02 03 Caitlin Grace Wellbeing Coach: The things we take for granted 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

The things we take for granted

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They say that a change is as good as a rest but do you know whats even better? An actual rest.

I've just been away for a short break. A break from work. A break from thinking too much. A break from technology. It was only for four days and it was brilliant.

The day before we went away the power was out until 1o'clock in the afternoon. This meant that all my last minute cleaning and laundry got put on hold for the better part of the day. It was almost like starting the holiday early. There was not a lot we could do so we relaxed and just let the day unfold as it would.

Luckily we had a small gas element so we could make a cup of tea to help us get into relaxed mode. Once the power came back on none of that "important"cleaning stuff seemed so important any more.

Then we were off for our actual holiday. Three nights staying at the lovely Taupo De Bretts; beautiful accommodation, king size bed, underfloor heating and best of all, all day passes for their thermal pools.Starting and ending the day lolling about in delicious hot thermal  pools is my idea of heaven

And then we came home and guess what? the day after we got home the power was off for the whole day . ( Seriously people stop crashing into power poles!) This was the third power outage in two weeks (two due to car accidents and one due to a storm) ( No one was seriously injured in either car accident)

Luckily I was still in holiday mode so decided to stay in my pj's and read all day. Yes, one whole book devoured just like that ( "Screw You Dolores by Sarah Kate Lynch in case you were wondering. Great book, did make me giggle quite a few times. Have now decided that Sarah Kate should be my new best friend! Though I don't drink so that's not likely to happen LOL!)

Things we take for granted

Once the power was restored ( again!) at 4:30 in the afternoon the house started to hum again and it made me realise just how noisy houses are . We don't notice the fridge humming and the whir of the computer until the power goes out and everything is completely silent. In our house when the power goes out so does the water  which can make things tricky. No showers, no flushing the toilet and no cups of tea.... unless there is some water still left in the jug.

So with all these power outages hubby and I are now thinking even more about being self sustaining.. we already have solar for the water heating and a wet back on the wood fire. Now we want to start collecting rain water so we don't have to rely on the town supply. All of which would bring me full circle to how I lived when I first left home. At that time my (ex) husband and I lived with no power. I cooked on a wood stove, which heated our water which we gravity fed from a spring (most delicious water I have ever tasted). I baked all our own bread ( no bread makers in those days), washed nappies in a wringer washing machine that my ex had rigged a lawn mower motor too. I loved it even though it was hard at times.

Now we have instant everything. Power at the flick of a switch. Hot and cold running water that we don't even think about. Instant connectivity via text or email.  Broadband that we moan about not being fast enough. In the process we have lost so much.

Talk to me

One of the things I love about spending time with my husband is how much we still have to talk about..... even after 21 ( nearly 22) years of being together. When we are together we are together. He's not attached to his cell phone checking his texts and neither am I . When we go out to a cafe or to dinner we sit and talk to each other. Sadly that is not that common these days as everyone seems to be gazing wistfully at their smartphone instead of into the eyes of their darling.

Life is short. And these days so is our attention span.

We spend far too much time checking our phones, updating Facebook (I know I am guilty of that!), taking selfies and reading our emails

We spend far too little time talking, hugging, touching, making love and connecting with those right in front of us.

The more we stare at our screens  the less connected we feel to those around us and the lonelier it makes us feel. It seems like everyone else's life is far more interesting than our own. We forget that they are only posting the highlights and often, are tweaking the truth to make it appear better than it actually is.

5 Simple steps to change your life:

(1) Set the timer when you sit down in front of the computer. Doesn't matter whether you set it for 5 minutes or two hours but once it goes off step way from the screen and engage in something else  or with someone  for the same amount of time that you were on the computer.

(2) Keep a gratitude journal. Each day take time to notice what you have in your life that you are grateful for. Try not to repeat the same things each day. Remember to include things like your eyesight, hot and cold running water.
Yesterday when the power finally came back on I took a shower and that water flowing over me  felt so good.

(3) Don't look at your phone.Make a commitment to not look at your phone when you are with ( a) your partner (b) your friends. Just be in the moment. Be present and give them your undivided attention. This alone will improve all your relationships.

(4) Have one day a week without electronics. In the past Sunday was a holy day. A day for going to church or at least, spending with family. Maybe now we need to set aside one day of the week that we do not have our cellphones or computers on. The world will not stop if we do this but our life may improve.

(5) Book a holiday. We all need to rest, relax and recharge. It doesn't have to be a long break, even a weekend away will do. You don't even need to leave home. Staycations are great...... if you commit to connecting with the people that you live with and disconnect from the technological world for the duration.

Bonus!

(6) Read a book. Seriously. Lose yourself in a rollicking good yarn. Nothing beats an actual book. Yes, I do have an e reader. No, I am not completely anti technology. In fact, I love technology and that is part of the problem we all love it so much we forget what it was like before it came along with all its sparkly, glittery distractions. Maybe its time we just took a teeny step back to how life was before. Technology will still be waiting for us when we decide to reconnect. Truly. It will.

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