Saturday, October 9, 2010

Good from the earthquake

So we are still getting aftershocks but they are fewer and we can go for a few days without feeling one, which is nice. The assessor guy comes on Thursday to check our house is okay. I think it will be fine, but it will be good to get the okay from someone who actually has knowledge about these things.
Now it is a new reality and it feels a life time ago when every night we were woken from sleep - now it is only some nights.
I look back to the day of the quake and the day after and how I felt. For most of the year I have been battling anxiety issues. Those two days gave me a window into a new way of living and a reference point. My anxiety, which is apparently irrational, is mostly over the future. It has been quite some steps even to admit that what to me seem perfectly legitimate concerns and anxieties are actually irrational and not really legitimate at all.
Those two days of the earthquake were different. I couldn't think about the future at all. I had to stay in the present. I had to make sure our family was safe. I had to make plans for cooking without power. Everything I had to deal with was just for now, because we didn't know what would happen next. I was anxious about aftershocks but so was everybody. This wasn't crazy anxiety separating me from the rest of the world. This was normal anxiety that we all could talk about and share.
For two days I felt quite free.
I dealt with things as they happened and had no thoughts of the future, other than getting through, that day and then the next. I didn't have to think about what would happen later in the week because there seemed to be little point. We were here today and in 5 minutes or even 10 minutes there might be another big aftershock, so just deal with now and be glad for what we have.
It was a different way of living for me. When other major things have happened in my life, you do live in the moment but whatever it is, dominates the moment. In the case of the earthquake, our house was fine, we were fine - so my mind was free to think about what ever it wanted but there seemed no point thinking about the future.
It didn't last of course, because you do have to think about the future and make decisions for things that might happen. I now know what is like to not be anxious about it and when the anxiety starts to build, while I am still learning to control it, I can remember the feeling of freedom of the quake and think I did it then, I can do it again.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.