I'm sure y'all heard about the recent blackouts in India. Basically, massive failures of the power grid left over 600 million people in the dark for several days. People have been calling it the worst blackout in global history.
Yanno.... I felt a funny thing when I heard about it... I felt a twinge of jealousy.
Now, in truth, it would really suck to be caught in a situation like that. I'd probably lose a good chunk of the food in the freezer, since my stove is electric I'd be reduced to using the solar oven and camp stove to cook with, I'd be out of touch with people I care about, and that doesn't even touch on the topic of heating & cooling or, heaven forbid, the water supply.
But just think of the upsides... It would be quiet. There would be no incessant electronic voices, or beepers, or ringers wrangling for your attention.You could go to bed as early as you wanted to because there would be no lights, or television, or internet to keep you up.
And best of all, nobody could expect things from you.
That last one is huge for me. Here I am, six years post-employment, and I still suffer from feeling like the whole world wants something from me.
I know it's ridiculous and self-imposed, but there are parts of me that just feel like I should be keeping in touch with people, and I should be staying up to date on what's happening in the world, and I should be spending more time with my parents, and the worst one of all: I should be "being productive." OY!
And the worst part about being "productive" is that it can mean ANYTHING! I should be cooking, or vacuuming, or preserving, or repairing, or organizing, or working on my web sites, or blogging, or all of the myriad of other things that can be made into chores.
But somehow, if the power were to go out, I feel like I'd be "off the hook." After all, how can anybody expect anything of me if the power's off?
It's totally absurd, because the truth is, I'm the only person who is placing all of those expectations on myself. In reality, NOBODY CARES whether I'm a model of human efficiency or a total and complete slob.
So, with that realization tucked away nicely in my psyche, I've been exploring the off switch this week... creating my own selective blackouts if you will.
I don't have to live with the incessant voices telling my to purchase certain items, or vote a certain way, or care about a certain event... I can just turn off the television.
I don't have to be "on call" for the world... I can take the telephone off the hook.
And I don't have to stay up late trying to "be productive" I can turn off the lights, enjoy the quiet solitude, look at the stars, and go to bed!
I'm not sure why this is such a revelation for me... and the truth is, I've had this same revelation many, MANY times before. But somehow the busyness of the world seems to keep creeping up on me, and I find that I have to keep reminding myself that I have control of the off switches in my life.
How about you? Does anybody else out there have trouble remembering to turn off the craziness?