We feel like we want to start almost every “week in review” post by proclaiming our joy at surviving the weekly challenge. And maybe it is a bit uncalled for. But this past week without hot water was a massive challenge that we did survive and we are kind of proud of ourselves.
As we mentioned in our previous post we gave up all forms of hot water we could think of. No hot showers, no hot drinks, no soups, or steamy sauces. It was a pretty chilly week all around.
Giving up coffee and tea was not easy, but we have done it before, so the mental struggle was a little more feasible. However, purposefully taking cold showers all week was a massive mental barrier. We had to jump in knowing it would be uncomfortable.
Now, you must know, we have both taken cold showers before, but they tended to be by necessity, not by choice. We both believe this would would have been easier to face if using hot water was not an option. (We had to tell ourselves it wasn’t.) Going without something you do not have is not easy. But it pales in comparison to going without something you have access to yet choose not to use.
Giving up hot water had several positive impacts on us throughout the week. We spent less time in the shower which saved water usage and time in the mornings. We didn’t pay for the water to be heated throughout the week. The cold water helped us snap awake a bit faster than a typical hot shower. It also helped us appreciate a simple, daily activity that we so often take for granted: showering.
But more importantly it helped us step back and see things in a broader perspective. We received some really weird comments from friends and coworkers. This was definitely a weird challenge to try to explain. But why?
One of the biggest challenges we are finding throughout this year-long challenge is giving up things we easily have access to. It is tough to reject things our society pushes as “essential items” or “basic human needs”. Do we NEED hot water, forks, social media, cups of coffee, or Netflix? No, we don’t think we do need any of those things. But the question we have been asked over and over is, “Why would you give up something you already have?”
The concept of choosing to go without something you can easily access is difficult for some people to understand. What we are discovering more and more throughout this journey is that when we choose to go without these things we are able to focus on what truly matters to us.
Some of the things we have given up have taught us to appreciate what we have. We want to be more conscious consumers. Other things have really proven to be non-essential. We have been able to minimize or eliminate these items. As we continue to work through this year, and hopefully the rest of our lives, we want to continue looking at things analytically and asking ourselves, “Do we need this thing? Does it stop me from achieving a goal or investing in something that is valuable to me?”
We are almost halfway through the year and we are always looking for feedback. Is there anything we could add to our posts to provide further insight? Is there anything you would like to see us go without? Is there a concept you would like us to spend more time writing about? Let us know in the comments. We are always looking to improve.