Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?
Thank you Daily Post for this intriguing set of questions. In a couple of weeks I will have been retired from the work force for a year. Since cleaning my fridge in August I have not done anything worth blogging about. Yes, I guess that is kind of sad, but it also makes me extremely happy to have such an uneventful life.
Unstructured, seemingly limitless free alone-time probably sounds boring to a lot of you. But to my fellow introverts I know it sounds like heaven. Imagine being asked what you did all day and “nothing” pretty much sums it up. Bliss.
Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly. But this got me thinking about my day (please refer to the part where it says ‘think about your day’). My daily rituals include
- drinking coffee
- taking a shower
- getting dressed
- filling or emptying the dishwasher but usually not both on the same day because it’s just me here at the moment, which means no one cares
- feeding myself
- wondering what stage I left the laundry at
- doing important things on my iPad
- thinking about art, checking art supplies, staring at blank canvases and that thing I started and don’t like and can’t motivate myself to finish
- doing totally unimportant things on my iPad
- wondering how it got to be so far past midnight and going to bed.
So the one I am selecting from this list and explaining to you is the ritualistic shower. Because my Gawd this will be beyond interesting and exciting, won’t it? No matter what my plans for excursions beyond the front door for appointments or shopping trips for the day may be, this is the one ritual I must perform every day. Even if I’m not going anywhere except maybe to the basement.
Why do I do what I do? How did I come to adopt this ritual? I was born in 1949. (Don’t panic, I’m only going to hit the shower related high points of my life.). The first farm-house we lived in did not have a bathtub. The second one had a bathtub but no shower. My brother thought it was hilarious to hold my face underwater at the beach, instilling in me a lifelong fear of getting water on my face and being unable to breathe. For years after I moved away to places which had showers I would wash my face and hair in some place other than the shower, and then shower myself from the neck down.
Yeah, strange phobia, but something that was easy enough to live with. Then I got married and had kids and none of these people I was living with were afraid of water so I slowly made myself get over it. I passed the tadpole swimming level and the rest is history.
I don’t LOVE the water on my head part, but I can do it now and it certainly saves time. Because I need a lot of that to get all my nothing done, right? Anyway, now I can’t imagine a day without showering.
Oh, wait, yes I can. There is no shower on the island where our summer camp is. I am going there next week for about seven shower-less days. Which brings us to the final question – what happens on days when you can’t perform it?
I cry a lot. Just on the inside. Outwardly I sigh and begrudgingly use the bathtub and the sink and the river. And many wet wipes. This is called roughing it in the wilderness.
The other day I showered and dressed and left the house and went to see my doctor for my yearly physical (and mental state I guess). One of the questions she asked me was, on a scale of one to ten, how happy would you say you are? I said seven or eight. Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to claim they’re a ten. People would be pestering you all the time for your secret, which would probably drop you down to five in a big hurry. On days I don’t shower my answer would be two.
However, not drinking my morning coffee would immediately put me at a minus one. So there are worse things in life I guess. Showering is just one of my privileged life luxuries. Going without it is simply a kick in the butt reminding me to appreciate it.