Everyone’s talking about change. Obama will bring “Change we can believe in.” McCain promises “Change is coming.” Hillary stood for “Change you can count on.” But does anyone really think change will happen? Change is hard. It would be a lot more realistic to say: Change is iffy. Don't hold your breath .
I’m not a big fan of change. Even if something isn’t working I can probably live with it . Especially when it comes to relationships. No need for uncharted territory when there’s a safe and familiar environment of misery. Why change when you can complain?
But recently, I have made one big change in my life. After years of searching for something to fill my days with meaning, finally, I’ve found change that I can believe in - it's a ritual. Washing my hair every morning and eating three meals a day.
I know that might sound trivial but it’s given me something to look forward to. Every day I wake up and there’s a reason to get out of bed. Breakfast!
Turns out the hair loss problem I’ve been experiencing was due to not having enough protein. In order for things to improve I was instructed to keep my scalp clean and eat regular meals. Some people have religion, now I have eggs and shampoo .
And like any devoted fanatic, I can’t stop proselytising. I’ll talk to anyone who will listen about the benefits of breakfast. At least two or three times a day I find myself talking about eggs. I’ve always thought the only thing worse than being on a diet is listening to someone talk about their diet. But not when you’re the person talking. The subject never gets old. If only I was as enthusiastic about my career as I am about having breakfast, I’d be able to afford a cook.
In fact, friends tell me they haven’t seen me this excited - ever. It’s like I’m a Born Again. Scrambled eggs are my Jesus.
But it doesn’t end there. Because not only am I eating three meals a day, I’m showering too, now that I have to wash my hair . Every day. Just like a normal person.
Who knew being normal would be so exhausting. How do people do it?
I don’t have a choice. I have to stick to this regimen. And it takes time. There’s thinking of what to eat, buying the food, making the food, eating and then cleaning up. Showering and washing my hair (two hours) then following up with the tonics and creams afterwards. There are also the vitamins – three different kinds twice a day – and the tincture at night. I’ll stand in front of the mirror over the bathroom sink and instead of running through everything that’s going wrong in my life, I’ll focus on making sure the tincture doesn’t get in my eyes when I put the dropper on my scalp. There’s a big warning label on the bottle. It’s very meditative.
The night-time routine eases my mind so that by the time I get into bed I’m relaxed. Then nodding off, I think about breakfast. I wake up the next day and it starts all over again. My days have some structure.
Maybe it’s blind faith. But isn’t all religion? I have a vested interest in my spiritual wellbeing. My devotion just happens to be to taking a shower.
But here’s the problem. It can’t last. Three meals a day for the rest of my life? That’s a lot of work.
At the moment, it’s new. But what happens when the novelty wears off? Lunch will begin to feel like a grind. I can see it now – I skip one meal and promise myself it won’t happen again. Then I wake up late and think: it’s too cold for a shower; I can get away with just brushing my teeth. I won’t go to jail. The next thing I know – I’m off eggs and having a double espresso and a pack of m&m’s for dinner.
For now, I’m taking it one day at a time. I can’t commit to a lifetime of change. I can’t even commit to buying more than one roll of toilet paper. And besides, how do I know all this change will be for the better?
Then again, in my life, as well as in the White House, there’s really nowhere to go but up.