Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Modest New Year’s Resolution: Opening the Shower Door

About a month ago we had our shower door repaired.  In the process, we reversed the door so that it now swings into the shower instead of swinging out and dripping onto the bathroom floor.  I should note that we moved into our home on July 21, 2000, so I’ve walked in and out of that shower--give or take for travel and vacations—some 5,651 times.

I’ve just been through my morning news feed of New Year’s Resolution articles.  There’s a rich harvest this year.  It turns out Carli Lloyd makes resolutions everyday.  Donté Stallworth is trying for the 10th year in a row to stop cursing.  Laurene Powell Jobs is going to practice mindfulness.  Barney Frank says coming out of the closet in 1987 was his best and last resolution.  

But back to my shower door.  I get three tries to swing it in the right direction every morning: once when I open it to turn the shower on, once about a minute later to get in, and once to get out.  The first morning after the repair I did it wrong all three times: pushed when I should have pulled, pulled when I should have pushed.  0-for-3.  It made me laugh.  That wouldn’t happen again.

Molly Crabapple’s New Year’s resolution is to do nothing at all.  Maria Popova is ridding her life of cynics and complainers.  Marcus Samuelsson is embracing uncertainty.  And, of course, there’s plenty of free advice this year.  FastCompany gives us seven ways to keep our resolutions.  Time gives us one secret for keeping them.  The New York Daily News provides eight resolutions to make 2016 your best year ever.

So on morning 2 of the new shower door I arrive mentally tough.  And I push.  And the door swings open.  I laugh at universe.  I turn on the water, step back, and begin thinking about my day.   A full minute later I pull.  Oops.  1-for-2.  A few minutes later I finish my shower.  Unthinking, I push.

1-for-3.  I laugh again, but this time not so hard.

So here’s the New York Times with a good article on how to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions.  And here’s with advice on making resolutions we can keep.  And here’s The Seattle Times with the one resolution to rule them all.

As I said, it’s now been about a month since we reversed the shower door.  This morning, 30 or 40 days into the great-shower door-reversal, I went 2-for-3.

I have yet to go 3-for-3.  Needless to say, this is staggering to me.  I would have bet my left lung that I would have been fully acclimated to the new world order by now.

I'm guessing that’s just the power of habit.  That’s what happens when you do something 5,651 times, give or take, and then decide to do it differently.  Imagine doing something your entire life and then, tomorrow, deciding you will do it differently.

Feels like you might want to give yourself a little time to adjust.

Anyway, my 2016 resolution is to go 3-for-3--for at least a week in a row.  I am preparing mentally for tomorrow morning even as we speak.  I even have a special mantra: push, push, pull.

Push, push, pull.

This year the shower door.  Next year (dear wife), remembering to put the toilet seat down.  But no promises.