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Saturday, 30 May 2015


Recently I have found myself getting more and more grumpy about #loadshedding. Actually, downright hacked-off and pissy, if the truth be told. We got through it in 2008 when it was arbitrary, unscheduled and could last for half a day. However, eventually it passed. Now, although scheduled and slightly more predictable, there is no end in sight and I feel fed up and almost worn out. Ok, maybe that dramatists it a bit, but I really am over it now.

(For the benefit of overseas readers, loadshedding is the switching off of all electrical power to different areas of the country at peak periods most days so that the power utility, #Eskom, can conserve power in the grid because it has insufficient capacity to supply power to the whole country. I won't get into a discussion about how that situation came about.)

Anyway, it's patently clear to me that my irritation is triggered by two parts. The first is that I am not accepting graciously and unconditionally that loadshedding is a real part of my life, like bad weather, taxes and poor drivers. There is a part of me demanding that it be different, demanding that Eskom should have foreseen and done something about this much sooner, judging them for being incompetent fools, resenting them for the inconvenience caused and bitching about the effect on the economy. The other part is my bloody-minded refusal to run off and buy a diesel-guzzling generator, inverter or something else which might alleviate the hours of darkness and inconvenience, but will cost me money which I shouldn't have to spend and will pollute the environment or draw even more power off the grid. So I'll rather just curse Eskom when the power goes off and behave petulantly.

Of course, there might be some other options available to me. I could, for instance, go and live in another country where there is no shortage of power supply. That would be a high-commitment, major inconvenience solution, but not inconceivable. The simplest option, however, might be simply to say to myself: 'This is your life and this is what you choose'. 

The moment I take responsibility for myself, my feelings and actions  instead of playing the blame game, I can sit quietly and contentedly during my daily two hours without power and read a book by lamp or candlelight, meditate, chat to Kazalette about the day and our lives, go out and exercise or a host of other options. I can almost start looking forward to the quiet downtime offered by loadshedding, rather than blow off steam about loss of productivity and ability to do things that require power, like watching the telly.

And so it is with anything we don't like in our lives: 'This IS your life, so get used to it, get on with it and make some choices which align with and support your circumstances.'

It's as simple as that, so bring on the next blackout, Eskom!

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