Today, while eating lunch with my most delightful friends and coworkers, we were discussing the nighttime routines of our little ones. Mine, being not so little, is very independent in her evening preparations. One friend talked about how her son likes her to turn off the light for the last few minutes of his bath. Others were giggling but I shouted out, “No, no! I shower in the dark all the time!”
Silence. Then uncomfortable twitters.
So I explained.
Last year, I had a day when I just could not handle seeing myself in the mirror after my shower. While avoiding the mirror was something relatively common before because of my discomfort with my body in general, my new scars and open wounds became something I could not see. I needed to clean my body, but there was no reason for me to have to see the cuts. So, I showered in the dark.
My bathroom has no windows and gets completely black-out dark when the lights are off. While it may seem that this creates a challenge in the shower, it doesn’t really. At 43 years of age, I’ve got quite a few showers under my belt and can pretty much do my work on autopilot. I didn’t need illumination to wash my skin or hair. And I found that I just sort of stood when I was through. I stood and I let the water run over me. I breathed.
What I told my friends was that I found showering in the dark to be really relaxing. I didn’t notice there was mildew on something, which would lead me to think of the other things to clean, which would remind me of the other work to do, and so on. All I did was shower. Taking that time to focus on one task was freeing, somehow.
You could call it mindful showering; I call it singletasking. All I do is multitask all day long. I teach ten levels of kids and need to know what’s coming next and where I need to take them and and and… That’s just at work. We multitask all the time but how often, anymore, do we participate in just one thing?
It may only be a shower, but for me it is a great start.