Arg!  Load Shedding!

One doesn’t have to look far to find people that are deeply frustrated by load shedding (and life in general but this post is about load shedding).  I am a mom with two young children.  I run an online store.  The impact of load shedding on my business is huge!  One look at Google analytics and I can track the movement of load shedding around the country!  My Facebook Ads don’t reach as many people as they previously did.  The economic impact is huge and it is really felt by small businesses.

I get some of the frustration, I really do… but most of the social media posts are about more of a personal frustration, a frustration with being disconnected.  It frightens me that this is the world that my children are growing up in.  I am not frightened by a world where there is no electricity for a few hours a day, but frightened by a world in which people don’t know how to cope with no electricity for a few hours a day.  Some of my favourite childhood memories are from holidays on my grandparents farm where there was no electricity.  Not no electricity for a few hours, just no electricity. Full Stop.

While I am frustrated by the impact on my business, I am excited by the opportunities that load shedding gives us.  Here is my list of top 5 things to do during load shedding:

  1. Get on the floor and play with your kids.  This is something I do try to do often but clearly I am not as present as I would like to be.  The other day, during load shedding, I was on the floor, playing with my 4 year old.  We were playing with his wooden train set – constructing different track patterns, racing trains, “Choo! Choo!”… after a while, my son looked at me and said “Mommy, I’m happy”.  I cannot give you a better reason than that.
  2. Play a Board Game.  Since the game Catan, was launched towards the end of the last century (dramatic effect for people to understand how long this has been going on), there has been a major board game revolution.  We all grew up with Monopoly and have memories of games that were rarely played to the end – rather they ended in the flipping of the board, with money and property cards strewn everywhere.  I am really not suggesting that you add to your frustrations, rather that you explore the new world of board games.
  3. Read a book. A battery powered light and a good book are fantastic for winding down and giving your imagination a good work out!  Read for yourself, read to your kids… it doesn’t matter, just read.  Don’t let this art get lost to a world of technology.
  4. Have a conversation.  While you may not be able to have a cup of coffee, you can have a glass of wine or a soft drink.  Sit down with your partner, your friends, your kids, your parents and just have a good old fashioned face-to-face conversation.
  5. Enjoy the peace and quiet.  Pray, meditate, take a nap… whatever you do, spend some quiet time with yourself.

In this world where we are so connected, technology has made so much information and stuff available to us.  Yet, the sheer anger and frustration at being disconnect should ring warning bells.  Let’s use load shedding to break the cycle of being so connected to everything that we are disconnected from everything that really matters.  Let’s take this opportunity to teach our kids that they don’t need iPads and phones but they can play, yes even teenagers (there are some really awesome board games for teenagers).  Let’s reconnect with ourselves and the people we love most dearly.

Oh yes and my “bonus track”, let’s braai.  We are South African.  When times are good, we braai.  When times are bad, we braai (even it its just bread) and when its just an ordinary day, we braai.

So raise your glass, cheers to Eskom, cheers to a wonderful festive season and a new year where being disconnected brings us deeper and more meaningful connections with our loved ones!

P.S.  If you are looking for toys that are perfect for load shedding, I sell awesome toys – dolls houses, play kitchens (at least you can still cook 😉 ), wooden train sets, pirate ships, casts and so much more!  All the toys are “technology free”, so perfect to join your little ones on the floor and get lost in the world that their imaginations create.

I also sell a range of board games and am more than happy to chat to you about your interests and help introduce to the Monopoly free, fun world of board games.