A Dark And Stormy Night Miracle!

The other night a miracle happened. The electricity went out!

It was a dark and stormy, very windy February night that produced a small blizzard. Not a tornado, but still…80 mile per hour winds. Anyone who lives on the front range of the Rockies can tell you that the wind can be horrendous.

Now some might say that was not a miracle. However, to me it was! I had gotten too busy lately taking on extra work at my job as a teacher, being on the computer too much job as Zen Mama, and then suddenly everything else was being neglected at home! I got a sinus infection even though I very rarely get sick. Everything was pointing to the need to slow down, but I wasn’t paying attention to all the signs.

When you let yourself become too busy you get overwhelmed by life’s daily problems – too many emails, too much laundry, too many commitments, and not enough time to do what you love – then you can find yourself stressed.

Stress brings fear. Fear can make you sick, unproductive, uninspired and in the worst cases, depressed. The end of winter can prove difficult as well.

So that’s why the electricity being off was a miracle. I couldn’t get on the internet so instead I used my computer to listen to music. My son did his homework and asked to hear his (only) favorite classical song, Clair du Lune.

When he was finished with homework, I grabbed my latest book and read by the fire by candle light. It was all so beautiful that I had to take some pictures.

For that hour and 1/2 I had a little vacation right at home. I extended that little vacation for the last week. I still did my work but I took more walks. I finished a book. I watched a great PBS series. I began researching a trip. The Zen Papa and I had several fun evenings out as well.

Now, exactly a week later, I’m feeling much much happier and ready to take everything on again!

What lessons did I learn? Don’t let yourself get burnout! I need to follow my intuition when I am a little too busy and take a little vacation right in my own home.

Here are some steps to take a mini vacation right in your own home:

1. Do what you love!

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

While I do love both my jobs I also need to time to:
• read
cook
• garden – pretty soon I’ll start my vegetable garden.
be creative, take photography or write for pleasure, like poetry
• research travel

2. You need time to be mindful of the little things.

“We can do no great things – only small things with great love.” ~Mother Theresa.

Practice mindfulness whether this a walk in nature, a meditation for 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour or some activity where you can be quiet and find peace. It’s also taking the time to enjoy laundry or dishes, the smile on a child’s face or the singing of a bird.

3. Slow down!

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery
you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

~Eddie Cantor

The schedule I’ve made is created by me! I can control my schedule and fit “slowing down” into it.

4. Count your blessings.

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.”
~ Og Mandino

It sounds very simple but I am blessed and in the moments I’m feeling a little depressed, I count my blessings and feel gratitude.

5. Take action!

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”
~Pauline R. Kezer

Taking action can be either be physical activity or a mental one. It can be taking steps to solve the problem that is overwhelming you.

6. There’s something good in every bad day.

“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”  ~Unknown

Find the good in the day. And know that later you can look back and see where the bad events and thoughts that happen sometimes bring about the good as well.

7. Sometimes you just need to let go!

“The wind does not break a tree that bends”
– Sukuma proverb

Bend a little, let go of your anxiety and relax for awhile. This can actually spark your creativity and get you moving again.

I’d love to hear what you do to recharge your batteries!

This entry was posted in Changing Ourselves, happiness, Mindfulness, Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to A Dark And Stormy Night Miracle!

  1. Fran Sorin says:

    Betsy….
    You sure did experience a miracle…isn’t it re-affirming when that happens? Sure, the lights would probably be a nuisance for a lot of people….but not you.

    You turned the situation into something positive….a mini-vacation at home. I’m loving it Betsy.

    Your story is a great example of how creativity is not about where you are or what you’re doing, it’s about an attitude, and how you ‘do’ something (or just ‘be’.)

    I love this Eddie Cantor post:
    “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery
    you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

    All the points that you

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. Attitude is everything as they say!! And sometimes NOT doing gets to more productivity and than doing!! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

  2. sheila says:

    I love it when the lights go out and we have a good old fashioned storm. I actually look forward to it for the same reasons. (well, except for that one year when the entire Northeast of America was out for a whole three straight days in the middle of the summer heat… no so fun, lol)

    I like to sit outside sometimes to de-stress. And just absorb the sights and sounds. Especially at night when it’s clear and the stars are out.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    What a wonderful way to de-stress… outside! It makes me thinking of camping when all the stars are out and it’s totally quiet!! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

  3. Vidya Sury says:

    🙂 Sounds so much like something I go through from time to time. I love how technology abandons us once in a while, and nature steps in to show us a sign, giving us happiness is simple things.

    I am glad you experienced the miracle, Betsy!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    I almost wish it would abandon me more often!! The simple things definitely lead to more happiness!! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

  4. Stephany K. says:

    Hi Betsy,

    life could be so simple: “Smile, breathe and go slowly” but sometimes it overwhelms us and then it needs a little miracle like you experienced to get back on track.
    Thanks for sharing this post! It reminded me of what is important!

    Greetings,
    Steph

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Thanks Steph!! Love the quote “Smile, breathe and go slowly”! Glad it helped remind you of what’s important!! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

  5. Elly says:

    perfect timing!!! another miracle!!!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Elly,
    Yeah! Glad it was such perfect timing!! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

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  7. JennyBean says:

    I love a good storm that knocks out the lights too! It’s as close as I get to camping.

    What a wonderful, unexpected mini vacation you got to have. I’m jealous.

    xoxo

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Jenny,
    I’m trying to continue my mini vacation which is why I’m so late answering your comment! You’ve got to come to Colorado camping because that is also a miracle. I think you’d love it!!

    [Reply]

  8. Betsy,
    A mini vacation at home I love it! I left for 9 days and went back to MI to see my daughters and their families. Now I have jet lag and can’t seem to get going;)

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Hi Tess,
    How nice to go see your daughters and grandchildren! What a great vacation! Sorry, I’m a little late answering; I continued to be on my mini home vacation!!

    [Reply]

  9. Aileen says:

    Betsy, this post resonates with countless people! I see society (and myself included) taking on too much and as you say, “When you let yourself become too busy you get overwhelmed by life’s daily problems …and not enough time to do what you love – then you can find yourself stressed. …Stress brings fear. Fear can make you sick, unproductive, uninspired…”
    Sometimes I feel life balance is elusive – some moments we’ve got & sometimes we just don’t. I do see the miracle and gift you had & loved reading it. Life’s blessings are great 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. I LOVE it when the power goes out. Where we live, it doesn’t take a big storm. We’ve had a couple cases where someone ran into a power pole 10 miles away with their car and our power was out for most of the day. The last time we had an extended outage at night, I took many of the same pictures that you did. We put candles all over the house and lit the fire in the wood stove. Just sitting in front of the fire, I could feel how quiet the house became. I suddenly realized how much a house hums with electricity when it’s on and how much that hum adds a touch of underlying stress in my body.

    The idea of the mini vacation at home is awesome! I’m going to talk to my husband about how we can do this – soon!

    Thank you so much for the inspiration Betsy!!

    [Reply]

  11. Erin says:

    Love the story and the pics of fireplace and candles! I agree with everything you write, but it occurs to me that part of this is cultural. The majority of the world’s people have intermittent electricity, if any. I have had enough cross-cultural connections in life to believe that our American Dream comes at a high cost – our own burnout. Many of us are waking to this, either by force (job loss) or by collapse. Even though it is rare for me, I would rather live a pace in tune with the moon, stars and sun any day than my computer.

    [Reply]

  12. SomeGirl says:

    Sounds like a lovely, unplanned break!

    [Reply]

  13. Jen says:

    Oh Betsy!
    I can relate. We had those same winds here..knocking out power (but not at my house) and downing trees. Still, a reminder of nature’s fiery, and perhaps her way of letting us know she is a little irritated that we aren’t listening and SLOWING down:)

    I love your list. Such practical yet important steps to take. And you are right..too busy translates into illness. That happened to me this winter too. Too much emotional stress, not enough chicken soup for the body and soul, not enough “down time”.

    Thanks for a valuable reminder that every person will resonate with!
    IN Harmony,
    Jen ♫

    [Reply]

  14. Terry C says:

    Thank you Betsy. I always enjoy your posts. It reminds me of “home”. I am lucky that I have the opportunity to take a mental break each day and do yoga or go for a run. Maybe I should take a technology break as well?!

    [Reply]

  15. Sibyl says:

    Who would have thought so many great lessons could come from losing electricity? 🙂 I really appreciated what you suggested about not getting to caught up in the whirlwind of life. It never really stops so if you don’t take a break from it, it really can just always suck you in. Great wisdom Betsy. Thanks for passing it along.

    [Reply]

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  19. Needed to read this today. Thank you! And I love how you spent that time without power. 🙂

    [Reply]

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