Kick your slumbering spirit in the shins: Heighten your senses!


06.59……. 07.00: BBBBBZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz. Nooooo! But you get up. Crusty-eyed. Shower. A little less crusty-eyed. Dry off. Underclothes. Overclothes. Socks. Shoes. Breakfast. Teethbrushing. And exit. Joining thousands of others who’ve just done the same things, in more or less the same order. Maybe with the omission of breakfast or with the addition of kids (which probably makes it more exciting). But per person there won’t be too much variation.

Routine is handy, but boring. So here are a few things I do to get out of a rut and slap my dozing inner self in the face.
(not just applicable to your morning routine, but to life. Jeeey!)

Kick your slumbering spirit in the shins:

1Shower in the dark
Once in a while turn off the light while you’re showering. Obviously, this only works in a windowless bathroom like mine. But if you do so, showering turns into a whole new experience: Feel the water hitting your skin, the differences in temperature, hear the drain choke on a mixture of soapy water and cluttered hair. Open all your shampoo and shower gel bottles one by one and sniff them.

2Change shower gel/shampoo when you travel
The sense of smell is very underrated and deserves a little celebration. It’s my favourite one because a scent can throw you back in time before you can think ‘what’s that smell’? For instance the smell of Hyacinths makes me feel 4 years old again: In kindergarten we once had a pretend-flower shop filled with real hyacinths and Narcissuses to play with.

I’ve always regretted that you can’t collect scents the way you take photos. But one trick to link scents to special events is to take a different kind of shower gel with you when you go on holiday. When you smell that particular shower gel again, it takes you back to that trip!

3Take one picture a day of something that strikes you
Even if you walk the same route every day, (especially if you walk the same route every day) try and find something new and unique to take a photo of. You’ll look at your surroundings more attentively and will most likely discover unusual details.(Here are a few of my shots)


4Dress in a different order
Routine is handy (thank god we don’t have to learn how to walk every day) but it is also killing. Just a small change in your daily routine can give you a little jolt. I noticed for instance that my weekly run goes a lot better when I shuffle my running music instead of playing the same order of tracks every time. The surprise gives me a tiny spark every time.

So to break your dressing routine: try putting on your socks first instead of going straight for your undies. Hell, walk around in JUST your socks for a while. Have breakfast wearing only those foot-shaped covers (not advisable in winter) and feel a little rebellious.

5Go to the supermarket without a list
Even though I don’t like supermarkets and try to spend as little time as possible in them, it is worth your while to sometimes go in without a plan. In my head that equals speeching without notes, but who knows what wonderful spontaneous items you come up with (in the case of the listless supermarket trip, not the noteless speech). Buy something you’ve never bought before, just for the hell of it.

6And never EVER stop wondering
These are some of the things that pop in my head. Most likely when I’m in the shower (with or without lights on).

• why is a pig a symbol for saving money?
Do pigs have frugal qualities I’m not aware of? Do pigs tend to save their potato peels for a rainy day? It’s especially puzzling since ‘pig’ is also synonym for someone who gorges down everything put in front of them. Well, apparently piggy banks came into existence because of major confusion in the English language. Though the article undermines its own theory by showing piggy banks that were made in 15th century Java.

• When were socks invented?
birdsocksIf you take the broad definition of the word, socks go back a loooong time: When we were still into knuckle-dragging and raw meat we didn’t have the luxury of snug soft socks and had to make do with a pair of dead beavers tied around our feet. Also ancient Egyptians wore ‘socks’ though they look like they were taken from the set of Sesame street. (the split toes were for wearing sandals) (no joke, they’re on display at the Victoria and Albert museum).

• Why do we have two nostrils and not just one?
You’d think one big hole would make breathing even easier wouldn’t you? I can imagine why we have two ears and eyes, but two nostrils? Well, actually they do have a purpose: one hole is a fast sniffer to supply your body with oxygen and smell rapid reacting chemicals while the other nostril is more laid back and lets air pass at a much leisurely pace to let slow reacting chemicals have a chance to get noticed. And they take turns!

• Can you keep your limb after it’s been amputated?
Short answer: ‘no’. It’s considered hazardous bio waste. But a man in Holland was able to take his amputated leg home after suing the hospital and turned it into a lamp.

So stop to smell the flowers (with both nostrils) and spark plug your day!


One Response to Kick your slumbering spirit in the shins: Heighten your senses!

  1. I knew that little fact about the nose! I also noticed that, when you are having a cold, you often can only breathe through one nostril. But it’s not always the same nostril. Every 6 hours, the other one opens up, allowing the first one to fill up with goo again.

    Nice blog, Z! Now I need some distraction, so I can stop thinking about you walking around in only your socks.

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