RLL 49: What We Learned During A Power-Outage
This past Sunday we had the rare experience of living in our home without power for almost a whole day. That morning someone in our neighborhood ran into and knocked down a power pole, so our whole area was without electricity from before noon until almost 9pm. During that time, we had some fun and I was reminded of three important lessons that I wanted to share with you.
1) It’s GOOD to unplug for a while. I know we all know this, but sometimes we need to be reminded of just how beneficial it is for us to disconnect from all of our electronics for a while. It’s good for us not just for its own sake but also for the opportunities it presents. For my wife and I, instead of watching soccer online (me) or doing some work for her job (my wife), we decided to go and play a dice game on our back patio, a game we got at her family’s reunion. We had a great time, enjoyed the fresh air and cooler temperatures, and were able to reconnect in a way that we wouldn’t have done if we’d been in front of our various screens.
2) It’s an opportunity for patience and understanding. Even though the power was out, life still had to happen, so that meant we needed to do things differently; and in our power-free world that evening, it also meant doing things more slowly. My daughter had lots of make-up homework to do, so we got her set up at the kitchen table doing work by a combination of candlelight and flashlight. For me, instead of typing or doing video work, I simply read a book on leadership that I hadn’t made much time for lately. It was an excellent chance for both of us to see that we can still get our tasks accomplished, even if we had to do them differently than we might have otherwise.
3) It’s an opportunity for creativity and family time. Again, with electronics off the table, we had a chance to do many other things: while my older daughter and I were catching up on missed work, my younger daughter spent even more time than usual reading. In addition to that, she and my wife spent extra time working on their performance for an upcoming talent show, and then my wife spent more time playing her ukulele. All in all, we had a wonderful time being in the same place, interacting in ways we wouldn’t have done if we’d had power.
There are three quick things I learned from our power outage, and they’ve inspired me to do a better job of turning off our screens even if the power is still on. I hope they encourage you along the same lines. There is something powerful and inspiring to me about working and living by candlelight, even if it’s only every once in a while; perhaps it’s the same with you.
Action Plan: This week, consciously plan out time to turn off the electronics and spend more time interacting and being creative with the people in your world. You’ll all be thankful you did.