Michelle Sieg

Shampoo. Rinse. Recite.

By - Apr 2nd, 2009 08:58 am
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A few years back, I found this great illustration. It was tasteful, whimsical line art of a young woman in the shower. Drops of water fell from the showerhead onto her mop of squiggly blonde hair. I think it was in the back of Real Simple magazine or something.

And all it said was “God grant me the power to get out of this shower.”

It became my mantra. I posted the illustration near the shower in my own bathroom. The drawing is gone. But the sentiment remains. In fact, it’s become a bit of a mini-devotional for me each morning. And now it’s just part of the routine.

Shampoo. Rinse. Recite. Lather. Rinse. Recite. Never mind the fact that I just tried to use a travel-sized bottle of conditioner to shave my legs. God grant me the power to get out of this shower, indeed.

I’m sure a lot of people feel this way – like getting going each day is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Without safety gear, a compass, or oxygen. And little do you know, once you get to the office, an avalanche is in motion.

So what can we do? Where does the power really come from? Not only to get going every day, but to actually get through the day in one piece? You have to do it in the face of small hurdles like running out of peanut butter when you really, really want some. Or having a flat tire when you really, really need to get there. Never mind large obstacles like worrying about the economy or the war.

I personally believe part of the power does come from God. The other part comes from within each of us. Some people pray. Others meditate. And of course there are other worthwhile practices such as yoga, exercise – and happy hour.

The thing that always trips me up is that we do all of these things in order to reset. And stay productive for our partner, family, friends, boss and the local soup kitchen. All of which we wholeheartedly believe we need to tend to every single day, hour, moment.

Meanwhile, we personally suffer. We try to do too much. We use up all our energy. We believe we’re operating as a super-efficient hybrid when we’re really burning through energy like an SUV.

The reality is life doesn’t have a reserve tank. You have to refuel every so often. Or you’ll miss something while you’re broken down.

If you ever want to know the true value of spending your energy more wisely, ask someone who has survived cancer. Or the loved one of someone who didn’t.

And that’s why I really want to learn how to slow down. I want to trade my laptop for better eye contact. I want to take in everything life has to offer. I don’t necessarily want to live like my days are numbered, but because I have no reason to believe they are.

0 thoughts on “Shampoo. Rinse. Recite.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Profound. Even now being retired, I still have periods of my life when I am scrambling to get the all volunteer work tasks accomplished. Sometimes I need to just stare into a campfire for an hour or take a long walk in the woods. Those things recharge, but more importantly as you lead us to see, they slow me down to appreciate simple existence in a beautiful world.

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