Julie Mitchell's CoachNotes


Power failure: More learning in the dark.

Leave a comment

Another dark room, reminding me of the only (natural) light this morning during a power failure.

Another dark room, reminding me to appreciate light during power failure.

Today, I imagined, I would hit the ground running. After being out of town and out of touch, I was itching to reconnect.


Motivated with Monday Morning Mojo, I would guzzle my husband’s excellent, dark roast coffee! I would read something inspirational! I would catch up on email! I would blog! I would sort the pesky pile of papers and unopened mail! I would conquer self-doubt and sleepiness!


Instead, we had an inexplicable power failure. Outdoors, it was cloudy, but not stormy or windy. Why today, of all days? I lost a few moments to crankiness, but caught myself: Perhaps this was a good thing.


Instead of flinging myself into mindless and mad expectations-of-great-accomplishment, I had to slow down. A lot. No coffee… no light… my iPhone the only working device in the house.


I stepped outside at 6:30 a.m. to reconnect in person with neighbors. We discussed our shared fate. One offered to help open our garage door manually (a skill lost on some of us who rely on automatic everything). I drove to the nearest electrified shopping center for take-out breakfast and coffee.


I witnessed a Durham traffic officer expertly directing cars during rush hour, exemplifying public service. He was an artist managing the crazy intersection; thanks to him I got home safely.


Upon returning to my quiet office I picked up my old-fashioned paper planner, contemplating my schedule and the hours in a day. I noticed my goals for this Monday — and for several weeks, to be honest — had no relationship to reality.


It takes a while to get back on track. This is true after trips, and after tripping over obstacles. Nursing wounds, grief, and backlog from months of challenging events may require even more time.


I sipped and savored my Panera coffee. I turned the calendar pages, taking big, deep breaths, seeking space in my tangled schedule. I realized some things would need to be postponed or cancelled. It would be okay.


Almost imperceptibly, electricity returned at 8:20. I did not hit the ground running. Instead, I felt more grounded about what I can do today. The power failure offered my next learning-in-the-dark lesson. I’m grateful and happy the lights are back on. 🙂


Author: Julie Mitchell

Julie Mitchell is an executive coach, facilitator, professional speaker and senior consultant who can help you create more positive working relationships, improve your performance, and achieve goals through understanding and practicing effective communication on every level.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s