Some Things I've Learned from the Earthquake

Thursday, September 9, 2010
Sometimes an overactive imagination can make you focus on the negative.
Years ago someone I knew tried to teach me to think of the positive things when you were in a bad situation. It never really took off, but I do try.
Here's what I've learned from the last week of the earth moving under my feet.

1. In an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 it's better to get under a table or something solid, or get outside, rather than stand in a doorway. A friend of ours admitted to running outside in his underwear on the night of the earthquake and meeting all the neighbours. That made me laugh.

2. In an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1, I guess it doesn't matter if your neighbours see you in your nightwear.

3. The human need for sleep can sometimes overwhelm your fear of earthquakes.

4. In spite of large, horrible random earthquakes, New Zealand is a great place to live. Way better than, say.... Haiti.

5. I think it's marvelous that the city has worked night and day to get the waterworks going again without contamination, in less than a week since the Big One.

6. Before the earthquake I felt indifferent towards the city mayor, Bob Parker. Now I think he's marvelous. He made me feel calm many times when I didn't want to feel calm.

6. I'm grateful that I live in the countryside, and that we chose to build on old river bed stones, and not sandy beaches.

7. Sometimes an overactive imagination can save your life. I will not build on hills, because I'm afraid of landslides. I will not build near large rivers because I'm afraid of floods. I will not build on the ocean, because I'm afraid of tsunamis. Now I will not build near the beach because I'm afraid of earthquakes tearing my house in two.

8. When the shops sell out of bread, it's good to know how to make your own. Thank you Rhonda!

9. In a time of crisis, it's interesting to note who of your friends and family check up on you, and who does not.

10. If you're standing on a tile floor when an aftershock happens, you hear it but you don't feel it.

11. You learn alot about yourself and how you react in emergencies.

12. The rumble of an earthquake sounds almost exactly like an airplane flying low overhead.

13. We live under the flight path. I guess it's going to take awhile for my stomach to stop lurching everytime a plane takes off.

14. My old Nana was sensible. She blue-tacked all her breakable ornaments to her shelves. Guess what I'll be doing from now on?

15. Natural disasters put people on an equal footing. Status, money, breeding - doesn't matter. You're all in the same boat. Vulnerable. Needing each other. Truly realizing that old adage that material things don't matter.

16. Life is precious. Life is precarious. Life is beautiful.


Heather L. said...

Great list. I hope you don't get another one!!! Glad things were not so bad for you guys. Yes, I think #9 is interesting too.

momentsofwhimsy said...

Thinking of you girl. And yep = we live on a hill and I try to put the landside thing out of my mind.....

Ann said...

How beautifully put... you Kiwis are a resilient bunch (like us with bushfires I guess) I have been trying to get a straight answer all week on what are the chances of one of Auckland's volcanoes rumbling to life, everyone just tells me of course it could happen....but they don't seem at all worried. The aftershocks sounds awful... just enough to keep the fear going I suppose. A x

frangipani said...

That's awesome. Well thought out and many of those things have crossed my mind too, especially the aeroplane thing. Things seem to have calmed down today-long may it last. Take care.

Leanne said...

your post brings tears. I just can't imagine what you are going through. Thinking of you often!

Ps my biggest fear is earthquakes over anything.

HUGS to you & hope kids are doing ok.

Bob Parker has done a wonderful job hasn't he! Hope he gets re elected.

Corrine said...

Great list. I hope things are startig to settle down a bit now. We felt the first shake, but it was just a gentle rock by the time it reached here.

Clara said...

It's good to look on the bright side. I think it was in an old classic, "Pollyanna" that the main character (Pollyanna) would play what she called "the glad game". Whenever something bad happened, she would think about things she could be glad about in the situation.
This is a good list you wrote, Rachel. Keep focusing on the positive things :)

Sandy Addison said...

Wow Rach how your life has changed in one week - what you have leant and discovered. Reminds me of that verse God works for the good

TwoWood said...

Thank you for sharing with us. My prayers/positive thoughts are with all who are affected by the earthquake.
Number 7 strikes a cord. We took more than a year to hunt for a house because we were afraid of floods, tsunamis & landslides. Friends looked at us funny. Now I'm glad that we've chosen a safe place to live despite the lack of views. We have some Wellingtonian friends who live on the hillside and always posting photos of their bayview.

Kat said...

A great insigto what it must of been like. We are thinking of you at this horrible time, thankgoodness for that for that river bed!

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