The Positive Side of Load Shedding

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My family and I moved to South Africa in 2007. Besides a 2 year hiatus, we’ve held the title of “foreign national” for eight years strong. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I’ve tried to make my American culture fit into a land that thinks so differently. Bottom line is, it doesn’t. There are days that I like to think I’ve adapted and changed to this different culture. Then load shedding hits, and it all goes to pot.

Load Shedding

What is load shedding, you may ask?

South Africa does not have enough power to run the country. We won’t get into the reasons of why. In order to compensate, we have regular power outages, usually lasting about two hours and usually in the evening when day has given way to night, and it’s just plain dark outside.

Those are days that I get grumpy. You know why? It’s inconvenient. I have to go all the way to the cabinet to pull out the lanterns. Sometimes it happens while I’m cooking dinner, and I can’t even see what I’m throwing in the pot. So  metimes I forget to charge my phone leaving me unconnected from the world. Gasp. Sometimes it means my kids don’t get a shower before bed, because the pressure pump can’t run without electricity resulting in a low trickle coming from the shower head. See. It’s inconvenient.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize, though. This is my life right now. It doesn’t matter what my American way of thinking tells me it should be. I can fight it, or I can embrace it.Load Shedding

I’m slowly choosing to embrace it.

It all started with my son actually. After a candlelit dinner, I didn’t see him anywhere, so I called him, “Joshua! Where are you?” I heard his voice coming from the picnic table on the back verandah. “I’m out here.” “What are you doing?” I asked. He replied, “I’m looking at the stars.” I went outside, and the sight took my breath away. They were simply beautiful, piercing the darkness with their white twinkles.

It was in that moment that I found beauty in the ashes. Inconvenience has presented us with an opportunity, a chance to slow it down for a moment. We’ve been forced to put modern technology aside for a blip in time, and I want to embrace the riches of what that provides for our family.

Load Shedding

My language has changed from, “Oh, great. There’s no power,” to “Look! We get to eat by candlelight!” The glass is half full, right?

You may not be a foreign national like me, trying to adjust to the injustices that make you want to scream, but I’m sure there are things in your life that are begging for a perspective shift.

What is your load shedding? What is the thing needs a glass half full perspective? Embrace it for all it’s worth. Your life and your family will be richer for it.

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Jen Price

Jen currently makes her home between two continents, one in the great state of Texas and the other in a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. She wears many hats such as wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. She writes for several websites including her personal blog, I Believe In Love, where she shares her creative ventures, her photography, and the stories of the orphans she loves on in S. Africa.

6 Comments

  1. Elisa | blissfulE :

    Oh I love seeing the stars when there is no ambient light! What a terrific photo, Jen!

    I’m not really seeing the upside of having a very unfinished living room at the moment, but maybe I’m learning patience??

    • Jen Price :

      Thanks, Elisa! I haven’t taken a lot of stars photos, but I really want to do more! I hear ya on the unfinished living room. I have a hard time when it comes to unfinished projects!

  2. Nancy :

    I’ve been struggling with a perspective shift in some areas lately. Thanks for your encouraging post. Love the photo!

    • Jen Price :

      Thanks, Nancy! And thanks for sharing!

  3. REK981 :

    I am trying to make the perspective shift with every situation or moment that I feel causes me an inconvenience. I am TRYING. I will continue to try. Maybe a silly example but we had excessive rain for more than a few days in a row that kept us inside. Yes, I had to clean up dog pee more than once from my old man dog but I also got to rest and watch 2 movies.