Disposable litter box? Check.

At this very moment, my husband and I are in the path of Hurricane Earl.

It is eerily quiet.  Even though we are a mile away from the Atlantic Ocean, I can hear the waves pounding the shore.

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” I took this picture at 6AM today.  A sign of the storm that looms.

The uncertainty of what will happen has been rather disconcerting.  And, yet I must admit I have enjoyed the intense focus and change of pace this week as I prepared for this monstrous storm.

I feel ready.  (Fingers crossed!)

But first…

Woman on Fire Jamie Eslinger and I were discussing how to handle our pets – their dog Pup and our cat Wilber — in this potentially devastating storm (neither of us has ever been in a hurricane), when she said something rather profound:

“Isn’t it funny how we have to be faced with a crisis in order to make a plan?”

Jamie wasn’t talking “funny” as in “ha ha ha,” but rather “funny” as in “911.”

She was talking about more than a storm.  She was referring to why anyone would attempt to live an extraordinary life — without a plan. It is akin to facing a hurricane without knowing what you will do if things turn ugly!

From the day I started coaching clients in 1995, I noticed the key that defines people who live extraordinary lives are those with clear, inspiring, up-to-date plans for their work and lives.

You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint!  You don’t want to live your life without one either.  That is you don’t, if you want to be extraordinary!

Because I am not sure how long I will have power and the Internet right now, I will make this quick.

Simply put, your plan needs to lay out your gifts, strengths and talents and the actions you are taking to express your gifts in the world.

I will write more about this in the future, but for now, if you already have a plan, good for you! Perhaps you can dust it off, if need be, and give it a good updating.  And, if you don’t have one, let’s get one going for you!

I encourage you to get started by writing down your answer to this important and provocative question:

What is the love you have to give to the world before you die?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section below.

OK, here we go.  The wind is picking up, the lights just flickered, and the rain is quickening its strike against the house.  But inside our house I feel safe and secure; our plans are in place should the storm turn ugly.

Both Pup and Wilber are “hurricane ready.”

Pup stands guard to protect his family!

Wilber practices duck-and-cover!

Thank you to the many Women on Fire who’ve experienced hurricanes — Rosemary Nickel, Diane Torrisi, Marissa Nelson, Shannon McCaffery, Janette Barber,  Jamie Foster, Michele Woodward, Sharon Harvey, Carla Rae Gerardino, Blue Cullen and Debra Gaines — for sharing extremely valuable and practical information that allowed me to create my hurricane plan this past week.

In addition, Woman on Fire Melissa McClain referred Jamie and me to this site to get our pets ready.  Wilber’s emergency kit and carrier contains food, water, identification, medical records, leash, picture of us together (important to prove ownership if we were separated) and a disposable litter tray. (‘Cause a kitty’s gotta do what a kitty’s gotta do!)

I will see you after the storm.  Have a great Labor Day weekend.  And, if you, too, are in Earl’s path, may you be out of harm’s way soon.