On the road…

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Automaticity.  Anything you do automatically without consciously thinking about it.  Getting a drink of water, rinsing your mouth after brushing your teeth, buttoning your shirt, flushing the toilet… Lots of things. When you move from one world to another, you lose most of that. Yeah, you can still button your shirt, but so many other automatic things change!

We just experienced a series of losses of automaticity traveling across the country. It might sound silly, but it’s not as simple as it sounds!  At home, we drink bottled water, can’t flush the toilet paper, and we sort our trash according to what is burnable, compost and other.  We headed across the country to a hospital compound where they have their own clean water system. They can drink the water, can’t flush tp and sort their trash similarly to us – though a little different.  We spent a week there and got used to going to the faucet for water. We felt spoiled! On the way home, we stopped to spend a night with a friend to avoid driving at night. There we have to drink bottled water, but TP is flushable. Not sure why they can, but it’s actually a pet peeve if people don’t. So we don’t drink but do flush. Got home – where we’re supposed to be comfortable again, right?  But now we’re in the habit of drinking water from the tap and we’re questioning ourselves about what we should be flushing! It doesn’t sound like much, but can you count how many times a day you go to the bathroom? And how many times you grab a drink of water from the faucet? We actually find ourselves drinking less because it’s more stressful to drink! It’s no longer automatic! We pick up a cup and … freeze. We have to think through what we’re doing.

Sometimes the simplest things in life can make it easier… or more stressful.

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