The power of changing expectations, or: How I learned to take a cold shower

I love long, hot showers. Decadent steamy showers, 20 or even 30 minutes long, with too much sudsy soap. I don’t think about all the energy wasted; the gas bill can go to hell. Showertime.

There is no hot water in this dorm.

The first day was impossible. I stood there with soap in my hand feeling shivery and miserable, then turned on the water, which was a sad trickly stream, and did some crazed half-in, half-out dance. After about thirty seconds, I bailed. On day two, small progress. I realized you can do a lot without the water actually on, and you can turn it on for rinsing purposes. So I conquered a tiny bit of shampooing in addition to the world’s fastest soap-up, and rinsed under the sad trickly stream of coldness.

Day three, though — a breakthrough. I finally asked one of the girls about a burning (ha) question. In each of the shower stalls, there’s what looks like a plastic saucepan hanging on a hook. I learned: The shower head is broken. Fill up the pan with water from the faucet-style tap in the stall and rinse that way.

The first pan of cold water that I sluiced over my head felt truly miserable. Same for the second and third. But by the fourth, I’d mastered a slow, less-panicky pouring motion, and it began to dawn on me that this was not a shower. In a good way. Yeah, I was naked and sudsing shampoo around in the vicinity of water. But I’d been thinking of this as “a cold shower” — aka, a terrible version of something I really like. Instead this more closely resembled (drum roll)….a swimming pool in tiny doses.

This discovery made me laugh — which probably sounded very strange to anyone else in the bathroom. But I feel cleaner than I have in days.

6 thoughts on “The power of changing expectations, or: How I learned to take a cold shower

  1. Oh my god, I adore you. You are such an inspiration in the way you can change your view of a situation into something more positive. Swimming pool in tiny doses! Come on!

    1. This was definitely a back-to-the-wall kind of positivity There is no way out of these showers. They are allllll the shower I have. πŸ™‚

  2. I could have helped you with that one!! You are too cute Lindsay. You gotta go balls to the wall when taking cold showers. Just put the first few saucepans full of cold water OVER YOUR HEAD and the rest will make for a much more pleasant showering experience :).

  3. Lindsay — this is so you + I love it! Thanks for this great blog.

    I always wondered how I could jump in a 47 degree lake but not even a lukewarm shower πŸ™‚

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