This is going to be a strange missive. Or should I say a stinky one? It will either make you laugh, or ponder your own personal habits.
I have noticed over the years that many things seem to change with age. Most are just natural occurrences that happen so gradually, we barely notice anything different. Unfortunately, there may be some things that others might notice, even if we don’t. Yes, I am talking about body odor.
When I was a young mother of three little girls, I had a strict daily routine for them that included a daily shower or bath every night. No matter what was going on, a perfectly bathed child would be put to bed at night. No exceptions. I chose this nightly ritual because I believed a child slept better having washed off their day and climbed into their bed sparkling clean. It was the routine my mother had started with me and I still had for myself. I remember looking forward, all afternoon, to the time of evening that I would have my children tucked into their beds and smelling of No Tear baby shampoo. It would then be my turn to unwind from the day and soak in a relaxing tub. It was something that I really looked forward to!
I will be the first to tell you that now, at my age, I no longer look forward to bath time. Gone is the desire to step into a tub and get wet. The thought of getting wet all over is almost appalling to me at times. And sometimes, I will put this now dreaded chore off for as long as I possibly can. I am telling you all this personal information as I try to understand what is happening to me. I am not being “lazy”. And the chronic pain I deal with daily is not an excuse every time either.
So what is it then? I have come to the conclusion that it is simply another stage of aging. Having watched my parents be “Seniors” for many years, I noticed both of them having the same feelings about bath time. My dad seemed to not really care if he had one or not. He usually did only to appease my mom. My mother would only take a shower when it was absolutely necessary. She had arthritis in every joint in her body, and I always knew it was a painful ordeal for her, not to mention a dangerous one.
Having been a home health care worker, I also witnessed other seniors who had no interest at all in bath time. It seems the older a person gets, the less of an interest they have in all types of personal hygiene, not just bathing.
Now I do not want to offend anyone reading this! That is the last thing I would ever want to do. But this subject has been on my mind for some time and I just wanted to express how it makes me feel. It has become a definite problem with me personally. I have witnessed it being a problem with many others my own age as well. It appears it is just a natural part of aging, but it saddens me. I know when I do take the time to bathe, and am feeling squeaky clean, and moisturized from my head to my toes, I feel like a new person. Then why on earth do I not want to feel that way daily? I certainly don’t want to smell bad. I don’t believe anyone does really. Yet there does seem to be a real problem among many older individuals.
Maybe it’s just my peaked interest in seniors that has me pondering this subject for so long. My parents didn’t have me until they were in their 40s. They were always “older” than the norm and I have always had an interest in geriatrics. I’m sure that’s why I took my job as a home health worker so seriously. I was truly interested in my clients and found myself studying them. But even those experiences haven’t helped me with my own plight of dreading a bath!
I guess the answer is to just keep on living life like I always have, and that is to take one day at a time and do the very best that I can. Hopefully I will smell good doing so, but in the event that I don’t, I apologize now.
Here’s to a squeaky clean day!
Dale Divine says:
Very good JoAnn. I like my daily shower. I stay under the hot water a little extra longer for my bones aching with arthritis.