Have you ever had one of those days when you just wonder, WHY ME??? If it’s the week of Fall Break and you are caring for ten teenage girls who all got up at the same time wanting food only to realize the power is out, this might be you. After all, doesn’t everyone relocate the power meter when all the girls are home as opposed to a school day? Despite a home full of teens with no charged cell phones and emergency exit lights dimly lighting the room, there is foreign sound. It’s not the washing machine chugging along knowing it will spin soapy water for the next week, or the sound of the overstuffed dryer thumping with more than one comforter shoved inside it. It’s not the air conditioner sweating condensation like Richard Simmons in saran wrap running in place to Jessie’s Girl. What is that sound? Is that laughter? It is! It is the sound of merriment in our home!
The observation of silhouette children sitting together in a passageway sharing stories of days gone by with roaring hilarity is a perfect way to start the day. Children learning more about one another and finding that even those who routinely ask for a “cease and desist” against a roommate have found common ground. Today, they are all just children who will no longer have scrambled eggs and toast, but rather cereal and milk in the dark and it does not seem to matter.
In a world where we all have so much, it reminds me of simpler days when we had so little. Before children were plugged into technology 24 hours a day and communication included sitting down and talking through issues instead of sending a tweet to tell the world “I’ve been wronged,” communication was a contact sport. It began and ended in the same room, often resulting in things said that on some level may be true or the use of an ice pack to reduce the swelling. A social media campaign posting a poll was not required to weigh in on who was right and who was wrong before the results were shared and created a public divide. Instead, conversation forced people to get to know more about one another.
In a world where “ice breakers games” are conversation starters because people have forgotten how to talk, I challenge you to strike up a conversation with a stranger today. Ask someone how they’re doing, and simply wait for the answer. Tell someone you appreciate them and watch the reaction. Find a person with tear-streaked cheeks and remind them that tomorrow will be better. Today is a reminder that when we learn to enjoy the little things, the big things don’t matter. Turn out your lights from time to time, light a candle, and have a talk. The power company might not appreciate it, but your therapist will. Here’s to having a power outage kinda day. Cheers!