One of the main reasons why I live a happy and fulfilling life is because I have learned to be grateful for even what seems like the smallest of blessings. When you take the time to FEEL grateful and actually count your blessings, even the biggest of disappointments begin to feel small.
Recently, I was given a reason to be EXTRA thankful for easy access to hot water. Our water heater malfunctioned, and left us without hot water for nearly a week and a half. While this may not seem like the biggest tragedy (and, of course it’s not), it was definitely a large inconvenience that I had to learn to adapt to.
I make it a priority to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. When you’re breaking a sweat and getting dirty, it’s absolutely essential to shower. Every day that I went to the gym while our water heater was out, I had to pack a shower bag: clean clothes, shower flip flops, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, hair brush, detangler…the whole shebang. While this was undoubtedly a hassle to me, it made me feel grateful for even having access to the gym showers. Because no matter how many germs were infesting those shower walls, it still beats a watering hole in murky, muddy water that must be the solution elsewhere in the world. I showered happily and contently in those showers, thinking about the lesser alternatives that I might have if I lived in a different, less fortunate country. In fact, I began to see the bright side of my gym showers: a feeling of nostalgia for my college days, when bringing my shower caddy to the shared bathrooms was the norm.
I was also fortunate to be able to shower once or twice at my boyfriend’s house—thanks Ben! I even had multiple friends who offered to let me borrow their showers, if I preferred (thanks Noosh and Al!). My predicament was a reminder of the fortune and kindness that surrounds me when I need it.
Not only was it difficult to wash my body while the hot water was out, but it was also difficult to wash the dishes! My mom was able to boil water every morning to get the water hot enough to wash our dishes sanitarily. Inventive…I know. Lucky for us, we have large pots and fire that enabled us to boil the water so easily. While it was definitely an extra step in the process of cleaning the dishes, it was an extra step that we were ABLE to do.
While lacking hot water made life a little bit more difficult, I am actually grateful that this happened to us. It was a good reminder of how easily things can be taken away, and how lucky we are to be able to adapt. Losing the hot water made me prioritize something so simple…finding a place to take a shower. And yet, I have a newfound appreciation for the simple things in life. Because what seems simple to us, is not simple to everyone. And what is standard to us, is by no means standard to everyone. Be grateful for your hot water, today and every day. You never know when your tables may turn.