I got off to a fast start doing nothing today, a talent of mine.
If I were to paint with a broad stroke, another of my talents, I’d have to say hanging out and doing nothing are traits natural to men, not so much to women.
I’m sure women already know that, even as busy as they are. Most men, though, are too involved in doing nothing to make the discovery.
This morning, for example, right off the bat I spent around an hour at the computer going through email, sharing links from The Onion – the genuine fake news site – then mindlessly trolling Facebook to catch up on political angst, pet videos and so-and-so telling a BFF she loves her to the moon and back.
Personally, I’d settle for Fayette, Mo., and back, but I’m not a big achiever.
While I was at the computer — pet name “Evil Thingee” thanks to the eerie glow that promises Facebook updates — I decided to sort my cluttered desktop.
Typically, that involves moving photos and Word files into appropriate folders. By “appropriate” I mean those cavernous holes in which a person satisfied with a semblance of order can hide things and feel a sense of accomplishment.
My folders include “Blog,” “Nanimals,” “Sofia,” “Current Music Stuff” and “Silly Desktop Sh**”. The last one is a collection of Three Stooges photos, Alfred E. Neuman, and VW buses.
That pretty much sums me up.
I could go through them and thin out some of the clutter, but I’m scared. I may be good at categorizing, but when it comes to opening a folder and deciding what should stay and what should go, I’m a hopeless hoarder.
Most mornings I stay at the computer until it’s time to shower.
The shower is a refuge where mind wandering is set free. I was going to say “thinking” is set free, but I don’t want to glorify what I do when it’s actually a random thing with no direction.
What I really mean is that I love standing under the hot water and looking for reasons not to get out.
There are a number of important delay tactics I use to stay put. For example, when I used to shave, I shaved there, too.
I know they make little fog-resistant shower mirrors, but I preferred to shave by touch, generally with my eyes closed. Anyway, I’d have to wear glasses in the shower just to find the mirror.
Remember, my goal isn’t grooming so much as putting off an inevitable ejection from paradise. It’s like getting thrown off the island, just without the TV audience and commercials.
I do a daily stretch to help loosen my bum left hip. I was originally given three different exercises, two of which I eliminated because they involved coordination, flexibility and pain, plus they were hard.
The one I settled on – basically a stretch — adds 45 seconds or so to my shower.
It’s a win-win. I get my exercise in and I extend the pleasure of a wet, warm massage by nearly a minute.
I mentioned that I let my mind wander while showering. There are times, of course, when that wandering lands on something important. For example, I might think, “Don’t forget to take that book to the library,” repeating the thought like a 1-800 number in an infomercial.
It occurred to me last week I must not be the only one who feels strongly about staying in the shower. And it’s far deeper than any superficial pleasure.
A long, warm shower is as close as anyone gets to being back in the cozy confines of the womb. That snug, temperature-controlled, resort sets the bar for paradise.
On some level, I’d guess we all miss that secure place and experience subconscious associations when we step into the warm cocoon of a shower.
But there will always be a difference.
A newborn’s abrupt eviction comes after nine months, a fairly leisurely stay. With showering, it’s all we can do to stretch our stay to nine minutes.
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