The washing of hands


My heart is heavy today and I have had to turn off the news - even hearing it in the background as my husband watches gives me anxiety. I'm also not going to lie. I woke up last night thinking I smelled something burning and thought what if the house burns down, we have to go to the hospital and then we get sick. In those late night, not quite coherent thoughts I also reminded myself to cancel all the doctor's appointments I scheduled during the kids' spring break in April - that were way overdue. My thoughts were less about making the medical facilities and personnel available for sick patients and more about keeping us safe (yes, there is some shame in that - because at the end of the day this is not about me, it is about all of us) Still, I'll reschedule this summer, I guess.


Am I the only one that finds myself following these irrational (or maybe not so much) thought patterns?


But today, my hands are dry. I've always been a hand washer - but starting last week - I became much more vigilant about it. I wash and wash and wash again. Anyone else? It makes me think maybe I wasn't much of a hand washer before.


But the biggest difference - I have increased the time my hands are lathered and under water. Yes they are dry because of my increased frequency, but in all my life I have never thought about how long I was washing my hands...


My approach at first, I started with a song. Then I saw a suggestion to use the Lord's Prayer (apparently it takes twenty seconds to say and praying seems like a good idea, especially right now). Then I went to singing "Happy Birthday" but then I altered it to the version that goes like this "Happy Birthday to you, You live in a Zoo." My husband reminded me mid-song that it probably wasn't quite long enough - so I sang it twice. This all seemed too hard - I know, really? So now, I've resorted to counting. And it seems to be the method that works for me.


Counting really is a drag... it's so uninteresting. But in the middle of the night when I have to go potty, the last thing I want to do (or my husband wants me to do for that matter) is sing a song at the top of my lungs while I wash my hands once again. My son's face said it all when I insisted he lather his hands while I counted off... 1... 2... 3... We got to around ten seconds and he sighed loud, rolled his eyes and said, "MOM!"


All this time washing my hands, it has made me wonder how gross were my hands before? How much bacteria have I been carrying around with me? How much were others doing the same?


You know you are guilty... now, where is my lotion - oh that's right. I'm out and now I don't want to go to the store. #socialdistancing



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