Last week, Hurricane Irma came barreling toward the eastern seaboard like a runaway freight train. Here in Tampa, the weather reports in advance of the storm were even more melodramatic than usual – “Tampa is poised to take its first direct hit from a major hurricane in 100 years,” etc., etc. – but for once, I really paid attention.

In my 23 years in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve always treated these overblown forecasts with disdain. They go on and on about it, showing all manner of NOAA diagrams, and all I hear is blah blah blah. Because of its geographical location, it would be very difficult for a hurricane to actually hit Tampa directly; it would have to either come up through the Gulf of Mexico and make a sharp eastward turn right by Tampa, or blast through the lower half of the peninsula as a Category Five and still retain its strength after moving substantially overland.

As you can probably tell, I think about this stuff sometimes, and I’ve even prepared a bit over the years. But last week’s panic was like nothing I’d ever seen: supermarket shelves were emptied of staples like bread and water for days on end, and gas stations ran out of gas within an hour or two after receiving a new shipment. It was crazy, and I got caught up in it myself. Just to be on the safe side, my wife and I hightailed it out of town.

Much Ado About Nothing

Of course, I didn’t exactly take several days completely off from working, though I spent much of those days driving. I still posted plenty of social media content, and got through most of my email. But it was like a long holiday weekend, though without any of the fun usually associated with such weekends.

The storm turned out to be a dud in Tampa, of course, which was fortunate for us. We returned home to zero damage, and hadn’t even lost our electricity for long, near as I could tell. Thankful for that indeed.

Once back in town, I was doubly fortunate – although I essentially put my business on hold for several days, I still had a major project whose deadline was rapidly approaching, and I received a couple of new projects that needed to be completed right away. So I hit the ground running, and didn’t really take another breath until this past weekend.

And now I’m getting back on track with my standard schedule in between new projects: ramping up social media efforts back to normal levels, doing marketing outreach, and even getting back to this blog, which was sorely neglected last Monday, when I drove for six or seven hours.

What about you? Do you have trouble getting back on track after scheduled or unscheduled time off? Let me known in the comments below.

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