Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 28th November

Today’s a retrospective type of day – not the least because we were without power for 11,5 hours! (Thanks, Eskom.)

The sad thing thing is that today started as a really productive day for me – especially when I have been feeling like an unproductive wus recently. I got up relatively early and was well on my way to completing a few necessary tasks when “Kwah!” (to quote John Robbie) and Eskom struck.

Damn! Today was supposed to be a really useful day!

It’s amazing how we see ourselves. I am in the bracket in this world who needs to work, as opposed to simply wanting to work. It has become apparent to me of late that, if I were ever to be in the position where I didn’t have to work, I would undoubtedly still do so , because part of the way I define myself is by how much I get done.

Carl said a very truthful thing the other day – about me and having to be slowed down / hampered in what I can do and get done because of how I feel with the chemo etc: he pointed out that it must be very frustrating to me because I am a very active person, so, being forced into being quite ‘static’ and careful about what I do is so alien to my nature.

And he is so right. Even now, when there is relatively far less to be done at 55, I feel guilty that I can’t do as much as I think I should be doing.

It is actually so interesting what we are used to. 11,5 hours without power was solved quite creatively with torch and candle power – especially when the girls uncovered the mother lode and lit every candle to counter the Eskom-type darkness.

Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, the power came on within minutes of the glow of candles reaching its brightest – taking all the fun out of it.

Straight away, we all leaped for our phone chargers and the like – infallibly linked to power sources, as though we ourselves were plugged in and waiting for the chance to recharge. It was only the girls who turned all the lights off again so they could take a photo of the gathering of candles.

Appreciation of such simple, old beauty.

Maybe it’s not so bad to be without power for a while, or to be forced to sleep a little extra, or to just slow down and not do, do, do all the time. Maybe that’s when we find small things that enchant us.

And when we recharge in ways we never truly understand.



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