I am usually a pretty focused person. Frankly, I have to be: I have two kids in elementary school and along with the responsibilities of my home and family, I run a small business. On most days, every minute counts. There isn’t a lot of down time.

Last Sunday as I was doing my usual planning for the week, the lights went out. While I was working, a blizzard was dumping about a foot of new snow (some places here in Maine got two feet). Bedtime comes early in a house with no power: no computer or television distractions, and there’s only so long you can read by flashlight!

Monday arrived and the snow continued. The kids had a snow day, my husband’s company was closed because of the power outage, and without web access or lighting at home, my own business couldn’t really do business. So we shoveled, built a fire, cooked on the wood stove. Kids played in the snow. We played board games, worked on puzzles, had conversations. Really spent time together. It was like our summer camping trips, minus the s’mores. For people who spend a great deal of time “plugged in,” it was a welcome change.

But when I was ready to get back to my work week, all of my plans went out the window. For two days we had intermittent power and internet access; I spent that time moving one step forward and two back. Though I think I’m back on track today, I surely won’t be completing my list this week. I apologize to those of you who have been so patient with my inconsistent communications, and I “plan” that next week we’ll be back to normal.

Do you find it as frustrating when you can’t make your plans a reality? How do you deal with it? I have to admit that I did learn something from having to let go of some of the things I wanted to accomplish. Realizing how much I rely on my computer and email to function really reminded me how little time I spend unplugged—and how relaxing it is (in small doses). I think maybe I’ll turn off the power next weekend for an hour or two (don’t tell anyone!). Maybe I’ll even pick up some marshmallows for those s’mores.