Posted by: sistermom1 | July 21, 2012

What I Learned When the Lights Went Off

We have been in the midst of a heat wave.  Temps have been in triple digits for some time, and the power company has been in the news non-stop because of all of the trees knocking down power lines.  After three days spent on family vacation at a resort, we returned and within three hours a major storm hit and we lost power.

Now we lose power regularly in our neighborhood, so hoping it would not last too long, we spent a night at home with windows open for a cross breeze.  (Despite the fact that I could not get upstairs because I could not use the stairlift).  We awoke to a continued outage, so Plan B went into effect.  Little did we know that it would be a full week before we would regain power, so along with my husband and kids, I learned a lot over the week:

1. We are blessed with a tremendous support system.  In addition to my friends, my mother and mother-in-law both live nearby.  This has worked out to be wonderful — our children love their grandmothers and have been able to build positive relationships with both of them.  Needing to live with them for a week (us with “Gummie” and the kids with “Grandmother”) turned out to be a great opportunity for the kids to bond with both of them, and for all of us to reconnect as an extended family.

2. You must let go of what you cannot control.  When the power first went out, my 15 year old asked me several times a day “When do you think that the power will be back on?”, and he was frustrated by my lack of an answer.  (To be honest, I think he just missed playing X-Box!)  Finally, my mother asked him “What exactly do you think your mother can do about this situation?” which really forced him to stop complaining and think.  That question forced all of us to realize that we really could not do anything about it, and just relax and go with it.  As a result, we ended up enjoying our week.

3. Always have good reading at your fingertips.  My family gave me a Kindle last year, and I absolutely love it.  I now have about 30 books at my fingertips, and I have been able to purchase many titles that have really been helpful to me along this detour.  One book that has really helped me lately is by Wayne Dyer — Wishes Fulfilled – Mastering the Art of  Manifesting.  One of the many ideas he shares in this powerful book that I encountered during our extended vacation:

“Whatever it is you want to manifest for yourself, do not be afraid to place it in your imagination, assume the feeling of that wish fulfilled, and by all means, make it feel as natural as apple pie…you are never given the power to dream without the equivalent power to manifest that dream and make it your physical  reality.”

4. We’re buying a generator.  We have decided to purchase a generator for the times that the power goes out.  Now, this is a major decision for us — my husband has resisted it for the 16 years that we have lived in this neighborhood.  As soon as the power goes out (several times each year), we hear our neighbors’ generators going.  For years I have asked my husband to buy one, and he has fought against it.  This week changed everything, and we are about to get one from Home Depot!

5. My family is great, and I really am very lucky.  Our kids are easy-going, bright, and able to converse with anyone.  They know how to speak with adults and are able to make thoughtful, interesting comments to any conversation without being smart-mouthed and disrespectful.  I am very proud of them, and they are comfortable with themselves, which is unusual to find — especially with teens – who are often dealing with so much internal struggles.  My husband is a true partner who I deeply love and appreciate, and a fabulous father.  We are very lucky to have him in our lives!

6. Enjoy your vacation whenever you can take it.  We weren’t sure that we could afford the vacation we took, but we did it anyway.  Since I became wheelchair-bound (2007), we often end up paying more at hotels for the level of service I need.  Extra service often does cost more, and feeling like I am worth it is an ongoing challenge for me.   We did enjoy the resort — everyone had a great time,  and it reminded me of how important spending relaxed time together is for our family.  It was great to be together — even on a brief vacation — Because you never know when the next storm is coming and the lights are going to be out!



  1. I was trying to leave a comment but for the life of me it will not let me do it.
    I just wanted to say that I hope if my lights go off for a week, I can handle it as well as your family did.

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