What a concept. As you may have guessed, our power is back on. Four days can feel like an eternity, an especially difficult one. Difficult times can put your life in perspective, and help you appreciate small things. Power, lights, warm water, and heat recently come to mind.
During our brief time without power, I tried to stay positive. After a few days, and one shower with 56 degree water I was becoming a little snarkey. I found myself being stressed, upset and angry a little more often. Lack of sleep and low temperatures are not a great combination.
Right in the middle of this power outage, my friend who just got back from Tanzania sent me an email. The email was a summary of the days spent helping others. As I read about their work on a children’s home, I learned that the home was in rough shape and in need of work, but much better than living on the streets. I looked outside at both my shed and tree house, the realization of my ungrateful ways fell upon me.
After the first few days, I started to notice how much I was complaining, even whining. As I drove around, something hit me.
There are people on this planet who would walk hundreds of miles to have shelter in my shed, because my lawnmower lives in a better home than many cold, hungry, and distraught people.
My complaining stopped. Perspective is a wonderful thing. Going without power for a few days helped remind me of what we have all around us and fail to notice.
I decided to be thankful instead. I didn’t expect this, but my mood improved. I heard someone say once that there is a secret to happiness in this life:
I am thankful for a friend who let us borrow a generator. I am thankful for the neighbor who came over late that night and connected it to the furnace so we could be warm. I am thankful for the candlelight Lego building, thankful for the quiet of no TV or electronics, and thankful for connecting with others.
Let’s try an experiment together over the next few weeks. Be thankful for your actual life. I look forward to hearing how it goes.