I believe in shower moments.
Some people need a cup of coffee or a newspaper in the morning to get their day going. I need a shower. Some of my best thoughts for the day come to me in the mundane, ordinary routine of showering. I create my daily to-do lists and I’ll strategize long-term projects like replanting the garden. The trouble with the shower moments is that by the time I’ve hung the towel and walked through the bathroom door, the moment is over- much like those fleeting thoughts one has just before falling asleep for the night. Unless I’ve remembered to put paper and pen in the bathroom, all my thoughts for the day are inevitably forgotten- lost, but for a glimmer of a subconscious reminder. The daily routine sets in and whether I finish my to-do list or gain ground on my projects is almost a matter of luck rather than of purpose.
But my efforts are not pointless. Not only does showering cleanse my body, showering refreshes my spirit. I wake up and clear my head of the sleep fuzz. I am offered the peace of the moment to give myself a goal for the day beyond just a to-do list. I am able to consider how I am going to appreciate, and live in, this particular day. Like a message in a greeting card, I can remind myself to appreciate the small things: what flowers are in bloom; look at the world through the eyes of a six-year old; and keep life in balance.
When my three children were all under 5 years old, I was a stay-at-home mother, new to a community, and seeking friends and activities to give our day some purpose. Seven years later, I miss those days, but I also know that we had some really tough times. I would go to bed discouraged, tired and wondering if this was all life had to offer. But as the next day started (usually with someone calling, “Mommy!”), I would retreat into the shower and my first real thought would be, “Yes. It’s another day and it’s going to be alright. What will today’s adventure be?”
I believe in shower moments because they renew me, providing life, energy and purpose. Shower moments give me the encouragement that I can be a kinder, more patient spouse and mother, the energy to actually finish that lingering project at work, and the compassion to remember to include the elderly next-door neighbor in our life. In the end, I might not have made progress on my daily project goals, but the trivial routine of showering gains me an inner-quiet and reflection. I am able to appreciate my life and those in it, and to enjoy life as it happens, rather than rushing through it. And I can always try again tomorrow to finish that list.