I recently went through a very traumatic event. I came home from work (albeit, slightly hungover from the wedding the weekend before) and slipped into my shower to discover there was NO HOT WATER.
On the scale of bad things that can happen to a person it isn’t really up there unless you know, winter is just ending and you like boiling hot showers that melt the average person (click here for an accurate representation of my honey showering with me).
Turns out, despite my deepest concerns, I survived a full seven days with no hot water and only a few meltdowns (no pun intended). But from the harrowing experience I learned a seriously weird amount of life lessons.
Don’t believe me? Feeling a little skeptical? This is the crazy list of brain-altering, life-changing, forever-humbling lessons I learned from having no hot water:
Lesson #1 – Everything we have is a blessing.
I will admit it, I never thought of hot water or even running water as a privilege. It was something I have had access to since I was born and never really had to question it. Losing my hot water gave me a quick reality check. Because my hot water essentially just stopped it made me question everything – “Will the electricity stop working?” “What if the aircon won’t turn on?” “What happens if the water stops working altogether?” I learned two things in a split second. One, I suffer from a serious case of ‘first world privilege’ and two, I should count my lucky stars that I have working water (even if it is cold) because millions upon millions do not.
Lesson #2 – Friends and family are your best support system.
After the initial shock of having cold water freeze my body to a state of hypothermia, I did what any other Gen Y-er would do and took to my InstaStory to share my misfortune. What I didn’t expect was the outpour of support. People offered me their homes so I could enjoy a warm shower and a friend even offered to come by and help me find the source of the problem. My work colleagues partook in celebrating with me when the heat came back and my mum constantly rang to check up on me and my #HotWatergate progress. Plus my beautiful honey even jumped in the shower with me at the expense of his own warmth to keep me warm as ice poured from my faucet. If all these amazing people are supporting me when I have a hot-water-crisis then I am going to be in a pretty freaking good position when I have an actual crisis. I am willing to bet your support system is just as willing to lend a helping hand. You won’t even have to ask for help, you just have to let them know what is going on.
Lesson #3 – Time really is elastic
I have read the books and heard the talks about time-management and about how ‘time is elastic’. While great in theory I kind of chalked my lack-of-energy-past-530pm and inability-to-make-my-time-elastic down to tiredness, but boy was I wrong! If you are really passionate about something (e.g. experiencing hot water on your body again) then you will find the time and the energy to make it happen. Typically, I am useless when I get home from work but having a set goal gave me the extra energy and focus I needed to be on the phone for hours upon hours that week. Now instead of coming home and Netflixing my heart out in bed, I know I am capable of at least another 2-3 hours of energy that I can put towards being productive.
Lesson #4 – I over-consume (a lot)
I went from having 3-5 minute showers to trying to cram my shower time into one 1L half-boiled kettle and do you know what? I got a pretty damn good shower from that. I quickly realized that I can be reducing my water bill (and expenses in general) if I just quit over-consuming. What in your life can you cut down on? There are probably things you don’t even realize you are using unnecessarily due to habit.
Update – I just ran the figures thanks to my good friends Australia Gov and I went from using 45-75L per shower to just 1L per shower. Holy moly!
Lesson #5 – You can’t let setbacks knock you down
Setbacks are going to happen in life, or in your race to get the hot water reinstated. The thing with setbacks is you cannot let them knock you down. If you really want something you will keep on pushing and keep on trying until you reach the place where you want to be (for me, I wanted to be in a hot shower).
Lesson #6 – It is okay to feel your emotions, but then you have to shut up and get the job done.
Following on from Lesson #5….. If you do get knocked down, that is completely okay! Sit there for a minute, have a quick cry and then get up! On Day 5 of the legendary #HotWatergate saga, I was told that I would be coming home to hot water. I was cocky. I came straight home, dropped my bag and jumped straight into the shower without even checking. It was most definitely COLD. After an hour and a half on the phone, I was told: “whoops too bad it is not our problem, take it up with *another energy company*.” I never knew I could break down into tears that fast. But I sat on the floor and cried for a good 5 minutes on the phone to my mum. Then I said “f**k that guy” and went onto the next game plan.
Lesson #7 – Appreciate the good people when you find them because there are some sucky ones out there.
After a week without hot water and countless hours spent on the phone to various companies, I quickly learned that there are a lot of sucky people around that just don’t seem to care. So you can imagine my surprise when I met the kindest, most understanding man (Matt from AGL I am looking at you). I made sure he knew how much I freaking appreciated him because after a slew of a**holes I was just so overjoyed to find a kind and decent person. Let the good people in your life know how amazing they are, daily if you can!
Lesson #8 – My final lesson was that sometimes things are going to fall through the cracks, and that can lead to good things.
This one was a biggy for me. I spend so much of my day/week/month/life with to-do lists and schedules and a constant panic of ‘what if I miss something’ which is kind of ironic. Ironic how? Well, somehow I never learned that my apartment had a gas hot water system and therefore had never set up a gas account. I was told everything was electricity, and therefore assumed everything was electricity. Wrong! But do you know what? A massive piece of information slipped by without my knowledge and not only did I survive, I got a year’s worth of gas for free! I bought this property back in October last year and have not contributed a single dollar towards gas, however, have been reaping the benefits of FREE hot water until now. Sometimes things are going to fall through the cracks folks, but it is okay, and it can lead to good things for you.
I hope my week-long suffering has helped you as much as it helped me. It was definitely a cold yet humbling experience. I cannot wait for the next traumatic outage so that I can shed some more profound knowledge with you all.
Thank you so much for reading, now please go do one thing your future-self will thank you for,
Ps. I am kidding! Please lords, no more outages. My body cannot handle it.