The heatwave that has been terrorizing the east coast of the United States for the past five days was about to come to an end. A cold front was pushing east and was to collide with the entrenched heat.
Striking the hot air mass, the cold front was predicted to incite massive upheaval in the sky.
As the two strikingly different air masses battled it out over our heads, violent winds, intense downpours, and extreme gale-force winds were predicted. My phone was “blowing up” all morning with dire warnings and alerts about the approaching cold front.
The cold front was expected to intercept the hot air around 6 PM in the afternoon. The ensuing storm was going to dump flood causing rains and bring with-it gale-force winds. Warnings from the National Weather Center included instructions for seeking shelter, not driving in water that covers the roadway and to stay tuned for the next update.
So, the project that I had planned to do outside at 4 PM seemed doable.
It was only going to take us an hour and we would be wrapped up before the heavens opened and released its wrath on us. We had all the pieces needed and were prepared. The task was to replace a front bumper on my daughter’s car. She had slid on ice last winter and the front of her car hit a dirt embankment when she went off the road.
She was ok and the car was drivable, but the front bumper was cracked, with some pieces missing. Looking at the car from the front, it felt like someone smiling at you with teeth missing. Luckily there was no structural damage and most importantly, my daughter was not hurt.
For her birthday, a few weeks ago, I gave her the new bumper.
It arrived via Fed Ex in a box the size of a refrigerator. Yesterday, her Uncle came over and the three of us went to work. With two hours before the severe weather was scheduled to wreak havoc on us, we started work focused and determined.
Having viewed videos on YouTube, my daughter knew exactly where to start. The removal of the old, damaged bumper went quickly. This included taking out the headlights, the sidelights and then removing the old, cracked bumper from the front of the car.
As we went to install the new bumper, we realized we needed pop rivets.
Looking at the time, we still had an hour and ten minutes before the heavens opened. So, we piled in the car and went off to the auto parts store. Googling on the way, we knew exactly what to look for. When we arrived, we showed the clerk what we needed. We had brought a metal bracket that still had a piece of the old bumper attached with the pop rivet.
This quickened the process and we were on our way back very quickly. As we got closer to the house, storm clouds were building at the edge of the mountains. It was getting dark to the west, where the storm was coming from.
Sweet time was running out, it seemed like we would lose the race.
As we turned off the main road onto the gravel driveway that leads over the dam and up the hill towards our house, the windshield started getting dotted with raindrops. Not many, not big, but a reminder that we had only a limited amount of time to finish the project before the storm hit.
Arriving home, the final installation of the bumper, using the pop rivets, started without issue. We moved the toolboxes onto the covered front porch to keep them dry when the rain came. It continued to sprinkle lightly as we attached the wiring for the headlights and reinstalled them.
The last step was to flatten out the front license plate and attach it to the new bumper.
We cleaned up the cardboard we had laid out under the car so we wouldn’t have to lay in the gravel. Plus, when we dropped a bolt, it is easier to see on the cardboard. Searching through the gravel that is blueish silver, looking for a silver bolt is not fun.
As we backed the car off the jack stands, the sky around us was still dark.
But the extreme weather had yet to begin. We congratulated ourselves on a job well done and felt good that we had completed our project before the storm hit. There was time to harvest a colander full of tomatoes from our garden that my brother-in-law could take home for his family.
It was 6:35 PM. The destructive storm that the National Weather Service was predicting never materialized. What we ended up getting overnight, was a soft soaking rain that continues this morning.
We were prepared for the severe weather, but it never came.
As I sat on the front porch after my brother-in-law left, my mind drifted to my WRAP plan. Well, it first went to how pleased I was that the bumper I had ordered turned out to be exactly what we needed. Then it went to how happy I was that the Youtube videos my daughter had watched made the steps easy to do.
Then I started thinking about my recovery.
Statistics show, and my own life experience reinforces the fact that there will be ups and downs in my path forward. The predictions of severe weather or the return of depression are reminders to be vigilant, to be prepared.
As with yesterday’s potential storm, knowing it was coming kept us on track. We knew when it was to hit and worked within the time we had. We allowed for snags along the way and had the time to go and get additional parts before the storm’s arrival.
As I live with depression, staying alert to my own mental weather forecast is a part of my new life.
If the storm hits, I have a plan. If the storm doesn’t hit, I still have a plan. Just like the weather service, I have a list of signs that I am well. I also have a list of signs that indicate storm clouds are building on the horizon. These new tools give me the ability to plan for and reduce the destruction these depression storms inflict.
I am grateful we got the bumper on before the storm was scheduled to arrive.
I’m even happier that we had planned knowing that it was coming. And that regardless of whether the storm came or not, we had gotten the project done. Building these new tools into my life is becoming a more natural part of my day. I have always looked at the weather forecast to know what today and the next few days would bring. I am simply applying that same concept to my life with depression.
Each day, I check my own mental weather.
Using the tools I have collected, I can now forecast my own day. I am developing short and long-term forecasts to be better able to predict mental storms before they occur. This is an exciting development and gives me confidence that I can have depression, without depression having me.
Your comments, likes (only when deserved) and shares are appreciated as I continue my journey.