The Power of Powerlessness

Today didn't off to the greatest start. It all sounds a little silly in retrospect, but here's how it went down. After a nice morning walk with Lucy, I'd geared up for a hardcore workout care of Amy Dixon's Breathless Body DVD which I'd just gotten in the mail the day before.* I even had my episode of The Good Wife all queued on my iPad when the damn computer kept spitting out my disc. I must have tried about eight million different things to get this sucker to cooperate, but the stubborn thing would just not play.

I called my resident IT guy aka my husband to save me from my irritation. The poor man had just gotten out of the shower, but up the stairs he came, buck naked and dripping wet, ready to help me out. It's actually pretty hilarious when I think about it. But at the time all I could think was, "Time is a' tickin'! I must get in my 45 minutes of hardcore HIIT training or else this lovely five pounds of honeymoon weight** I gained is never going to come off." After some troubleshooting and careful maneuvering of wiring (he was still naked after all) we finally got the damn disc to play and off I went to suffer breathlessly as Amy Dixon proceeded to kick my ass for the next hour.

 For the next hour, all was well in the universe. Until the power went out. Was there a storm? Wind? Anything? Nope, sure wasn't. At first it was just annoying. I figured I'd take the opportunity to shower and get ready for the day because surely the power would be back on by time I was done. It wasn't. The estimate we eventually got from the power company was noon. NOON? That was more than THREE HOURS from the time the power went out!

MT, who was also working from home, had the luxury of a laptop computer battery which kept him connected for a few hours. But all I had was an iPad with less than 20% battery life and my iPhone which provided the slowest Internet connection imaginable. I could only stand to send an email or two before giving up on the piece of crap.

Power or no power, I was bound and determined to get something done. I started organizing my desk, throwing away stacks of old reports and business cards. I even organized my pens. Basically I was going nuts. Normally a random break from work in the middle of the week would be amazing, but today was seriously shitty timing. I was scheduled to lead a webinar for more than 100 people, and all of my notes, slides, etc. were on the computer I couldn't start. Shit.

Once MT's laptop battery died, we started cleaning the house together. We figured we might as well do the stuff we've been putting off, like taking this ugly-ass table and matching ugly-ass chairs to Goodwill. Then we started tossing eyesores like this rolled up carpet that had once been a lovely addition to the decor in the living room but quickly became known as "Lucy's favorite place to pee and poop." We started mentally planning out a new layout for our sun room, picturing a new comfy chair tucked into the corner where I can read my Kindle while he works on his latest mosaic.

It was all going so well until noon rolled around and of course, we had no power. New estimate? 3:30. I was going to miss the webinar no matter what. I called my colleague, got her to take care of notifying our participants, and threw up my hands. What else could we do?

Not wanting to open up the fridge and let the cool air escape, we were at a loss for what to do about lunch at home, plus we were going slightly stircrazy, so we figured we might as well go out for a bite. Over plates of Chinese chicken salad and cups of soda, we had an amazing conversation about our families--how each of us feels in some ways that we have more in common with the other's family than with our own. MT's generosity is so like my brothers' and mom's, and my desire for deep conversation is so much like his parents'.

He said, "We each have what our families lack. That must make us perfect!"

I said, "We must lack something."

He said, with a smirk, "We both lack perfect families."

The lesson learned for me is that when I let go and allow the situation to be what it is, it often turns out to be better than what I had planned. Sure, I have about a hundred emails waiting for me to answer. And I'm bummed about having to reschedule my presentation, knowing many people will probably have lost interest by then. But I wouldn't trade the day of togetherness, problem-solving, and toughing it out that we had instead. All in all, a very good day indeed.

And yes, our power is back on. Hallelujah!

* I should mention that  last night Lucy had gotten a hold of aforementioned DVD, puncturing the jacket with her lovely little canine fangs. Little shithead.

** Note: if you decide to make drinking an entire bottle of wine by yourself before dinner a nightly habit during a week long trip, you will in fact gain weight. Who knew?


  1. I have such a hard time letting go, I would have been the one calling the utility company every 10 minutes. Letting go is hard. But... as you've shown, it can be worth it.

  2. Hey, I like your new blog design. And I love the title of this post! It really resonates with me.