Hurricane Irene passed through the American mid-Atlantic and north east last weekend, and while it was not nearly as devastating as was feared, damage has been widespread throughout the region.

Many peoples’ lives have been affected.

Here in Rhode Island, we sustained pretty good wind-gusts that toppled many trees and branches and led to more than a third of the state’s population without electricity for days.

It was an inconvenience for many, but life-threatening for some. We just got our power back in my neighborhood after 4 days in the dark, but all things considered, we were fortunate.

While the storm wasn’t as bad as predicted (which, people, is a good thing), it has still affected many and my heart and prayers continue to go out to them.

Let’s stay supportive and patient and help out neighbors as best we can.

Also, please, stop wasting your breath howling at the State, federal agencies or electrical companies by trying to incessantly pin blame (read: like loads of pathetic politicians and radio talk-show personalities do to try to “prove” to you that they care).

Instead, close your mouth, temper your anger, step off of your doorstep and walk to your neighbor’s and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them.

This is leadership.

Bitching and moaning is not.

Leadership is taking the initiative — even quietly, when no one is watching or reporting it on the news.

I’ll be the first to admit that the inconvenience of the power outages have frustrated me this week.

Just ask my pal Molly Mahar from Stratejoy. When she called me this week, I was all over the grid and mentally drained from spending the day running around the state, jumping from house to coffee shop and power outlet to power outlet to work.

Also ask my friend Jenny Blake from Life After College, who I texted her late last night as I edited my manuscript by hand and by candle light, with two luke-warm beers by my side to help me chill out a bit.

My frustrations have been 100% about finishing Lead Without Followers and sending it to my editor, Nicole.

I’ve got deadlines to meet. The book is soon due to go to my layout designer, and from there, I need to kick into publicity mode while finishing every final detail of publication by September 26.

I’ve been stressed, worried, and dealing with the artist’s (not that I’m an artist) stereotypical feelings of “Dear God I hope this does not suck.”

Thankfully, I had a few breakthroughs today and plan to burn the midnight oil to finished everything by this Friday.

So, in the end, yes, a hurricane that “wasn’t as bad as it could have been” almost derailed the deadline for my book, a book that has been 3-years-in-the-making — the knots and tension in my neck and back are a testament to this, believe me.

But thankfully, I’ve got some time to spare.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to get to work :)

PS: We raised $50 for pediatric cancer research this week with your help. Thank you!