What was the last object you were grateful for, no matter how small, mundane, or insignificant it might seem? How would life be different if you didn’t have this object, or if it didn’t exist at all? How easy do you think it is for us to take everyday items or occurrences for granted? Finally, how often do you remember to view situations in a pragmatic way (i.e., to look at the good as well as the bad)?
Considering the current situation of my household, I decided to answer these questions. A week ago, the water heater broke and my basement was flooded. Though we called our insurance peeps and they sent a plumber to inspect our pipes and see what’s wrong, we’ve yet to receive a follow up and have our heater fixed or replaced. We’re unable to prevent water from entering the heater tank, so it keeps overflowing if we don’t keep an eye on it and empty it when we think it’s full. Because of that, my family and I are using water out of buckets. Washing dishes out of buckets. Brushing our teeth using water we caught and stored in bottles. Bathing out of buckets and pans.
It’s something we did when we lived in Jamaica because there were times when we didn’t have water and would have to use water we had caught and stored. However, we’ve gotten used to the convenience of accessible water and, more importantly, hot water.
Prior to this, I wasn’t aware of how much I use water throughout my day and how much I treasure hot water (good thing it’s not winter). Running the tap for a trifle thing was done without much thought except to get whatever activity I wanted done. But lack of access made us more conscious about what we use water for and when we should use it. Still, I miss the ease. Last week when I was overcome with sinus and allergy symptoms, a couple minutes in a hot water shower would’ve helped to alleviate my stuffy nose and other sinus symptoms. I also missed the steamy baths I would take after a stressful day or the simple use of warm water to wash the dishes. Slowly I began to realize that hot water is a luxury and easy access to water a privilege.
Now we have to time when we’ll turn on the water so that it doesn’t fill the water heater tank (water still goes in there though we turned off the hot water thing), which is an inconvenience since we have to plan when to take baths and regulate the flushing of toilets, and quickly wash the dishes during that time in icy cold water, which makes my fingers go numb when my hands are in it for too long. We have to use gloves.
Convenience makes it easy for us to take things for granted. For years after moving to the states from Jamaica, my family would store couple large bottles of water, just in case. We were used to water being shut off unexpectedly back home and having to make do with what we stored. But gradually, we got used to water always being accessible and no longer bothered to store water, or even to have pans and buckets (we only have a few now).
Because of this incident, my mom has mentioned storing a couple large bottles of water again. Because you never know. But I’m sure that we will get complacent again and forget. Ease and convenience eliminates the need for worry and fear. Once we’re able to run our pipes without worry of a flood and relax into a hot water bath, we’ll forget all about storing water and buying more pans until the next flood and douse in cold water.
As for the last question, I don’t consider myself a pragmatic person because I’m too concerned with what could be rather than what is. In some situations I can be pragmatic, usually when I’m anxious about something, which I guess is good. I become pragmatic when faced with problems that quickly need to be solved. But otherwise, I dream and dream and sometimes when hardship extends over a long period of time, I’ll get a bit depressed because I’m too caught up in what I want things to be rather than what is. Eventually, I get frustrated and look at what is and what can be done to get to what I think should be.
What I’m reading this weekend:
I was tempted to start one of the books on my Bout of Books TBR, but I decided to be good and wait until Monday, when the readathon starts.
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
I’m still on this one because it’s too long and boring. Actually, I was very interested in it at first, but when Eragon got to Ellesmera, I began to get bored. I’m almost done, though, and can’t wait to finally reach the end.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, illus. by Jim Kay
I’m slowly progressing through this because I’m reading it aloud: two or three chapters per day. I appreciate the illustrations, but I prefer the illustrations of buildings and creatures rather than humans. Also, I no longer want to buy it since there are some pages with no illustrations on them. I’m nitpicking, of course, because I need a reason not to get it. So far reading aloud is trying. My eyes move way faster than my mouth; or rather, my eyes are too impatient to wait for my nerves/synapses to translate the word I see on the page to my brain to cause my mouth to emit the sound for that word (if that’s how it works). So I stumble a lot.
Himself by Jess Kidd
I saw a review of this debut novel on BookPage and decided to give it a go. It sounds like something I would like — the BookPage review says its “spun like a fairy tale and paced like a mystery told around a slowly fading campfire” — and the prologue sucked me in, but so far I’m meh. I’m a little confused. Guess I’ll have to continue and see what happens. I’m also tempted to start over.
Well, that’s it. What are you reading and what everyday object do you take for granted?