Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Saving Daylight

All was quiet as I drove through town toward home. As I entered my front door, it was strangely silent except for the puppy frantically barking. It wasn't until I began dinner preparation that I realized the light was off in the refrigerator. "Hmmm," I thought, and reached for the overhead light switch. Nothing. I glanced at the oven and realized the clock was dark. The electricity was off. A quick call to my neighbor revealed it had been off for close to an hour. 

My water comes from a deep well on the farm and is supplied by an electric pump.  When there's no electricity, there's no water, either. My first thought was of all I couldn't do. The second was of all I still could. 

I assembled a quick sandwich for dinner and was amazed at how much less time that took. I cook every night, and the preparation, cooking, and clean up all consume a considerable amount of time. Tonight, I saved more than an hour. I laughed out loud as I thought, "Now THIS is really daylight savings time!" 

With all that extra time, I've played with my dogs and tried again (and still unsuccessfully) to teach Mamie to fetch. I've laughed at my hopping puppy and snuggled with Maggie (who has been unusually tolerant of the puppy's antics).

I like being "unplugged ".  It's odd how that which is supposed to be a time-saver has actually been consuming so much of my evenings. I'm surprised by it, and wondering what other time-saving item I could eliminate so I can actually save some time. Don't get me wrong. I do not want to give up electricity. I enjoy my heat pump and running water, and I'm certainly not interested in relinquishing my refrigerator or oven in exchange for an ice box and an open fire.

It may be my mindless dependence on technology of all types that is the problem. I text when a quick phone call might be better. I send emails when a hand written note would be much more appropriate. I google my question when there are books on my shelves with the answer I need. Do these things save me time? Not always. 

Perhaps the problem is not the technology. Perhaps the problem is actually how I view time. If I truly understood that every one of the finite minutes I have moves me closer to eternity, would I treasure each one more? Would I spend them more carefully? Would I be less likely to squander them with mindless banality?  Would you?

For this evening, I've enjoyed the brief power outage and am pondering how to spend those precious moments I've gained. I'm thinking a few handwritten notes by candlelight might be on the agenda. And sealing wax, of course. A little Thoreau. Maybe even a few minutes on the porch spent watching it rain and savoring the fragrance of fresh-washed earth. Sixty very precious minutes. I'm spending them well for a change. 

Why don't you join me with a little time-management of your own? You might be surprised by all sixty minutes can contain.  Unplug. Slow down. Enjoy!