “Rec center and Library closed until further notice!” read the sign, ominously. Someone looked at me and said, “no library, no nothing…”

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit glad to have been saved from teaching, but I really couldn’t feel happy when I saw all these people whose lives seemed to have been rocked by the fact that they couldn’t spend the evening in their usual haunt. I had no idea if they had anywhere else to go. It was really unsettling. Anyways, a couple of students showed up so I stayed to talk to them and then headed home.

A couple more days in and out of the office and a couple of doctor’s appointments later, I was feeling better and looking forward to the weekend’s activities, which included a CPR certification class, snuggling with my boyfriend, and teaching yoga on Sunday evening. But then the dire warnings came in…Hurricane Irene was coming to town! Stock up on water and non perishable foods! Doom! DOOOOOOOOOOM!

Irritation rather than fear was my reaction. I had stuff to do! I’d been stuck in bed all week! COME ON!. Anyways, I got my supplies and went to CPR class. I can now save lives, or so I’m told, and they even let us out a little early as the first few raindrops fell. As it turned out, I didn’t want to leave the cats, and due to recent car trouble the BF didn’t want to drive up so we had to make due with virtual snuggling and several rounds of Words with Friends. I fell asleep that evening vaguely annoyed but glad at least one activity had gone as planned.

I woke up around 5am to find that my power had gone out and when I finally crawled out of bed, still nothing. As usual, my need for coffee got me out the door, and after driving around fruitlessly for about half an hour looking for a coffee place that was open, I headed to my friends’ house, which had power, after texting to ascertain if they had coffee (yes, I know I have a problem!)

As I was driving around checking all my usual coffee places and feeling disappointed when each was closed, I started to feel anxious and unsettled. But I really didn’t need expensive coffee that badly, and instead got to spend a lovely morning with my friends. I still had to teach my class though – got a call in the morning telling me the studio was open for business – and as I drove back to Maryland, I stopped at my apartment – still no power. After my class, I checked again – still no power. So I headed to the BF’s house for the night – which was actually very nice since I got to spend some unexpected time with him. This morning thankfully, when I stopped to get changed for work, the power was back on and life could resume as normal.

It’s amazing to me how unsettled I get when things don’t go as planned. Nothing bad happened to me this weekend – in fact, a lot of good things happened, but I was still relieved when my power was on this morning. I believe the rec centers in DC are open again. I can practice and teach and live my life – but the lesson is that nothing was stopping me from doing that all along.

NEWBIE chronicles the journey of a new yoga teacher.  From teacher training to building a business, follow Annie Carlin as she details the highs and lows of finding her place amidst one of the worlds oldest practices.


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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