(Saturday Secrets is where I tell embarassing stories about myself. On a Saturday. Here is an embarrassing story that happened last month…)
We’ve been going without toilet paper for quite some time over here. Now, before you get grossed out and concerned, let me tell you that we just so happened to fall into a huge box of wetwipe packs back in December that have carried us all the way to the end of May… but the real concerning issue is that since December we have had no extra funds to afford such frivolous things as toilet paper. Since DECEMBER!
Yes, it has been a rough season for this family. And just as the check I had been waiting for arrived and I was finally able to plunk down a wole $10 for a 36 pack of precious toilet paper…
Yep. Those bastards shut us off.
So I am literally hysterically laughing and crying at the same time at the fact that I was so happy to be able to pick up toilet paper, but now we have NO POWER in our house.
That is the way it goes, I guess. There is always a struggle somewhere. This particular struggle has actually landed me in a great spot, though. I learned how to ask for help. Real help. Real problem solving kind of help. And you know what the result was? A friend and I worked out a deal for the summer. She needs care for her child once school is out, I need money for utilities, and my son needs a playmate. She needs someone to maybe make dinner once she was done with work, and I need help with dishes. The power will be back on tomorrow or the next day, but even better than that is the feeling of still having something to offer the world that isn’t tied to money. That feeling is priceless.
And it is an important lesson for single parents or parents in general – make friends with people who need you as much as you need them. Be creative. Let go of the idea of perfect independence, because if we were all truly meant to do everything alone we wouldn’t have mouths or hearts.
This next bit is a possibly inappropriate confession: I love when the power is off. My child has to find other things to do besides watch freaking Adventure Time. I know, I know… I could simply tell him no and blah blah blah. Look, it’s different when the power is off. It just is. I will admit I am weak at times and give in if you can admit that the power being off is a little more reinforcing. I also llike the natural light glow of my home without electricity, something I often forget when all the nightlights are left on throughout the day.
I like the silence. Really. No buzz from the tv or refridgerator, no clacking of the heater or grinding of the AC. It is so peaceful. And at night? Who knew it would be easier to sleep if it was completely dark?! And I mean completely. We usually have a hallway light on at all times for those midnight potty runs, as well as a nightlight in the music room for when you walk into a dark house late at night. But without them all, it was inky black and perfectly serene. I kinda loved it.
I don’t mind the extra creativity needed to figure out meals, either. I just call up a friend and ask if they woud like us to come make tem dinner. It works very well. Cooking real food is so cheap, and cooking for more peope isn’t much more expensive than cooking for two if you pay attention to what you’re buying. Plus, we get some much needed social time – me with other adults and my son with other kids. It is win-win all the way.
Yes, of course I want my damn electricity back on. But in trying to make the best of a situation I have learned a few things. I’m definitely going back to electronic-free Sundays, for one. That was a beautiful tradition that got lost in the busyness of life. Next, I think we will offer to cook for people more often. Lastly, some of these damn lights are getting turned the hell off during the day. And we will probably start to limit television time again.
There is beauty everywhere, even in the tough and embarrassing parts. Find your beauty wherever you are, and if you just can’t find it – call in reinforcements.