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Maintaining Your Sanity

Where do you escape to?

Emergency managers can be going 100 miles an hour, all day long, skipping from meeting to meeting, trying to keep up with email, etc. Some days are like being "shot out of a cannon" and you are the cannonball, flying through space, not really knowing where you will end up at the end of the day. "Hectic" is a word that comes to mind!

You can, and I have, taken the work home with you to "catch-up" on the day's events along with trips to the office on weekends for some quiet time to get real work done. This is the life we live in the service of our community.

Vacations come and go, but I think you need to have some outside of emergency management activity that diverts your mind and muscles to something else. While my retirement goal is to play more golf, the garden is where I find my daily escape. Yes, I'm a gardener. Early mornings, twice a week when I water all 40 flower/shrub pots is a favorite time. It is cool, quiet, birds chirping, etc. And I get to kill some slugs and snails still wandering about ...

Here is a short video done a couple of weeks ago when our yard was part of a garden tour, only one-minute-long Holdeman Garden.

It might not be gardening, but I recommend you find something outside of emergency management to occupy your brain and maintain your sanity for those moments when disaster strikes and you need to be mentally and physically prepared for what the event will require of you. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.