The Station Fire has seriously stressed me out. The smoky air, the online discussions about bad (or nonexistent) news coverage, the talk of costs in money, not to mention lives. And now that we know it was arson my mind is completely blown.
It's all relative. I live in Pasadena. My home has not, at any point, been threatened by the fire. Yet I'm stressed to the point of near-illness because of the effects this thing has on my community. My stress is nothing compared to that of the people who live up the hill in Altadena, or over the hill in Acton, or across the valley in Sierra Madre and Monrovia--the people whose bags are still packed in case they have to evacuate.
And the animals. It's too horrible to contemplate.
Then I think of the people who did have to evacuate. That's stress. But those who lost their homes are going through worse. Real people. I don't know them but I can put myself in their place, or lack of a place. It's devastating.
Real lives have been lost, too. Two lives, two firefighters. My heart goes out to their families. I'm so glad I married a guy who works at his computer. Having him here, now, is a great stress-reducer.
We talked about the firefighters last night. I imagine you have to love fire to be a firefighter. You have to love the challenge, the teamwork, the danger, the heat. The kudos, too, when you get them. You have to be able to deal with some major stress on that job, I would think. Maybe you even have to relish that stress.
We can never give them kudos enough, but we can try.