Empowering Power Outage

Two Friday nights ago (6/29/12), my hometown in Southwest Virginia was hit with a Derecho. This translates to a REALLY BAD WIND STORM with winds recorded over 80 mph! The storm was huge, covering a lot of ground over many states very quickly doing a lot of damage.

As luck would have it, I was selling jewelry at my local artisan market when the storm hit. One moment I am talking with a customer, the next I was running down the street trying to catch flying jewelry! It was wild, insane, and scary.

My usual twenty minute drive home took three hours that night. There were seven trees down on a two mile stretch of road leading to my house. Two guys, a handsaw, and  I moved most of the trees out of the road. Finally we were saved by a knight in shining pick up truck with a chainsaw! That sped the process along nicely.

I got home to no power, which lasted until the following Thursday. Having no electricity for six days was surprisingly empowering and peaceful.

Through the power outage, I was reminded of why I moved to the rural area that I live in. The main reason was to live non-electric or off the grid as some would say.

I lived non-electric for three years. At first I carried water from the spring in buckets and then upgraded to gravity fed water. I had propane lights, refrigerator, and stove. I also had a cell phone that got reception three miles up the road and a lovely little outhouse.

Now that I have electricity, I am used to losing it for a few days each winter, usually when we are snowed in. Losing power in July was totally different though. Most of my meals were prepared on the grill, and my family and I spent most of our time hanging out at the creek, something we definitely don’t do with a winter power outage.

When the power did return, I noticed something, I HAD FINGER NAILS! Usually I am a nail biter, but I did not bite my nails while the power was out! It was a pleasant surprise, but what was that about?!

I figured out what it was about as soon as I turned my computer on after days without it. I sat staring at my monitor, checking e-mail, Etsy, Facebook, etc, and I started chewing on one of my beautiful fingernails.

After realizing this, I logged off immediately, nothing pressing there, and I wanted to save my nails. That was Saturday morning, and there was no nail biting until I logged on the computer today, and four of my beautiful nails are now gone!

So I have decided it is time to “get back to basics” and set a much more limited schedule for the computer in my life. If a few minutes of computer time has me chewing my nails, it is a stress in my life for sure and, for the most part, an unnecessary stress.

With this wonderful knowledge, I have decided that I will only turn my computer on two or three times per week. This will reduce the amount of posting I do on Facebook and Etsy, but I feel it will increase the quality. I have also decided that I will only blog once per month. I think this too will increase the quality of content and take more undue stress off of me.

Nothing I do online is really pressing. Earrings are not an urgent need. No one contacts me through e-mail with an emergency. And I guarantee there is no one out there that will notice my reduction of online time, but I will.

It is amazing to me how I/we can live in stressful situations and not even realize it until I/we take a step back. I am very grateful that I was able to find empowerment in the power outage. I feel recharged doing without. I am grateful for this beautiful lesson, and I will see you here next month! 🙂


About Mountain Light Jewelry

My name is Carly Burke and I am a jewelry artist living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. I turned my hobby into a business September 2009 and have enjoyed using mostly copper and argentium silver wire and semi precious stones to create unique wearable art. I have also appreciated the challenge of jewelry photography, marketing, selling and learning to be a salesman.
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