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Life with load shedding.

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Do any of you know what load shedding is? Because not many countries do, outside of South Africa.

Let me try and explain (Google’s dictionary):

noun

  1. action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

That is it, in a nut shell. Why is it necessary? And I’m talking specifically regarding South Africa. Again, as succinctly as possible:

Eskom chief operations officer, Jan Oberholzer, publicly stated that the primary reason for load shedding was due to a lack of maintenance and neglect over the preceding twelve years resulting in an unpredictable and unreliable system.’

Read the whole piece here.

Thanks to our present government, who does not believe in maintenance – they wait until something is so broken that it needs weeks/months to fix, IF there is money to do so, because the money has a way of mysteriously disappearing in this country…

So, life with load shedding… We have periods of load shedding, on and off, according to maintenance needed, or shortages of coal, etc. Those periods happen unexpectedly. Out of the blue, if you have the load shedding app (YES! – we have an app for that!) you get a message that says load shedding stage 1/2/3/4/5/6 will be implemented as from 14h00 today! Then you quickly scan the schedule so you can try and be prepared for it, as best you can. Different times for different areas. It can be two and a half hours from 16h00 – 18h30. Or 14h00 – 16h30. Whatever. I’m sure you get the idea.

A lot of people have installed solar systems, but not everybody can afford that, like me. Fortunately I do have a gas stove, so I can have coffee and tea, or cook while the electricity is off. We all have some way of creating a bit of light – battery operated lamps, rechargeable lamps, candles, etc. And then all you can do is wait it out, because the wifi also goes when there is no power. No TV. Which is all fine if it happens in daytime, because you can go for a walk, work in the garden, go shopping, but when it happens in the evenings, or at night, what do you do? Go to bed at eight?

I’m sure you can imagine all kinds of ways in which this system is uncomfortable. Businesses suffer – not all of them can buy a generator to keep going even when there is no electricity. Working from home becomes complicated.

We are all a bit fed up with this whole debacle, I promise you. But there is always the positive side to it, isn’t there – ‘It could’ve been worse!’

Peace of mind vs Social media…

Mountains in the mist.

Peace of mind is a mental state of calmness or tranquility, a freedom from worry and anxiety.” – Dictionary.com

I have increasingly felt that peace of mind is a priority in my life. I have actually craved it for many years now. At this point in my life, I feel I’ve earned it – life owes me! 😀

But, with the state of the world at the moment – chaos, pandemic, anarchy, hate, a precarious economy – I also find it increasingly difficult to reach that state.

Probably for that very reason, I do realize that I have become a bit of a recluse, and the lockdown definitely assisted me in shutting myself away from the outside world more and more. I have been asking myself what I can do to not make me feel so anxious and stressed, besides locking myself away, and I’ve come up with a few options. Whether that will help me face the world full-on again, remains to be seen.

Less social media. I have removed Facebook from my phone, so now I can only access it when I am on my laptop. I noticed that I get angry and upset every single time I scroll through the posts, and I started writing angry replies to many of them. And I was on every few minutes!!!! So, no more on-hand Facebook for me, and it is already a huge relief. Instagram does not make me upset, so for now, I’ve decided not to remove that.

I stopped watching the news on telly about a month ago. I find the fact that ‘you have to know what’s going on in the world’ is overrated! I get the gist of it the one time I’m on FB for a few minutes every day and that is more than enough for me!

I think the amount of constant stimulation we get from social media in general, is bad for peace of mind. It is a total overload to the senses, which we are really not built to cope with.

Meditation. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time as well, and decided that now is as good a time as any to start. I’ll see where that takes me, but I thought it was worth a try. I’ll let you know how that goes! 🙂

Cutting people from my life that cause me stress. Not always easy to do, but necessary. I don’t need negative influences in my life anymore.

Eating well. Also not always easy to do. I do love cooking, but it is sometimes not worth the effort when my SO* is away. But I do try and make the effort more often than not. I’m trying out different foods, like relatively new additions to my kitchen are chickpeas (not a huge fan, but it goes well with Indian style foods) and beans, which I’ve previously only used in bean soup! I still need to up my fruit intake, and the amount of water I drink per day.

I mostly do things I enjoy. Like knitting, crocheting, blogging, walking and doing something in the kitchen. I think today I’ll bake some cookies!

So, if you are feeling stressed and out of your depth, identify the source of your discomfort, and research ways to make things easier for yourself. Only you can know what will work for you.

Until next time, stay safe and sane! 😀

*SO – significant other