I woke up shortly after midnight with a slight chill. The air in the bedroom felt cold despite my blankets. The temperature was supposed to hover around zero and possibly dip below zero overnight. I tugged the blankets up a little higher around my chin and thought it looked dark. I was surprised because we usually leave the bathroom light on in case little feet pitter patter to and from our bed at night. But the bedroom was oddly black. I had the distinct thought, “My husband must have turned off the lights. What a nice treat to sleep in the pure dark”.
My alarm awoke me at 2:30am. Time to get my teaching face on. I wandered in to the bathroom by the light of my cell phone as usual. But when I clicked on the light switch…nothing. Our power was out. Sigh.
As I make my way down the stairs, the cool air turned cold. I peek out the front door and the entire neighborhood appeared to be black. No streetlights. No porch lights. When your side hustle is to teach online to children overseas, a power outage is not a good thing. I had my phone for a wifi hotspot, but I only had one light source and it would not be enough to give proper lighting while teaching. Sigh, again.
I use my phone to call the power company. The blinking clock on our oven tells me the power has been out since 11:15pm. It’s now 2:40AM in sub zero temperatures with no heat on in the house.
I am the first resident to report the power outage. The crews arrived and worked for an hour to restore power. Ah, lights! My neighbors can thank me later for their warm showers and heat this morning.
Since I had no way of knowing how long it would take to restore power, I had already cancelled 3 of my classes when the power came back on. Not the worst thing that could happen but I felt bad leaving my students high and dry like that. It felt irresponsible even though it was out of my control. I know other teachers go to great lengths to set up light and power alternatives for the off chance there is a power outage, but this was my very first experience in 205 days of teaching. Thankfully, I was able to teach my last 4 classes without pause.
By 6:30AM the girls were up, my husband went tot he store for more firewood, and coffee was brewing. The girls and I fed the pets and as I let the dog out to do her business, I slipped on a thin sheet of ice coating the back deck. Down I went! I held a side plank pose before breaking my fall on the lip of the door jam. OUCH!
My four year old kept saying, “Mommy are you okay? Mommy are you okay?” After I stood up and found my slipper a few feet away, I assessed that was OK but in a lot of back pain and a bruising shoulder blade to boot.
Not such smooth morning today and it has left me feeling shaken. I also have to attend a kindergarten information session this evening at 7pm, which is usually when I snuggle the girls into bed, so I am already a bit stressed out. We are taking our daughter out of private school and it’s been a hard decision. Nothing about this day has been easy. As I type, pain is building between my shoulder blades.
I feel discouraged. I feel sad I have to move my daughter from a wonderful school to our local public school so we can save money and pay down debt. I feel sad I missed my classes this morning. I feel stressed. This is the first day in two weeks I have had to abandon my workout program because I don’t dare hurt myself worse after wrenching my back today but it’s another goal I was unable to meet. And without the exercise, the stress isn’t going anywhere.
I feel discouraged, but I know that I am not defeated. I know missing 3 classes and having a cancelation on my contract is not the end of the world. I know there are circumstances beyond my control.
I know I am lucky I did not get seriously injured when I slipped on the ice. I know that not doing my workout program one day will not derail all of my effort.
These life problems are small. Rationally, I know this. Yet, I battle the negativity that creeps in. I battle against the frustration.
Though, I am in battle, I have not yet been defeated.
How do you stay positive during times of stress or when things are beyond your control?