First, the Cold
You all know what extraordinary cold we’ve had. Some know that, here on the Gulf coast, with a semi-tropical climate, our suppliers of electricity, water, internet and TV have been overwhelmed. As I write this, I have electricity, and phone (voice only—no texting), but no other way to communicate or get information.
I’m one of the lucky ones. Being an old hand at preparing for hurricanes, I knew to fill up lots of containers with water for drinking, and tooth brushing and fill the bathtub with water to flush toilets. Before the storm, I washed some clothes and dishes.
But the worst of the weather was over before I lost running water, internet, TV and text capability. I’m wondering if having so many services bundled (all but power and water) is worth the cost savings. Should I shift, say, my wireless, internet or TV to another provider?
Please comment below your thoughts about pros and cons of bundling services.
Another lesson: GoogleDocs is very convenient, but with everything saved on a cloud, rather than on my computer, I can’t access my book in progress (or anything else) to continue drafting.
There’s Also Warm News
First, last Friday I participated in a virtual job preparedness seminar for at risk high school students. My topic was “Get More of What You Need on the Job—without Arguing.” Attendance was low because we presented virtually, rather than in person. I’ve since heard from people who have only virtual meetings these days that attention wanes fast, even in a meeting that’s important to their job success. So, I am all the more gratified by the number of kids who attended my sessions and stuck with me.
Second, I came across a great quote for what we’re going through here with the weather and the pandemic: “Patience is also a form of action.” – Auguste Rodin. Here’s a little mental and emotional health exercise: Make a list of times when patience has paid off for you. And how can you make ongoing patience work in your favor?
Third, I recommend a book I’ve been reading: Write Your Life by Jessica Coleman. It takes a unique approach to establishing goals that will get you what you really want from life, then, figuring out how to reach them. The method uses the things writers do when planning a fictional story.
When I did the first exercise about what I really want, I didn’t come up with many new aspirations. However, simply taking the time to reduce them to writing inspired ideas for things I can do to achieve them. I had fun developing a character profile of myself, just as I would if writing about a character for a novel. In between exercises, Coleman provides plenty of encouraging advice about how you can achieve your goals, including her own inspiring experience overcoming severe obstacles.
Well my dear readers I’ve got this all typed out (by hand because, with WIFI out, I can’t dictate). I’ll post it when service is back up.
Whether you found this post interesting, helpful or just entertaining, please share it. I am especially eager to add to my blog readership as I prepare my new book.
Till next time.
Sorry to hear that you lost your internet, TV, text and running water, Margaret. Parts of our neighborhood have lost both power and water, but somehow we’ve managed to keep everything up and running. The freeze guards that I built for our 3 outdoor faucets have held up. As for digital connections, the bundle packages that are offered definitely have their advantages, but when it all goes down it can be a frustrating situation. We did away with satellite and cable TV years ago. We just use what’s available on the antenna. I miss having the History Channel and National Geographic, A & E, etc., but I enjoy some of the PBS programming and the vintage movie channel. I recently ended the phone account I’d had for 50 years and went with a computer-based system at a fraction of the cost. I haven’t used a cell phone in years. I have friends who are hooked on them, and it’s not pleasant to be around them. I personally see it as an unnecessary attachment, to be used only for certain purposes, but they are totally absorbed in them and it puts me off. My internet works fine and I’m happy with it, so we kept our ISP. My wife works from home, and her system required an upgraded modem so we had that done and it’s been great.
I was glad to see that your class was well-received. In the conversations that we’ve had, I have found that you have a unique and fascinating outlook and ways of communicating that are unlike anyone else I know, and it’s not surprising that your students responded positively to your class. The posts that you make have shown me many new ways to look at life and how to deal with down time such as these days have been.
I have projects lined up, but the motivation to carry them through has been the hangup. I just need to draw up an outline and a schedule and move forward with them. Remembering stuff is also difficult. That’s not an excuse, it’s just an obstacle at this time. Thanks for this wonderful post, Margaret! JB
Thanks John. Some of the technological alternatives you describe are things that I didn’t even know about. I don’t know if I’m ready to totally give up cable TV. I like a lot of the documentaries on Science and Discovery channels.
I like having a mobile (cell) for safety when away from home. It also came in handy a few days ago when my land line was out. Texting is also sometimes handy. However, I, too, am aggravated by the mobile phone addiction of others, and I think it is harmful to meaningful conversation that younger people rarely experience and perhaps don’t know how to do. It’s like the only way to connect with them is by text.
Another aggravation is that people and organizations I deal with all but require you to give them a mobile phone number, and make it very difficult, or impossible, to deal with them otherwise. This is especially hard for me because it aggravates my chronic neck problems to hold the phone in one fixed position with one arm, and punch away at the letters and numbers with the other.
Oh well, if I were queen of the world…, but I’m not.
Of course, I am terribly interested in the information I have just received from you. I see that you are coping and have a handle on what to do when or if… etc. but I understand that your career and personal lives (!!) are at loose ends.
I myself will be in touch with Beto and maybe I can do something to assist other Texans.
Margaret, you are still an iknspiratikon to me and I’ll keep wiathcing your pages.
I am OK here in electrified Missouri but time in and the ascets of it are wearing on me.
Hope is still biwth me, ghowever, Faithfully, patt behler
Thanks Patt. Things are much better now. All my AT&T services are back, the only remaining problem being that I have difficulty texting to certain people. Also, we now have a trickle of water, although we are still under a boil water order. I think I have enough drinking water for at least two or three days, and if I use all of that, I hope I will have a stronger stream of water through the faucet so that I can get a pot full to boil. Also, still have the better part of a bathtub full, and soon, I think there will be enough water to fill the toilet tanks, albeit slowly.
And many, many thanks for your consistent interest in my blog, and especially for your comments.
Margaret, I inspected my first comment and I thought I’d corrected my mistakes but found that I have not. Read it as well as you can.
I plan to keep in touch with you “forever” as long as that may be.
No worries, I understood the original post perfectly. I think people have gotten used to reading things that others (including me) produce by voice typing.
Thank you so much for the book recommendation! I really appreciate it.
I hope things are better for you now, weather-wise and power-wise! I’m glad you were able to go ahead with the seminar too. It must be difficult doing this kind of thing at the moment, especially virtually, and it sounds like it was for a very good cause!
Thanks again 🙂
Things are much better now in terms of weather, electricity and potable running water. The problems that cropped up during and after the thaw were from pipes that had broken during the freeze, and when they warmed up, they were flooding water down into homes. People are having to wait days to get a plumber. Plus, they need help removing wet ceiling and wall material, carpets, etc. so that they don’t become moldy.
I have had this happen when a pipe of the upstairs neighbor broke (but not from freezing and thawing). In that case, it was only the two apartments affected, and help came immediately. I was lucky this time, no water except IN the pipes where I wanted it. I feel for others.