Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Year of Not Bathing

It doesn't have the same ring to it as "A Year of Living Biblically" or "A Year of Eating food grown within 100 miles", does it? It wasn't really a year, but I still sort of regret not keeping a diary of our past 4 months without showering (and largely, without much cleaning whatsoever).

We kept thinking "one more week" until one week became 4, then 8, then 16. Notable events during the 4 months included Eug turning 33, defending my thesis proposal, giving birth to Eli, me turning 29, Noah turning 2.

The bathroom is 98% done and we've taken our first showers. I've never appreciated showering so much.

Over the course of about a year, I had stopped using shampoo, face wash, moisturizer etc, and used much less soap. My conclusion after the 4 months: all those products are optional (even soap much of the time), but water is the ultimate cleaning agent.

While I appreciate water in a new way, the hardcore part of me is happy that I could go without a bathroom again if called on to do so. I do not mean to romanticize the realities of the majority of the world who go without running water. There's nothing romantic about it. But I don't feel the same fear of spending time (or living) without a bathroom. I understand in a new way that our family can be blessed by whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. These few months have been a time of heavy dependence on my extended family- dependence that was a little foreign- and it felt good.

The bathroom was a burdensome project, and as Eug did the final demolition that exposed the beams of the staircase this week, he started to feel the burden lifted. It was all the more burdensome because it was voluntary- we bought a fixer upper knowing that the bathroom had serious issues. After being absolutely certain that we should never try to renovate again, I look at the almost-completed bathroom and am incredibly happy- no contractor would have done what we (Eug) did- imperfections and all. (Pictures to follow)

Have any of you gone months without showering?


Sarah said...

Jo! Still loving your blog.
As I think you've seen, we're doing up our kitchen in a semi-DIY-fashion, and it's almost time for tiling... My instinctive reaction was that big tiles would be better, easier to install and less time consuming. And then I remembered reading this post of yours. Why do you recommend against the big tiles? The tile shops aren't helpful at all, so I'd appreciate your first-hand tiling advice.

Concrete Gardener said...

We thought so too! We thought they'd also be more beautiful and there'd be fewer opportunities for water to get between the tiles. I think that perspective might be valid, if we had a lot of time and Eug and I could have worked on the tiles simultaneously. But the large tiles have to be porcelain (which holds together), which means that they're really, really heavy. The other problem we had was that Eug had to redo the walls completely, and making them completely flat on an old house was impossible- with small tiles this might be fudge-able but with the large tiles we were stuck, so every imperfection stands out and they were pretty hard to adhere.

That said- you're likely talking about floor tiles!! In which case many of these issues fall away! You'd still need to be extra careful to get the floor level, because catching your feet on the edge of a tile is apparently sometimes a problem with the nano tiles?

I'll keep looking forward to your pictures!