Thursday, August 14, 2014

Severed Connections

The world seems to be sending me a message lately and I must not be heeding its wisdom. Because the lesson keeps being repeated.

We lost our internet, cable and telephone services several mornings ago. Our address was the only one affected so it considered an isolated event. Though we were put on a high priority cancellation list we could have been without services for up to three days. Thank goodness for cancellations because our wait time was cut by a third. But it was a long and rather squirmish twenty eight hours.

I learned a few things while our services were out. I think I like myself and my actions a little better when I am disconnected from life-outside-of-these doors.

I tend to do more productive things with my idle time. Yesterday I washed down a few walls and washed the screen doors. I finished reading a book. I was in the moment and not living-outside-my-life by taking on the world and all of its thoughts, troubles and perceptions.

I rather enjoyed our evening of disconnection. No internet meant that I had the main computer to myself for the evening. I had some writing projects to tend to. If our disconnection would have continued it would have been an ideal time to clean up the clutter within this computer. I have many ways to keep myself busy that tend to get finished sooner when I am not continually distracting myself by checking on emails, Facebook and following the path the internet may take me when I sit down to check out one piece of information.

My son and I had the opportunity to sit down and simply enjoy some Cat Chat time. The light and easy, breezy conversation that happens when we sit and stare at our cats together. I have really missed that lately, as he has been consumed with on-line computer games since we became owners of an up-to-date computer. I suppose that I should take a hint and realize how I have quietly resented the computer dominating his attention this past while. Take a hint, girl. This is how others see you when you are busy checking emails, updating blogs and working on various spreadsheets, writing projects and simply frittering away your time on the World Wide Web.

In the wake of Robin Williams death, I am almost certain that I would have immersed myself in all of the media coverage. Though there were so very many wonderful and thought provoking things written and said (which I read when I was able to reconnect with the world last night), sometimes it is simply nice to think your very own thoughts without outside influence. And (as an extreme over-sharer) it is equally important to simply listen to your own thoughts without feeling the need to put them all out on display. I am sure some of my reflections will trickle out of my fingertips as time moves on but after reading so very many people's words, I simply feel it is not right or respectful of me to join in on that particular bandwagon. Not right now.

I seemed to think that opportunity was trying to call or email me while I was on this unplanned sabbatical. I was so intensely consumed with this notion, that I chose our take-out food restaurant by the ability to access their free Wi-Fi while I was waiting. Only to discover that the only email that was awaiting me was junk mail. Then at the tail end of this disconnection period, I found only one email of any importance. It was the same thing with the phone. My plea to the technician who was helping me troubleshoot our issues was "I run a daycare out of my home. It is important to have contact with the outside world. I really need phone service!" So she forwarded our calls from our home phone, to my cell phone. And guess who was trying to call? Someone giving away a 'free' cruise ...

The only call of importance that I received was the call from the technician who was in our neighborhood yesterday afternoon, calling to see if we were home so that he could remedy our problems.

Who knew? Twenty eight hours of disconnection and no one was trying to call. Yes, it is time to get over myself. Perhaps it is not the fear of not receiving incoming calls and emails that is my problem but the isolation that comes from not feeling like I could reach out and contact anyone myself. I had put off contacting a few people I-most-wanted-to-talk-with until today. Guess what? There was no answer. Communication is a two way street. Just because I was available and able to reach out, it didn't mean that anyone was there. It was an illusion all along.

I had a small backlog of things-to-do this morning since I handed the main computer over to my son last night. I thought that my quiet time before my daycare family arrived would give me plenty of time to tie up all loose ends. It would have been. If ... the power didn't go out!

I couldn't believe it. We just barely got reconnected with the world outside of our doors and a power outage severed all of our connections, along with lights, electricity and the ability to make my morning smoothie!

I went about my morning just knowing the power would turn back on at any given moment. I was grateful for many things during this power outage. My cell phone not only provides the up-to-date time, but it illuminates a room quite nicely in the dark. The longer the power stayed off, the more I realized that I should not waste the battery power on my cell phone. I lit some candles (note to self: buy more candles) and found gratitude in the fact that lack of power does not affect our ability to turn on the tap and be rewarded with water. Not only that, but the residual heat in the water heater allowed me to have a bath before I went out in search of my morning java.

As I drove down the street, I couldn't help but notice how isolated our power outage was. Lights were on across the street and straight down the block from us. It was just our side of the street, for a few blocks.

Okay, Universe, I hear you! But I still don't seem to be heeding your wisdom. The moment the power was restored I was back on the computer, submitting the columns that I had started to prepare before this period of disconnection. I checked my email (once again, to find a relatively empty inbox). I read the blogs that I follow.

I have been sitting at the computer (almost) ever since. But I have done a few important things. I have filled up the water jugs in the house and have them at-the-ready and I have charged all-that-needs-to-be-charged in case of a power outage. And I have done a load of laundry. One simply can't be too prepared.

Do I realize how inconsequential all-of-the-above is? Yes. These were simply minor inconveniences. Very minor. What if it wasn't 'just me' (or my block)? What if it wasn't as simple as calling a technician who would be dispatched as soon as possible? What if these issues (most importantly the power) weren't resolved within a few hours or a few days? What if I didn't have a cell phone (again - very minor in the whole scheme of things but crucial to the panic I felt when it seemed like my connection to the outside world was severed)?

As our Fair City is hitting record temperatures (a heat warning has been issued) today and air conditioners will be running in an attempt to keep things cool and tolerable we are so very fortunate. When all goes according to plan and we wake up to a world where power is a flick of a switch away, we come by water as easily as turning on tap and we are a phone call away from calling for help ... we are beyond wealthy.

Losing one's connection with the outside world feels isolating and lonely. If it were not for my cell phone I would have felt like Canada Post was my only hope of sending or receiving a signal from beyond my back yard. We have come a very long way in this world of ours. Is it possible to be too connected? I think so. I think that is the message the Universe is trying to send me. Unfortunately my phone and internet have been down so I have 'missed' its call.

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