Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lessons from a power outage


Have you ever gotten off course in your life? I have. Recently I've felt like I was just getting by, hanging on by the skin of my teeth, in many areas of my life. On Monday we had a power outage that lasted 6 hours. I was in the middle of typing in my journal when the power went out. I was only about half way done and I still had to pay the bills, finish the laundry, do the ironing and vacuum the house. I was not really happy that the power went out but what can you do? Unless you have a generator all you can do is wait for the power to be restored. I thought of all the things I needed to get done that day. The kids were especially thrown off by the power outage. Although they understood that the tv and computer wouldn't work they kept trying to turn on light switches. I finally got them busy playing with some of their toys and I looked around to figure out what I could possibly accomplish without power.

I did everything I could as far as my housework was concerned. We don't have a clothes line so I wasn't able to take my last load of laundry and hang it out to dry. I needed to pay the bills but since I do that online now I couldn't do anything in that department. It seemed that everything I needed to do was dependent on power. So now what? Well I watched my kids play for a while. Of course there were disagreements to break up and so that kept me a little busy. Then it was lunch time and I had to take my son to school. When that was done I put my daughter down for a nap and realized that I may as well lay down too! I figured that when the power came back on I would be woken up by the electronics snapping back on and since I couldn't accomplish any of my work until then anyhow I was completely justified in laying down. I took a short nap and when I awoke I found that the power was still out.

The house was eerily quiet. This meant I had the perfect opportunity to think in silence without interruption. I spent some time thinking about how pulled I always feel to get so many things done. It seems that I am always running to do this or do that, and during the time that I couldn't follow my normal routine all those demands seemed rather unimportant. Yes, the laundry and the vacuuming and the bills are necessary, but I was amazed at how simple life started to look to me. I realized that I spend, or waste, a lot of my time doing unnecessary things. They are good things, but they are not necessary. I took time to sit and read one of my favorite books and that quiet time was so good for my soul. I felt renewed and peaceful.

Of course once the power came back on that evening things got crazy again, and it's taken me a couple of days to get caught up on the things I wasn't able to accomplish on Monday. However, that feeling that life is more simple than we often think has remained with me. I am trying to get back to basics in my life. Weed out the unnecessary and focus on the important things. I was reminded just how important that quiet time is for my sanity, spirituality, and peace. It is something I need to carry with me even when the power is on. It helps to bring balance to my life.

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