Uprooted, Part Three: Brain Reacts

Note: Working my way through Part Three, I realized there was a Part Four to this series.

In Part One of this four-part blog series, I wrote about how curiously shaken I felt by a recent wind storm that uprooted and snapped trees across Northern New England and left behind a historic power outage. In Part Two, I looked to Mother Nature and a book by forester Peter Wohlleben for answers and found common sense explanations as to how and why the fallen trees were so vulnerable to the wind.

That helped me understand their vulnerability, but it didn’t help explain my heightened sense of vulnerability.

When I woke up on the morning of the storm, I had lost power, but I hadn’t lost cell service or the internet connection on my phone.

Not only did I wake up to the damage I saw in my own yard and neighborhood, I woke up with the images, videos, commentary and reports from all over the county, State and region.

The mounting sum of the storm’s impact was immediately available on my phone, and I immediately “took it on” in my brain, compounding my experience of the damage and amping my concern and feeling of vulnerability.  

Because we live in “connected” times, unless there are service disruptions, we are able to be bombarded by what’s happening; all the time, from almost anywhere. 

The continuous flow of news reports and reactions we can be fed through screens and devices in our lives is overwhelming. 

I often feel like it’s hard to keep up, hard to process, and hard to manage. 

Trying to gauge how much and what “incoming” is enough and how much screen time is too much is important to my sense of well-being. 

As I was reminded by this storm reaction, my climate of vulnerability is strongly influenced by what and how much I consume through screens vs. what I experience directly.

Coming next is Uprooted, Part Four: A Different Storm