A guest post by author Michael Nolan

I have written and rewritten this blog post four five times.  Events of the past few days are still replaying in my head after my area just endured the worst series of tornadoes in our history.  Hundreds are dead, hundreds more are still unaccounted for and yet miraculously I survived a large, old oak tree falling just feet from the bed where I was sleeping.

The tree fell just before sunrise that day, jarring me into a day filled with action and reaction and 48 hours without a wink of sleep, including the chilling moments before a tornado would touch ground just miles from me, when debris was being dropped right in front of me on the ground from as far as 60 miles away.   It was afterward when I started to reflect on what had happened that I took away some valuable lessons from Mother Nature.

1.  You are not invincible and you cannot do it all.
I am definitely of the mindset that “if I want it done right, I’ll do it myself”.  Two days with no power, no cell phone and 10 animals depending on you will give you a wakeup call pretty fast: If you want it done at all, you’re going to have to DELEGATE.

Asking for help is not an admission of failure. It is acceptance of the fact that we are not super human and nobody can do it all, all the time.  Suck it up and ask for help when you need it.

2.  Priorities aren’t always priorities.
The things that I considered priorities when I went to bed on Tuesday night were much different than the ones I had when I woke up the next morning.  Animals were missing, fencing was destroyed and worse storms were on the way.  The article I needed to finish and send that day suddenly didn’t matter quite as much as the lives of the people just 5 miles away who lost everything when their house was literally ripped apart.

Your priorities are often not quite as static as they seem, so you need to be flexible enough to reevaluate them as necessary to keep everything flowing as smoothly as possible.

3.  If there’s no time for you, you’re wasting your time.
Simply put, if your schedule doesn’t allow time for you, then something’s got to give.  Even if you have to slate just 10 minutes before your shower in the morning for meditation, reading, or daydreaming, you need that time.  It may be just 10 minutes but those precious moments will help to focus you, relax you and keep you on an even keel when the day gets hectic.

None of these lessons are new, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder to put us back on track.  In my case, that gentle reminder came in the form of a devastating natural disaster, but it always was a little hard to get my attention.

You can also view two of Michael’s videos from the storm:

Tree Down

Storm Debris


Michael Nolan, The Garden Rockstar is an author, blogger and speaker on gardening, sustainability, food ethics and homesteading.  He is currently in the process of writing a new guest post on a different site for each day in May. To follow his progress, visit MyEarthGarden.com.