July 14, 2012

Simple gratitude

Everyday I am thankful, I'm lucky for so many things, though as we get older it seems the two things we are most thankful for are loved ones and good health. It's easy to rant (I do this often, maybe too often) and need to keep my gratitude in check.

This week my mom has been dealt a difficult health card - positivity and prayers are filling my thoughts. I hate being so far from her that I can't hug her or hold her hand.

Read this on Fitnessista's blog today and thought I'd share.

I Am Thankful For…
…the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
…the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.
…the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
…a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means that I have a home.
…the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
…all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
…my huge heating bill because it means that I am warm.
…the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.
…the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
…the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.
…weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

July 9, 2012

7.0 and my earthquake survival kit

Last week in Wellington (and for parts of New Zealand) we experienced a 7.0 earthquake.

A 7.0.

And? All is mostly fine, save for a few damages that have been reported (last I read, about 200 claims were put through due to the earthquake but were considered minor damages.) What's surprising and amazing to me is that we experienced a 7.0, and aside from a long shake with a few jolts, no major damages or destruction. Never in my mind could an earthquake of this size end and have little physical impact - we are extremely lucky, grateful and thankful. It hit very deep, over 200km below the ground and it occurred in the water, not far from us, but far and deep enough that we were not affected. For some, I'm sure mentally, this has been terrifying. I'm scared, but in a mindset where I want to be prepared.

When we moved to San Francisco and lived on top of the San Andreas fault, I remember being scared and felt threatened that an earthquake could happen. I was partly scared because of the unknown and worried about what it would feel like. I slept with shoes under my bed just in case in the middle of the night I'd have to find safety and I knew shoes would help protect my feet. 

Then when we moved to New Zealand just days after a major quake in Christchurch, I was nervous because I worried about a small country with little resources and wondered how they could survive, and of course wondered how Christchurch folks were managing. And then the fear about the "big one" that could hit us in Wellington anytime.

I've read that 7.0's can happen every 1-3 years and that it's helpful for the earth to release the tension, which helps reduce the strength of the next "big one". It's scary and I try to focus on what I'm thankful for rather than worry about the unknown. I focus on what I'll do to protect myself. I think about how we have been extremely lucky to experience this size, and to then be safe - to not have any damage to our water, power, or threat of tsunami, and in light of this, I hope to build a better earthquake survival kit.

 Here's what we need:
  • Flashlight (we have a wind-up torch, no batteries required!)
  • Water for drinking, and more for washing and personal care
  • Non-perishable food (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, canned foods, dried food)
  • Gas stove top with gas (need to get this!!)
  • Can opener
  • Cat food (we have two kitties!)
  • Blankets
  • Jackets
  • Clothes (pants, top, socks, shoes)
  • Radio (need to get this!!!)

And I still need to determine our evacuation route, specifically if Kev and I are separated, how will we meet up if we can't reach other via phone. Lots to think about, but mostly, I'm just thankful we are safe. What about you... any tips for a survival kit? Have you experienced an earthquake before?