Sometimes we are cracked open without warning. Other times an unnerving anticipation builds like the click, click, click of the rollercoaster climbing up the tracks before an inevitable fall. Either way, this isn’t the romanticized, sweet pain of the movies.
This is the siren sounding, bathroom floor sobbing kind of pain that kicks us in the gut.
I’ve found that in instances like these, the only way out is in. Inside myself- underneath of the layers of blame and excuses I’ve piled on top of the truth. And if I can press pause on the “poor me” chatter playing on repeat in my mind long enough to ask myself, “Why did I create this?” immense treasures are hidden in these moments.
Many times we miss these treasures because they don’t resemble our mind’s narrow definition of what a treasure is supposed to look like.
On the heels of a very painful break up, where I was cracked open beyond anything I could imagine, I almost overlooked one of the greatest treasures of my life because it came disguised as a question I had massive resistance to answering.
In the late 1990s, Americans dreamed of a fully automated smart house. They smiled at the idea of turning lights on and off with a universal remote or voice command, they chuckled at the thought of a house regulating its own temperature, and their mouths watered at the notion of a house making breakfast.
Now in 2014, having actually built many things that were only dreams at the end of the century, visionaries are broadening their ambitions from smart homes to smart cities.
“What is a ‘smart city’?” you might be wondering. “What can it do now, and what might it be able to do in the future?” Excellent questions. Here are three examples of smart city technology that existtoday, and some thoughts about where they might go.
1. Smart Grids
According to energy.gov, the growth in peak energy usage has exceeded the growth in transmission capability by 25 percent every year since 1982. Given this staggering statistic, is it any wonder that over the past forty years America has endured five enormous blackouts (three of which happened within the last nine years)?
Until recently, utility companies tried to combat this problem by expanding (not improving) the current grid. This is no longer a viable option. However, smart grid technologies are part of the solution.
Currently, the most wide-spread form of smart grid technology is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). AMI replaces the traditional electric meter with a smart meter that gives both the homeowner and the utility information about power usage in real-time.
This information helps homeowners regulate their energy usage and demonstrates the value of energy-saving appliances. In the event of a power outage or other problem, smart meters also help utility companies pinpoint the issue, allowing them to resolve it more quickly while keeping the problem from spreading.
One of the biggest problems for many people as adults is the fear of being alone. If you do any reading on the issues with people that stay in abusive relationships, people that constantly choose the wrong partner and people that are addicted to toxic relationships the root cause is often about fear of being alone.
This is because they are not comfortable as being identified as who they really are. They only feel comfortable when they can be identified as part of a couple and see themselves as needed by the other person. For these people, call them love or relationship addicts, staying in a horrible, destructive relationship, even at the risk of persona harm or abuse, is the only way to see themselves as having meaning.
Learn To Be Comfortable With You
If you desperately need to be in a relationship and with another person, even if they don’t want to be with you, you need to become intentional in being comfortable on your own. The only way that you can break the love addiction cycle is to learn to really love yourself for who you are, not how you related to another person.
To be intentional about being alone with yourself take the following intentional steps to loving yourself.
Step 1 – make a list of the positive things about yourself. These can be things that friends or family have said to you or that you know to be true. Remember, not about how you relate to your partner, things about you.
In the never ending quest to reach that ultimate pinnacle of what I feel is my utmost best health and fitness, I’ve tried many different foods and workouts. As with almost everything else in life, smartphones are quickly becoming the first line of defense against slipping back into old habits, and I wondered if this technology could be my answer to improving my health without allowing the goal of treating my body better to seem too large or general to accomplish. We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s an app for that” but really, almost anything health related has an app. A quick scan of the iTunes App store boasted thousands of medical apps ranging from an encyclopedia of medicinal herbs, to a baby heartbeat monitor for pregnant women to use on their growing bundles of joy.
In the beginning stages of my research, I noticed that even the medical community is getting in on the game, using some very specialized apps which have allowed doctors to quickly and efficiently diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. At first I was leery, since according to the health tech industry blog HealthITjobs.com, users should always consider carefully what information they’re inputting into apps: “There are real concerns with regards to privacy and HIPPA compliance within this new wave of health related apps. Most of these apps are not regulated by the government for safety or security so right now the responsibility lies in the hands of the app developers. On the flip side, these apps are empowering individuals to take control of their own health and enabling healthcare providers to make better decisions with more data.”