Thought for the Week
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
This past week was one of many challenges. Due to inclement weather and a scheduled day off I only worked two days. While some may think that having such a long break I would feel refreshed and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning; that is not the case. With a rather large snow storm predicted for mid-week, my anxieties rose when I realized that my husband would be leaving for a three day work trip the day the snow storm was to begin. As a precaution, I asked him to bring the generator to the house and show me (and our son) how to start it so that we could run a heater and hopefully save the food in the freezer and refrigerator. Feeling pretty confident that this storm would not be severe, I kissed him good-bye and went about my daily routine and looking forward to my Friday off. Rain began to fall and quickly turned to ice and then snow before midnight. I began to think that this might be the big one of the winter season; my thoughts were correct. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday approximately 10 (or more) inches of heavy white snow lay across everything including power lines causing thousands to lose electricity in their homes. It was at this point that I knew we were in for a long couple of days. Time passed slowly and it became evident that my son and I would be spending the night without electricity cooking our dinner on a camping stove (which by the way has never been used on a camping trip) and piling extra blankets on our beds to stay swarm. With the temperature in our house dropping, I found myself welcoming the mid-life hot flashes that I experience quite often.
Day one turned into day two and day two turned into day number three. After shedding a few tears (actually a lot of tears) we decided to throw in the towel and make a reservation at a local hotel; at least we would be warm. At the eleventh hour, the power came on I cancelled the hotel reservations and the clean-up of extension cords, blankets, cook stove, board games and dirty dishes began. That night as I crawled into bed and curled up next to my husband I realized that I truly suck at roughing it. I am dependent on the luxuries that make life comfortable and easy. It was as if I lost power when the lights when the lights went out. When did this happen? When did life become so easy that I am unable to function without electricity? When did we as a society become so dependent on “stuff” to survive?
As a young girl growing up on a poultry farm with other farm animals as well, my brothers and I had chores. We were required to perform certain tasks to ensure that the farm was taken care of. Looking back at that time in my life I realize that those chores helped us survive. It was the responsibility of each one of us to work together to keep things going. As much as we complained that it wasn’t fair that we had to shell feed corn into a coal bucket in the dead of winter for the animals, work in the chicken house, mow grass, feed the pigs or the milk cow it was a necessary part of life. When the power went out we kept the wood stove in the basement burning and sat by the gas oven in the kitchen to get warm. We used an oil lamp for light and slept in our beds under piles of heavy blankets. It was just the way it was; we dealt with it. Now, forty plus years later I find myself stuck in a place where I complain if I don’t have electricity to run my Keurig, take a hot shower or use the microwave oven. This week I was cold, tired, and selfish; even though I had a generator and a camp stove that allowed me to heat water to make hot tea, cook meals, run the electric heater, keep my refrigerator and freezer running and watch television. Technology and convenience has taken over and we (society) have forgotten how to live simply.
So what does all of this mean? Should we eliminate all of the conveniences that make life easier for us and return to the days of long ago? No; that’s not possible. What is possible is that we take time out of our lives once in a while to unplug from all of the “stuff” that we depend on and just “be” in the moment. Taking time out of our day to spend in quiet without the buzzing of a cell phones, emails, social media etc., we will be able to rest our minds and rejuvenate our souls. This week as my son and I sat playing cards by candle light we found ourselves laughing and making jokes; we had not done that in a long time because we are always distracted by other things. Now that life has returned to normal it is up to me whether I take time to play cards again or wait until the next power outage. My goal is to play cards.
What keeps you distracted? Is there something that keeps you from taking time to be quiet or spend time with your family and friends without life’s conveniences? I encourage you to excuse yourself from reality once in a while to ease your mind and settle your soul. For me, I plan on trying to find that balance between the convenience of life and the ability to cope with the occasional loss of power; both electrical and within myself.
Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
Topic: Thought for the Week