Normally, only a select few people are invited into the shower with me, but today, everyone gets to come. And you’re welcome to stay however long you’d like. I do! (trust me, I don’t rush)
If you’re anything like me, the world is excellent at providing non-stop distractions. It’s constantly yelling in my ear. “Watch out for that car!” “Remember to eat!” “Work work work!” “TV is fun, watch it, don’t think about anything else, quick break to buy things!!!! just relax and watch (or buy)” “Pay constant attention to the kidlet or she will single out the most important breakable thing in your life and play with it.” You know, stuff like that. It’s pretty much non-stop from leaving bed until crawling back in.
The one exception to these distractions is SHOWER TIME!! Shower time is that wonderful time when as much as you might want, you can’t do work, you can’t take care of kids, you’re likely not to get run over by cars. Shower time is special and unique in my day, so I take it seriously, and you should too. It can change your life (literally!).
When I step into the shower, I let go of the rest of the world, clear my head and take a minute or two just thinking about the wonderful warm water. I do not rush and pull out soap and washcloths and shampoo and all that, there’s no hurry. That’s the First rule – take it slow. Fully embrace shower time, and most of all, DO NOT think about what you need to do once you get out of the shower. If you do, just wash up and leave, there is no place for you in my shower. Really! Scoot!
Now that I’m nice and warm, and the hot water is massaging the back of my neck, I let my mind wander. I don’t tell it where to go since my conscious priorities are probably completely wrong anyway. My mind goes where it wants, and usually settles on the most interesting parts of my life. Since I’m a person who likes challenges (I do try to make a living making games after all!), usually that’s where my mind goes. It finds the most tangled, complex knot of reality that I need to unravel in some innovative and likely subconscious way. Second rule – relax and let your thoughts flow.
Then I lose track of time. My mind is where is should be, it’s dealing with the really interesting things now that I’ve gotten all of those boring real life distractions out of the way. So I don’t let those “important” things make their way back in. Be careful, because those things are incredibly good at doing just that, so it takes practice.
At some point, my arm reaches for the soap and I do a little washing. No reason to fight the reflex, it has to happen eventually I suppose. It won’t get in the way, it doesn’t take a whole lot of thought. Besides, one key point of the shower is the smelling pretty in the end part. (I think there are certain people who discount how really important this is.) Third rule – do the cleaning thing.
Sadly the shower must end, as all good things tend to do. However, if it was really a good shower, I’m walking out of there with some good progress made! Progress figuring out just what is really important to me. Progress untangling the most exciting and interesting tangles in my life. Progress thinking up the next great game mechanic. Who knows what progress will be made, but if I do it right, that progress is probably more important than the 8 hours of work I’m about to do! And almost certainly more important than the driving, cooking, cleaning, spider shooshing, dog feeding, and all those other daily chores in life that jump around in the front of your head screaming “I’m important, think about me!!!”
In fact, I can safely say that nearly everything important that I’ve created since I learned to take my showers seriously, has started in the shower. I remember the shower I came up with cheating fate in Malifaux. I remember the shower where I invented Collette. I sure as hell remember that shower when I realized I was completely in love with the woman I was going to marry. Needless to say, when done right, showers will change your life. It has changed mine in so many amazing ways.
So, now that you’ve spent 10 minutes in the shower with me, GET OUT. Go find your own, they’ll be way more useful to you than mine. Enjoy!
Just one more note. Fourth rule – write it down. You don’t want to forget all that brilliance that the world is waiting for.
And now I’m off to take a shower!