Just as most everyone I know, I am looking forward to warmer weather.
I love going barefoot. I cannot wait to ditch my slippers, which have little holes worn into them. I am ready to say goodbye to the layers I wear each day to stay at a normal body temperature. I am chomping at the bit to open the windows, to hear the sounds outside and to feel warm breezes. I am waiting for the day to sit out on the patio and read, and to watch the squirrels chase through the yard and trees, making the birds nervous wrecks. And I am anticipating the long lazy evenings when the sun sticks around longer, and my kids stay up way too late.
All these things to watch and wait for as I still try to enjoy each day for what it is, because I do not like to wish away time. It goes too fast already. Since President Eyring's General Conference address in October 2007, "Remember, Remember"(and making a gratitude journal in Young Womens with Stacey Dalebout), I have tried to look for something I am grateful for each day. At times it is a challenge. For instance, what can I be grateful for on a day spent at work with a migraine? I search through my memory. And there it is - what I am thankful for that day - My family using quiet voices when I get home, a cozy bed with the best pillow on the planet, and pain reliever. Life is good.
And so in looking forward, I must soon say goodbye to one of my ultimate pleasures until next winter. I cannot think of a single solo luxury that I love more than this blissful practice. (My favorite duo luxury is having my feet rubbed with Cetaphil by Hero. Oh bliss!) I am so grateful for this one special indulgence, that I write about it in my gratitude journal each time, and there are several entries devoted to this. And what could this great joy be?
A hot bath.
There may be bubbles, bath salts or oil, or not. I might be listening to music, or the kids playing on the other side of the bathroom door, or nothing at all. Candles are nice, but not required. I usually have a book to read (magazines are too hard to hold), but I routinely ditch it before I drop it in the water. And I have even watched a movie on the laptop while soaking (placed far away on the counter). These things are just accessories to the best part - The hot water.
There is nothing like stepping into the tub and the warmth of the water embracing my feet. I love easing in all the way, up to my chin. I can feel my face get flush, and I can see the steam rise off the water. My skin changes from purple and cold with goosebumps to pink and smooth. I just lay still and enjoy the warmness of the water. It is delicious!
Often I will make the attempt to read while I soak, but time after time this ends in misfortune. I get so relaxed in the tub, that holding the book above the water level proves to be too much effort. I of course try to deny the fact that I am drifting off to sleep, and make many attempts to keep my hands steady and focus on the words. But it is usually futile, and I throw the book overboard so that I can truly doze.
The end of the bath is bittersweet. When the water temperature dips too low and my toes have turned into prunes, I know it is time to get out. (I will need to slather on extra lotion for a week to make up for this luxury.) I do not want to leave this paradise. But when I do finally emerge, I know that there are other things to enjoy. I am so warm that I can skip my slippers and several layers. I cannot open the windows or sit outside yet, but I can snuggle on the couch long into the evening with all of those who have missed me while I was in my private retreat. The time that I had to soak in the tub has renewed in me an appreciation for the things I have each day. And along with those hot bath entries in my gratitude journal are the great family entries.
So before I say goodbye to Winter, I hope to get one more soaking in before Spring finally arrives. (For some reason, soaking in a cool bath in the middle of summer does not give the same satisfaction.) And while I am so ready for warm days, I am not going to let the opportunity for a warm bath slip by while I am waiting.
Each day there is something to be grateful for.