Mellow yellow is all a state of mind, bubbles and a racing heartbeat
For the past three years, although I work what seems to be a 24/7 shift, there is one thing that I treat myself to. Despite work-load storms and flurries of paper strewn about the floor, and 100 ideas running around in my head at any given minute, I take two hours every day and I run on the treadmill and take a bath. Sadly, I do take my phone in with me to the bath and on the treadmill. However, I my bath and running still allows me to relax the muscles, amp them up, fire the idea neurons and expel my energy. No matter what, I always take a bath.
Growing up as poor as I did, there was no way that I could take a bath. See, there were times, when the water was freezing. The slumlord just wouldn’t pay the heating bills and we would suffer. I cannot stand cold water. Not even in the summertime. All my showers and baths need very hot water. Something that is very common in Japan and not somewhat less so in Europe. Second, because the building I lived in was debilitated, the ceiling in the bathroom often caved in. This meant that the individuals above us could look down into our bathroom. It also meant that the rats running through the building could drop in at any moment. I know it’s a tough, sad picture that I paint. However, I have moved past that. I don’t dwell on that past. However, it does make me truly appreciate the ability to take a bath now.
As the water rises and the sweat runs down my forehead, I close my eyes and brainstorm with myself. I work out which papers I want to write. I work out the book chapters of my upcoming memoir. I answer emails. Yes, I do work. Tsk. Tsk. Yet, if I didn’t answer emails then I would never answer them as I am in about 5-7 meetings a day. I answer them quickly so that I can focus the rest of the time on me. About 45% of my blog post ideas come to me while I am in the bath. I have come up with research designs while in the bath. There is something about the steam and the heat that get my creative writing juices going.
Historically, there are therapeutic aspects to bathing including hydrotherapy, healing, and rehabilitation. It makes total sense to immerse oneself in a bath. A colleague recently remarked to me that that it was amazing that I had the stamina and the structure to take a bath everyday. She noted that she was too lazy to keep the bath clean as is needed for such frequent bath undertakings. Thus, she just never bothers with baths.
After my bath, many are surprised to hear, I go run on the treadmill. It’s my homemade version of hot yoga. After my bones are relaxed, I take them for a run so they can release that pent up work energy. While the bath gets my creative juices going in terms of ideas, the treadmill helps me hone those ideas further. While on the treadmill, I will write out emails to myself containing outlines of my proposed products. In doing so, my brain relaxes a bit for a I feel accomplished. Afterwards, I go watch Scooby Doo with my son where we discuss the intricacies of traps and mystery solving.
I readily admit I have an odd way of mellowing out. The bath relaxes my body muscles, but it gets my brain muscles twitching. The treadmill, afterwards, gets my body muscles moving, but my brain calms down. Mellow yellow is all a state of mind, bubbles and a racing heartbeat.
Inspired by the need for some decompression time and the daily prompt of: Have you never been mellow?
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