Most of my best ideas come to me at five in the morning while shaving. To a lesser degree, ideas also pop into my head while showering. What is it about personal hygiene that makes me want to think about the future? Does it have anything to do with washing away the cumulative dirt and grime from the day before in preparation for a new beginning? Let’s find out as I attempt to make sense of the whole thing for Freedom Friday.
When I was in that awkward age hitting puberty, I knew I had to start taking bathing more seriously. I mean, for two years I grew up on a farm in Italy, and access to running water was an issue for my family. So I understood the concept of washing my face, but beyond that, I was your typical boy running around, playing soccer in the mud, and getting all excited when my friends wanted to skip rocks down by the river. Mark Twain would have loved me.
Anyway, when I moved back to Canada with my parents, baths became a normal routine, and shaving all of a sudden needed my attention. I had just turned fourteen and my face looked like something out of Planet of the Apes. My dad had bought me my first razor. He was proud of me. I had finally reached maturity. Right, maybe physically, but mentally, even now at times, I still had the brain of a ten-year-old.
I can’t remember how long but if I’m not mistaken, shaving took me about fifteen to twenty minutes. I used to do it once, twice a week in the evening. I couldn’t do it before going to school ‘cause it took me, like, furr-ev-ah. At least, I thought. But once I was no longer a student, had a regular job, shaving turned into a daily chore. I couldn’t avoid it. My five o’clock shadow would always show up at around three in the afternoon.
Gosh, I’m reading that previous paragraph thinking, that’s an awful lot of information for a back story to what I wanted to talk about. Meh, I’ll leave it in. You tell me if you enjoyed it or not.
Okay, let’s travel to the present day. It roughly takes me five to ten minutes to shave every day now. Yes, every day, including weekends. Other than having my mind on the blade gliding on my face, my thoughts also wander. I think about things. Mull things over. Wonder and ponder on the meaning of why certain events happened the day before, the week before, that month. I don’t mean to. It just happens. Now I question if this is normal. I’m sure it is.
For instance, a millennia ago, it was while I was shaving that I’d decided to marry my wife. It was also when the idea popped into my mind about where we’d enjoy our honeymoon. Eventually, after a few years married, talk of kids came. As I would cut away the whiskers from my beard, I had convinced myself kids were a good thing to have. Believe me—I’m talking about months of shaving therapy here.
As life went on, thoughts of buying a house crept into the mix. Wanting to get a cat. Buying a used car. Getting a bigger house. Painting the rooms. Buying a new car. Planting a garden. Having another kid. Volunteering at the church. Driving the kids to their ball games. Planning vacations. Attending weddings. Attending baptisms. Attending funerals. Meeting new people. Having had enough of some people. Christmases. Easters. Thanksgivings.
Of course there were those mornings I’d think of other things too. Like, how long has that paint been peeling next to the mirror? Or, when did I last have an oil change? I’m sure it was last month. It has to be last month.
All in all, after the thousands of blades I must have consumed over the course of my lifetime, I have never regretted not wanting to have a beard.
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Where do your ideas come from? Have you ever made life decisions while performing menial tasks?