16 Completely Materialistic First-World Things That Bring Me Great Contentment

I realise that my last few posts have been mostly about "OMG Will Winter Never End??!" Which is fine, because that is really how I feel about winter and this is my blog so I can whine all I want.

But there are also things some of which I have lived without and survived just fine, that I appreciate so damn much that I think "Wow, this is awesome!" Some of you will have no idea what I am talking about. Many people will never see this post because they cannot read well or have no access to the internet or haven't got the freedom to read what they want to. I think about those people and wonder what I can do to help. But meanwhile, I enjoy my little comforts, like:
  • Hot water. Easier cleaning, de-greasing, hot bubby bath-ing, steamy-showering HOT RUNNING WATER! Out of a tap!!! Wow. 
  • My very own washing machine. I even have a dryer now, an ancient and cranky thing but wonderful for rainy weeks. I can put a load of wash in without having to apologise to anyone, and then potter about or wash the dishes while it takes care of business. Multitasking awesomeness. 
  • No Scorpions Lurking Anywhere. 
  • No Tropical Mildew Madness.
  • When I close the doors and windows, the outside world is locked out. There is an actual lock on my actual door, which makes me sleep so much more soundly. Outside noises are muffled and the damp days can't get in. 
  • My snuggly grey hoody of great snuggliness, pictured above. Maggie really appreciates it too, as you can see. I've got nice clothes. Warm ones, ones for fashionably keeping the rain off, special ones for yoga, pretty ones for going out dancing. I love them! 
  • A Telephone. 
  • Free yoga and pilates classes at work, the ultimate in first-world corporate fabulousness. 
  • Electricity ALL THE TIME! 
  • RUNNING WATER that just comes out of the taps ALL THE TIME! Even if you flush the toilets (both of them) frequently and wash clothes and have long showers, there is still water flowing. It's like, ENDLESS! I know it isn't really and we need to think of the environment, but there is a big difference between toting buckets of bath water downstairs to water the plants because it's good for the environment, and actually physically running out of water and having to bribe a truck to deliver a muddy tankful of water so you can finally flush the toilet while all the plants die and looking at the sky every day with a prayer for rain. 
  • The Internet. Fast, cheap. 
  • Having a fully-stocked grocery in walking distance, where the food is fresh. 
  • Free health care - checkups, emergency care, surgery, treatment - no matter what. (The first world, of course, except America) Yes, my taxes are high, but if someone I love gets very ill, I won't have to beg for charity or become homeless to pay for medical care. 
  • Basic laws being obeyed - like traffic laws. Or, as my kids once said, "Huh, we haven't seen a single dead person on the roadside since we moved here!" 
  • LIBRARIES EVERYWHERE! Three in walking distance!!! 
  • Online ordering. You want it, you order it, it arrives two days later in the mail. Epic. 
For many people, this is a list of basic necessities. For many, most of them are unreachable comforts. For all of us, it's food for thought.

Could you live without your first-world comforts? Of course you could. Which one is your favourite?


Anonymous said…
YOur list is wonderful. I'm also a big fan of the plumbing and the hot water and the cold water and the clean air and safe streets. And libraries, yoga, gardens and access to nature. No decent health care here, though:(
vicki said…
I didn't grow up with hot water (boiled a kettle and filled a bucket), I was almost 20 and could count on my hand how many times I had used a telephone, no washer or dryer - sink and clothes line, no internet (didn't exist), black & white television was new...a million things one could take for granted now.
I had an amazingly wonderful childhood in spite of or because of.
I experienced the surge of technology as it took our little nation by storm. I survived. Blossomed. Yet died in other ways and saw many castaways set adrift in my profession.
I run away to a little house in Toco with the bare necessities. I make my bed under the stars occasionally. To reconnect. To remember the joy of just being alive. To appreciate. And to help my kids do the same.
vicki said…
Anyways, getting back to the question...
My favorite would be hot water! No more boiling kettles!!!
No, no, wait...computers! No more sticking down advertisements with COW gum and walking down the road to pick up typeset copy!
No, no, the internet! So much wonderful information at your fingertips! So much eye candy! Heavenly inspiration for a creative person.

p.s. I really love those museums and libraries 'in foreign'. More than anything I look forward to these on trips abroad.
Nan Sheppard said…
Oh, Vicky, MUSEUMS! Now we are talking a whole new level of awesome. Green Girl, eventually, surely, you'll get health care? The whole world is looking on in amazement that anyone could possibly be against the ACA.
Anonymous said…
I love this list and can relate to it all :) (except health care, but even that is slowly gradually grudgingly getting a teensy bit better)
Nan Sheppard said…
I'm crossing my fingers for first-world health care for all!