Waste Not Want Not

I took a long hot shower. And I felt a little guilty. Cabo San Lucas has been on water rations for the past few months so getting a shower at all is a luxury. On my recent visit to the States, when I was able to have more than a three-minute shower, I felt a little guilty. When I shared this with friends, we made jokes and of course I released any guilt, but it really struck me how water is not an issue for them – not even on their minds – where to me it is a constant thought and challenge.

Water usage is in the top 10 of things I think about in Mexico. When can I wash dishes? How many loads of laundry can I get done when the water is turned on? Will I get to take a shower today? Water is rationed. Water is precious. Water is priceless and rare. Water is not wasted.

In Illinois when I caught a friend washing the kitchen sink and not really using the water but letting it run full blast down the drain, I freaked out. To me it was like sucking all the air out of the room or buying groceries and immediately putting them in the trash. To her, it was a daily occurrence. Water is abundant. Water is readily available. Water is taken for granted.

I have often written about focusing on what we have and acknowledging the good in our lives, but this is more than just taking things for granted versus acknowledging our abundance. This is about truly being aware of our lives and what is happening around us. How often do we go about our day not even noticing what we are doing? Not seeing what we are using? Not noticing what is available to us? It is almost as if we are sleep walking through life. We are going through our routine and unless there is an issue we don’t really see what we are doing or effecting.

What if you spent one day really noticing everything you touch, experience, and have? You wake up in a room with a comfortable temperature. You are able to get out of the bed. You have the ability to take a shower and get clean. You have a refrigerator which keeps your food fresh. A vehicle takes you to do work allowing you to receive money to buy what you need – and sometimes a bit more. And on and on. This is not to mention the enjoyment you have when you interact with family and friends. Being able to enjoy music or a movie. Create a piece of art. See and smell beautiful flowers.

What if you spent one day and really looked at what is around you? Like water, what are the things you love and would miss, but don’t acknowledge every day? Is it your spouse? Your children? Housing? Ready transportation? The ability to walk?

Take a moment today to really acknowledge the world you interact with and the wonder and abundance all around you.

2 comments

  1. Your article made me more grateful that I live in Chicagoland; despite the rough winters and occasional heavy storms or tornadoes, we live in an area free of water shortages, hurricanes, mudslides, forest fires, avalanches, large invasive animal species (Asian carp are much easier to deal with than Burmese pythons!) and other threats of nature.

    1. Barbara – yes, sometimes it helps to know others’ situations to see how fortunate we are. And to also help us accept our own challenges. Personally, I’d prefer water issues than bone-chilling cold. 😉

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