There comes a pivotal moment each weekday morning when you’re standing in the shower, and everything has been washed, and it’s time to shut off the water, but you can’t, because it feels so wonderfully warm and comforting and you know that nothing awaits you outside of the confines of the bath tub but coldness, and your getting-dressed routine, and work.
So you linger there, freed of all grime and stank, enjoying the steam and the scent of your jasmine soap (or your Axe body wash or what have you—this is a toiletry-judgment-free zone), knowing that as long as you stay in the shower, you will have peace, and no one can call you or email you or ask you to do anything.
And then, somehow, some way that neither I nor science can fully explain, you do something heroic.
You tap into a hidden reserve of fortitude, you reach up, and you turn the faucet off. Difficult as it is and much as you don’t want to face the coldness, the tedium, and the frustrations of the world outside the tub, so far you have a 100% success rate when it comes to shutting off the shower. I know that because you are reading these words, and while your phone may be smart, it isn’t waterproof.
This is a relatively modern problem and not one that our pre-indoor-plumbing-era ancestors knew. The shower-ending ability is not something that we evolved over hundreds of years and are born knowing how to do; rather, it’s something we had to struggle to teach ourselves, and I frankly don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for this feat.
So the next time some problem comes up over the course of the workday that you have no idea how to solve, when you start to feel doubt, panic, and fear creep in and try to take over, remember how brave and strong you were that morning (or, judgment-free zone again, whenever happened to be the last time you bathed). Remember how you left the safety of the shower and how you got yourself dressed and said goodbye to all the things dearest to your heart—your family, your pets, your home, your fuzzy slippers and easy pants—and you made it in to work to intentionally face the challenges you knew were lurking there in wait.
That is Frodo-walking-into-Mordor level courage, kid. Take a deep breath and remember: if you can do that, you can do anything.