Some of my American friends find the concept of loadshedding crazy. In a nutshell, the power utility doesn’t have enough power to supply South Africa with electricity, so we have loadshedding. Depending on the severity on a particular day of the week, we might have no loadshedding (happiness!), or anything from stages 1 – 3/4.
Many of the municipalities are very organised and if an area is due to be hit say from 6 – 8 pm, then on the dot of 6 the power goes out and exactly at 8 pm, it comes back on.
In Johannesburg, they don’t stick to schedules very well so some days I rush home from work, forgo a lovely winter evening walk because I’m frantically heating food, boiling water, etc. and … nothing. Or we’re not scheduled and we have loadshedding.
Very, very frustrating for all, but definitely for the structured people out there.
You could obviously buy a generator – I still am not convinced…. – and these run anything from R4500 to R30 000 (these are figures two friends have paid). I can think of better things to do with that money 😉
In the meanwhile, there are a few positive things I can think of about loadshedding.
This is not just a post about loadshedding, but about how to use a negative situation to find some good in it:
- Traffic is awful with the traffic lights out. I make sure my phone and my power bank are fully charged when I leave the office and listen to audio books and podcasts while driving home. I have never been this up to date with my audios
- We all go to bed earlier. I am a firm sleep advocate and believe 90% of people sleep less than they should (me included), so when there’s loadshedding, we all get to bed earlier and catch up on sleep. I have yet to tally up my sleep for June but loadshedding has definitely increased my average.
- I have a mental list of things to do when there’s no power. One of them is editing photos. There is usually enough power on my laptop to work for a good few hours on photos. It is nice to not be that behind anymore.
- I can’t go on the internet because the wifi doesn’t work, so I’m finding that I tidy up a few areas of the house that normally I would leave.
- Because I know there may be loadshedding at a particular hour, I’m extremely efficient getting going with things like supper, writing a blog post, getting lunches made, etc. while we still have power.
- It’s winter so very cold, and so we snuggle and read bedtime stories with the kids in my bed. I ADORE this part of loadshedding.
- …and on a lighter note, I’m finally burning all those candles Very satisfying for me, as I’m a finisher.