A Reminder to Un-Plug

Written By: Stacy Stefaniak Luther, PsyD, LPC

Over the weekend mother nature provided us with a reminder of how much we rely on modern conveniences. You know what I’m talking about… electricity, mainly… but also WiFi! As I sit here, in my sunlit office with flashlights lighting the hallway, my laptop slips itself into battery save mode. After, can’t charge it. There’s also the fact that we cannot connect to the internet to accomplish much. We come to realize how reliant we are on internet service when it’s gone.  It’s a good time to write and reflect while battery power is still available. It seems the perfect opportunity to slow down and notice the little things that go forgotten on a “normal” day.

The air conditioning is obviously not working, so the window is open for a breeze. Within that breeze, I hear the birds chirping and co-workers from neighboring businesses chatting outside. Possibly re-connecting. Earlier this morning I had an opportunity to get to know the individuals at a business next door. If we had electricity, there would have been no reason to lounge in the common space. There was ample opportunity to get to know each other and make that human connection. On Facebook over the weekend, it was clear that others were opening their homes to friends and family. Providing a warm shower, a bed or a couch for a nap, air conditioning, and opportunity to do chores such as laundry. People helping people clean up debris and remove fallen debris. Perhaps this was a gentle reminder to be kind. It is easy to get frustrated and cranky when we go without life’s common luxuries that we take for granted. Yet when one stops, just for a moment, and looks around, Central Wisconsin is a pretty awesome place to live. We come together to help our neighbors in need. We can make small talk if we take the time to do so. It’s kind of awesome to un-plug, isn’t it?

Driving around town, children are outside playing. People are out walking their dogs. A lot of people are commiserating at stores around town trying to find batteries, flashlights, and other items to increase their comfort and make functioning a tiny bit easier. One awesome thing? People are talking to each other. Getting out of the house. Interacting. Enjoying camaraderie from the experience. So un-plug, be kind, and enjoy these few moments of life without WiFi. It’s pretty marvelous.