Thursday, February 05, 2009


I love hot showers. I mean I LOVE hot showers. I believe they are one of the top ten inventions of humankind, (as are warm, fuzzy socks). There is nothing that can wash away -- literally and figuratively -- the grime from a days work than an invigorating, revitalizing, clean, refreshing, hot shower. It’s the first thing we do when we arrive home, mostly because I’m a total germaphoib and the thought of all the billions of wee germies clinging to my two children totally creeps me out, but also because it instantly calms and revives me. The kids are the first to take baths and are then dressed in clean clothes and sat down with a snack to allow me to rejuvenate in my very modest, yet beloved shower. I’ve recently begun locking the door to the bathroom, otherwise both kids feel the need to ‘keep Mama company’ and no matter how many times I insist that I don’t need company while I shower it doesn’t seem to be getting through, so I lock the door and give instructions to #1 that unless someone is bleeding…profusely, or something is on fire, or there is some other immediate and dire emergency that I am to be left alone for just 5 minutes. And maybe 8 out of 10 times I remain undisturbed because #1 can see the difference between the frazzled woman that enters the bathroom and the more relaxed one exiting it a few minutes later ready to meet their needs once more. It is amazing how a few gallons of water poured over oneself can change ones whole outlook towards the world.

So, as I am standing there last evening, head leaning against the shower wall just letting the wonders of clean hot water flow over me, I think to myself that if I were a very wealthy woman I would have one of those showers that you see on luxury home shows, you know, the ones with water spraying at you from all angles. I imagine that Oprah has a shower like that. Yes, when Oprah gets home after a long, hard day of helping others, or partying with her famous friends, or just hanging out, I bet she steps into a room-sized shower and presses a button….no, wait, she wouldn’t even need to press a button, she would simply murmur ‘Shower on. Hot.’ and sparkling, wondrous, scalding, clear water would massage her every sore muscle. A delicious smelling soap product would rain down upon her weary shoulders and cleanse and moisturize her fatigued skin and then rinse her squeaky clean once more. And the hot water would never run out like it does at my house, where I don’t quite make it to the end of washing up before the water temperature suddenly drops, it would just keep pouring its rejuvenating, liquid self from all available, invigorating spouts. Yes, and the water would be from some green source and be renewable and the unit that heated it be energy efficient from sun and wind. It would be a blessedly mother earth friendly, guilt-free power shower. Oh my yes, Oprah would have a shower like that and I want one too! Can I be Oprah in my next life please?

What I admire so about Oprah (besides her possibly having an awesome shower), is her balance. No, not the fact that, unlike me, she can probably do a summersault and not then fall over, but her life’s balance. She has worked hard and amassed great wealth, and with that wealth she helps thousands in all parts of the world better their lives. Yet she is still able to both appreciate and be grateful for the luxuries she allows herself. Those ‘Favorite Things’? those are expensive sister! At least for most of us, but does she apologize for her love of luxury? No, and nor should she. She has chosen to be good to the world AND herself. Wow, what a life! To be able to help so many and still live well one’s self, what fun! Her social conscience, her willingness to help, to make aware, to take action, she appears to be made of this, and it is this that makes her a rich woman, she seems to have accumulated wealth of wisdom and generosity as well as property, can I pleeeeease be her in my next life? I want to live in luxury, I want to dispense wisdom, I want to help thousands achieve their dreams, and I want to weigh in on the side of a better society and world.

But hold the phone! Should I really have to be Oprah to do these things? To have a positive impact on the world around me? Sure, she has millions of dollars to offer to the needy (or is it billions?), but I work, I have funds, okay, so my pile is nowhere as big, but my dollars count too. Don’t my children and I save and contribute to various charities on a regular basis? There are so many great places to help, some of our favorites are Ox Fam and Heifer International, Swallow’s Nest, International Assistance and Adoption Project, and Half The Sky, Habitat for Humanity, Women for Women International, Smile Train, Operation Smile, The American Heart Association and let’s not forget the critters, The American Humane Society to name a few. Everyone I know does this: helps where and when they can, it’s inspiring both when we witness others kindnesses and are kind ourselves. Did you know that by being kind to another, or receiving a kindness from another or even just by witnessing a kindness, our serotonin levels increase (serotonin is that body chemical that gives us a feeling of happiness and well-being). Want a little jolt of the warm fuzzies during a long work day? Just close your eyes and think of a kindness done for you or by you and you will be injected instantly with giddy inducing serotonin. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. Better yet, actually DO a kindness, go and tell a co-worker what a great job he did. Or help that poor co-worker clear the paper jam in the copy machine. Bring in cookies, baked goods are always a hit and instantly make the atmosphere a happy one. A home-made cookie is like a warm hug wrapped in sugar.

Compassion shown to strangers is great and helps us to live in a society of peace and fulfillment, but kindnesses done for those we love are, of course, just as important. Though I hope that I am teaching my children to think of others as well as themselves, it is not our contributions to charity that my eldest finds impressive. She tells me I am a hero when I jump out of the car during a rain storm to help the turtle attempting to cross the street make it to the other side. Or knock on a woman’s car window when we see her apparently unconscious in the drivers seat and pulled haphazardly off the road (she was fine, just sleepy), or when I read to her in the evening, or help with homework, or fix her favorite food for dinner. These are the things that she thinks are extraordinary.

And sure, if I had money aplenty and I still qualified, I would adopted more children. I would adopt more critters too for that matter. I would build a great big barn just like daughter #1 wants and fill ‘er up with creatures great and small. I know that I can not single handedly save the world, but I sure can make my little corner of it a happier place and keep those around me safe and warm and fulfilled. The two children I have and the many pets and all of my good friends are more than enough to spread joy on my peanut butter and jelly life.

And I have my luxuries too, I have fuzzy socks! Many pair of them! I have a fluffy, warm feather bed for which I am nightly grateful to crawl into. I have a home, food, family, friends, work, health; sufficient abundance for anyone I would think. I am so grateful, really, really I am. So I guess my ‘Oprah Life’ will just have to wait, because I am too glad of the one I have at the moment. Although a great big, automated, room-size luxury shower would be mighty nice.

©KKW 2009

1 comment:

JudyPahTooty said...

Do you think Oprah get her car waxed in her shower too! : > )