The recent flurry of earthquakes around New Zealand, the incredible floods and the destruction of property and roads around Wellington and around the country have once again reminded me once more how precious life is and how easily it can be taken from us.
This week we have been living with the countless aftershocks (over 2000), the aftermath of the SH1 flooding, road and building closures. We can of course focus on how stressful it all is, how inconvenient, and why did this have to happen ... and although this is a natural reaction, a healthier and happier one, is one that I am going to share with you now.
Acknowledging the stress and then I choose to focus on the positive - I am ignoring the drama in the press and am instead feeling incredibly grateful and thankful that our communities leapt into action, working around the clock for the good of us all.
I am so very thankful to those who are: Supporting, inspecting, preparing, repairing and washing away the reminders of the devastation, who are rescuing and helping out. Yes we have so much to be grateful for.
To me, the fact that most of our loved ones are unhurt, and that we only had 2 deaths is incredible. This was 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the biggest earthquake in 150 years. The what if scenarios that I have been running through my head, have been in the thousands.
Enough is enough - I choose to be extremely grateful! I am grateful for the civil defence teams, the road workers, the engineers, the council staff and the scores of people who are volunteering their time to ease our stress, to help rescue people, feed them, fix our roads, our buildings and to keep us safe.
I am incredibly grateful that I have my family and friends to turn to and to all those who checked in with me just after the earthquake struck. I am grateful that my family are safe, my house is still standing, that everything survived the big shake.
If we all choose to think about all that we are grateful for right now instead of focusing on the stress, and if we choose to share our gratitude with those who are maybe still feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed, maybe we can all help someone feel a little bit calmer and happier today.
Some ideas to help others:
Make time to listen to their story
Tell them something that you are grateful for
Call someone that you love today
Help out within your community.
Make the time to LIVE in this moment, Right now! Look outside, take a big breath, then close your eyes and take a moment to realise how lucky you are. I know that I am feeling incredibly LUCKY right now.
Nicole Wijngaarden, Wellington, New Zealand