Sunday, February 9, 2014

Extending the Power Shower

If I'm not rushed in the morning, one of my favorite things is to take a nice, long, hot shower. Meanwhile, my time is broken down likewise (not in order, just a summation):

5 minutes - Cleaning myself
6 minutes - Re-enacting conversations I had the previous day, but I actually say stuff I should have thought of during the actual conversation.
5 minutes - Developing plans to establish world peace
2 minutes - Developing plans for taking over the world
5 minutes - Pondering the meaning of life
4 minutes - Plotting a novel or next blog post
3 minutes - Falling into a trance and letting my mind take me wherever I want to go

Yes, that's the ideal half an hour power shower. I don't get too many of these, but this morning I woke up feeling sick and skipped church, and such an experience was calling my name. While in my "Pondering the meaning of life" phase, I dwelled on why I love these showers so much. I came up with these answers:

1) It's nice, warm, and cozy; what isn't there to like?
2) The opportunity to let my mind brainstorm.
3) It clears my head.
4) Nobody is asking me to do anything.

Then I hit the "plotting my next blog post" phase, and decided to blog on my shower. Because, after all, wouldn't life be more wonderful if this thirty minutes could be experienced throughout the day--every day? Showering at my job isn't an option. Waking up early is seriously not an option (my water and gas bill would skyrocket). However, there are other options.

Nice and Cozy

I'm a huge fan of Stephen R. Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The seventh habit encourages everybody to take a chill pill now and then. Taking a minute to smell the roses sharpens the senses and makes the challenges of life more bearable.

I need to remember that it is okay to do something for yourself now and then. Not only do you owe it to yourself, but such activities make you better at everything else in life.

As an introvert, cuddling up with a good book, watching a fun show or movie in my man cave, and getting plenty of rest does wonders for me.

Brainstorming

I'm not exactly sure how to expand this more than usual. Maybe it will need to be reserved for these showers or anytime I'm surrounded by similar-thinking individuals who can help me with the evaluation. Anybody have any ideas?

I do a lot of brainstorming when I drive, too. Maybe I'm already doing more of this without thinking about it.

Clearing the Head

I've been reading about meditation, and I'd like to give it a go sometime. Benefits include things like:

- Clearing the head
- Improved concentration
- Increased health
- Increased happiness
- Decreased stress

I'll try to fit it in now and then and report back one way or the other. Sadly, the shower seems the best place to get this in, as meditation seems to not be something that can be forced. I don't know... we'll see.

Nobody is Asking Me to do Anything

I've actually been more conscious of this lately and have taken a few steps to help out with this.

1) During my lunch break, if I can, I go for a walk. I bring my phone with me if I can't leave at exactly noon (I get too many phone calls when I'm expected to be around the office), but if I can get out the door at noon, I can leave it behind and enjoy a brief break. I can literally get away from it all! I'm within walking distance of the St. George temple, so I usually walk to it, circle around it, and then walk back to my office. It's a delightful 40 minutes that get me very, very close to the shower experience (minus the nice, warm, and cozy aspect). I can clear my head, de-stress a bit, and can usually returned re-energized and ready to conquer my workload. Part of it is the walk, a larger part of it is being left alone for a while.

2) I've turned off most notifications on my phone and computer. Email and social media notifications have been removed. I've even been turning off my Email at work, figuring if something is important I'll be getting a phone call and not an Email request. I still answer calls and texts, but the constant dinging of my cell phone telling me something just happened (which is usually inconsequential to the moment) was just too distracting. Well, now, it's gone, and I'm better for it.

3) I've been ditching my cell phone more often when I'm not working. Unless I'm expecting a call, I've been leaving my phone in another room from time to time. My cell phone is SUCH a ball n' chain most of the time, and this lets me periodically experience life without that anchor. If there's an emergency, you'll find a way to reach me, I'm sure. Hint: If I'm not answering my cell phone or texts, social media and Email isn't a way to reach me.

I know this might sound selfish, but it really isn't. I spend most of my day solving other people's problems, and little breaks like this recharge my batteries and make me a more productive. It isn't that I'm necessarily saying, "No!" I'm only saying--unless it's an emergency--"Not right now, please."

I think the world would be a better place if more people regularly sought out the power shower experience.