Sticking with a routine
Four years ago I remodeled the master bath – new tile floors, new vanity, especially new shower space. The old shower had a built in bench that caused a leak down into the kitchen below. It also had a standard builder glass door with textured glass that was cloudy from years of lime & soap scum build up. My inspiration for the new shower was my neighbor who replaced her shower door with a wall of clear glass. I loved the way it made her smallish bathroom look bigger. It is one of my favorite things about my bathroom.
I knew that trying to clean a glass shower door could be a huge pain – actually cleaning a shower space in general is a huge pain. I did a little research on preventative measures and discovered that the biggest thing that seemed to help was removing water from surfaces instead of letting it dry (and leave behind hard water deposits). So I created a routine: rinse the glass & shower with hot water at the end of every shower. Squeegee excess water from the glass and the bottom of the shower (I’m a little paranoid about another leak in the kitchen). Wipe stray water drops off the glass & faucet. Does it sound like a pain? It totally is. If Tom were still alive I’m not sure the routine would have survived!
Here’s the thing – I have never had to scrub the glass surface at all. It still looks like it is brand new. I’ve used a cleaner on the inside floor maybe two or three times in the last four years – mostly because I dye my hair and sometimes I need a little extra help getting hair dye out of the grout. The shower looks as beautiful today as it did the day it was finished. I spend 2-3 minutes doing after-shower cleanup and that is it.
Some of you might be wondering if you somehow stumbled on a house cleaning blog. I promise you haven’t. I started thinking about some of the things in my life that I wish were a little more “shiny” and didn’t take such huge efforts in “clean-up” time. And I thought maybe there is a lesson in all my shower upkeep principles. For instance, I would really like to have a more consistently close relationship with God. But currently I’m a little erratic with my upkeep routines. During the school year, I’m pretty consistent about scripture reading and personal prayers – seminary pretty much demands it. But once summer rolls around, I often put these habits on the back burner. And yet, when I do that, I find myself having to put in a bunch of time scrubbing the accumulated “debris” from my relationship with God. And then there is the whole physical health aspect of my life. I really need to reinstate some daily routines with regard to exercise and healthy eating. I’m sure it would be easier to maintain physical strength and a healthy body weight than it is to start over from scratch after months of neglecting this aspect of my life.
I’ve never been a big fan of strict routines. I like to feel that my life has some flexibility in it. I confess that there have been some mornings when I have been sorely tempted to just step out of the shower and forget about it. But on the couple of occasions when I have, tell-tale water spots remind me that the scrubbing is not going to be worth it. Over the years, the shower routine has become easy – I don’t even think about it now. But the first couple of years I would feel annoyed every morning – I’d have to talk myself into taking care of it. I persevered, however, and learned to see the benefit in this strict routine. Maybe it is time to put the lesson to work in another area of my life!