I spent most of yesterday in the dark. When I say “dark” I don’t mean to imply existing in a “clueless state” but rather actually physically sitting in darkness. My rural area experienced a massive power outage yesterday, which left about 1000 people without electricity.
The day was an interesting exercise in how dependent I am on all things power driven. Without this utility I couldn’t use my phone, cook my food, do my laundry, freeze or refrigerate my perishables, see my sofa, stay warm, watch TV, boggle my blog, flush my toilet (I have a well), or partake in a simple cup of tea.
Without power my regular day and evening activities were greatly altered. Rather than spend my time washing clothing, cooking, and blogging, I ate raw foods and read a book outside. I also interacted directly with my neighbors. Without the use of telephones, we went door-to-door sharing news on the outage and sharing flashlights. I got to know my neighbors better and enjoyed their company.
Later in the evening my “better half” and I donned head lamps and played endless card games of cribbage. We must have looked pretty silly wearing these crazy battery-powered head lamps, but we had lots of fun trying not to blind the other with our light sources. We also went to bed early, and got up earlier this morning feeling refreshed.
This whole experience makes me think, how much of our lives do we spend on useless power-sucking activities? Activities like watching hours of television, gaming with that Wii thing, or surfing the internet without purpose. It might be an interesting exercise to try living a day with your family pretending to be powerless. Try going through your day without the lights, without the television, and without all things electrical. You may just be surprised how much you learn about each other, how much fun you have, and how much money you save.
You may just discover that living without power is kind of empowering.