“this is not a good time” but it will never be convenient! Living without the essentials for a weekend.
The freezer may start to defreeze, the house may get cold and we may miss important phone calls. We may crave caffeine and notice how many times we want to boil the kettle. We may feel hungry and bored, who knows? Better this than ever increasing dependency and panic, if denied normality. What is our drug? – Energy. What do we fear?
To explore the reality of your life, try this experiment:
Weekend Exercise: Turn off the water (mains stop tap) into your house, turn off the power (electricity) and put no more petrol in your car. Put away all credit and debit cards and do not withdraw any money from the bank or ATM. Turn off all mobile phones (the network is down) and unplug the phone. Try this for a weekend. (To make this realistic, do not warn your family. Do not stock pile or prepare – just do it and stick to it!) Then, when the weekend is over, make a plan. Be more in control. Expect some minor discomfort – and some surprises!
Friday 15th September 12.46
Just told R of my great idea and suggested we do this exercise ourselves, sort of test it out. To my surprise her reaction was far more like that of my hypothetical audience, the general public, than I expected. We agree to do this, this weekend. We also agree it is like an addiction – like an addict being told they are to do without, even if only for a weekend. The severity of the addiction, to electricity and the computer, is alarming. R is in the second week of her own project, learning Colour Design by remote learning via the internet, and my business, Five Senses, has email correspondence coming in too. We have also noted there is a huge haddock in the fridge, complete with head and eyes, which R does not want to touch (or see) so I am the cook. I now know tomorrow, when I plan to cook it, there will be no electricity so no cooker. R is also slightly irritated and we agree that if I had sprung this upon her without warning I would now be in big trouble! My mood, on the other hand, is one of excitement, almost liberation. What fun! Though I confess, I may be over optimistic and have overlooked some basics.
We will continue our plans and go to the library and shopping (the cats will be glad, though they may want the fish!) and drive into Kirkwall for the evening talk and this may involve putting diesel in the car. But nothing extra, no cheating. But then again, it is only for 2 days and I know we have a house packed full of food. There are lots of matches, some coal, cats and games for entertainment (and we have each other). Maybe the weekend is too short?
But the point of this is not to make people suffer or be miserable – quite the opposite in fact – this is meant to be a great awakening, a realisation of reality and a fun experiment that brings family together and identifies some priorities – what we need most, what we are addicted to or dependent upon, what we can do without and what we can perhaps do, easily, to be prepared and therefore in control of our own lives. So, maybe a little survival kit will be the outcome. Maybe it will include a £50 note and a good book, and a bottle of water. Perhaps we will leave the car in the garage and save the last precious tank of diesel. Maybe we will look more earnestly into getting of the grid and generating our own electricity, to keep the computer alive. Maybe we will realise our dependency upon an internet provider and telephone network? Who knows?
We will both be keeping a diary over the weekend and post up the results – so, lets see what happens!
The plan is for people to become aware of their situation, realise their dependency upon certain things and realise how they can improve their own lives, easily, and regain more control. They are not to give up anything, except for one weekend – so maybe things will be noticed, maybe not. That depends. There may be tensions (certainly expect this from those who did not choose to do this silly experiment) and a sense of “this is not a good time”. And that is exactly the point. By doing this we will gain a sense of what most matters in life – who and why! And we will be made aware of what we can do, ourselves, to take control of our daily lives. And, we will be better prepared for the future, whatever it holds.
When we go out on the mountains, we pack our rucksacks, leave route cards, we carry maps, first aid kit, and we plan. For our convenience, safety and enjoyment we do this. Then, why not look at our everyday lives and do similar? Do this simple exercise – everyone!