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Monday, February 27, 2017

Personal Hygiene - More Thoughts Than You Would Expect

I was in the bathroom finishing an inordinately long session of personal hygiene.

My husband came in and looked appreciatively at me and said "I know you're tired."

Bah! "I had to shower and then shave and then brush my teeth and take my medicine and put lotion on and clip my nails and I've been in here forever!"

My husband gently took me in his arms and told me I could use the time for me, to tune in to my body, to meditate, to pray.

It made me stop and think.

Maybe you're like me and you just wish you could do something else with your time. Personal hygiene is boring. The time spent in personal hygiene activities is easily transferred to a list of things that I think would be more fun, interesting, or useful to do.

Why do they look so happy?
Maybe you spend the time in personal hygiene criticizing the things you don't like about yourself, wondering if you're pretty enough, thin enough, strong enough, have the right proportions.

Maybe your personal hygiene time isn't spent criticizing yourself, but rather others. You give yourself space to vent and complain and imagine how much better things would be if A didn't say, or do, or think in that way or if B would say, or do, or think in that way.

Maybe you're a mother and taking a shower is amazing because it's the one place you're alone!

Maybe you already have arrived at a personal hygiene place of happiness and presentness. If so, I applaud you. Please share any tips in the comments below.

Why am I compelled to write so extensively about personal hygiene in such an abstract way?

I think my husband's words simply rang true. 

You can use that time for yourself. 

You can be present with your body, get to know it better. 

You can celebrate the now. 

This time is not useless, even though you feel that you have no choice in how you spend it.

And why is that so good? Because now is all I have. The past has happened already. The future will be here soon and I can't make it come (or stay away) any faster than it will be.

So you are invited to see and notice the present in the midst of where you are. To redefine useful time, to train your mind to see and believe that you are enough right now, to avoid negative thought cycles and replace them with more kindness and compassion (toward yourself and others), and to relish the gifts of present in the season of life you are in.

May you be encouraged to see time you spend in seemingly mundane activities as benefitting you. Simply because you are there.


  1. "Maybe you're a mother and taking a shower is amazing because it's the one place you're alone!"

    Yes. For over 7 years now. I almost can't imagine NOT thoroughly enjoying my showers, lol. Even though Asa knocks on the door most of the time I'm in there and tries to have "conversations" with me :)

    Come to think of it, I enjoyed my showers a lot before kids too. I think you knew that.