In the morning, I met with a small group of ladies who serve as mentors for my volunteers. We talked about hair shirts. No, I don't mean the sweaters that some well-follicly endowed men wear out at the beach.
If only I could run my fingers through that...
A hair shirt "is a coarse garment which intended to be worn next to the skin, thus keeping the wearer in a state of discomfort and constant awareness of the shirt's presence."
Why would I put on a hair shirt? Especially since I'm [thankfully] Asian and have very sparse body hair.
Well, a hair shirt was basically a method developed to create discomfort as an act of penance. It was a constant reminder to not become too comfortable and to stay focused. In Medieval times, and I'm sure the same goes for today, wearing a hair shirt wasn't an accepted social norm, and therefore, is significant in also being counter-cultural at the time.
I mean, think about our lives today. We seek what is most comfortable. How else do you explain the phenomenon of Crocs? They are by no means fashionable but everyone and their grandmother claims they are so comfortable and worth wearing in public.
Even 90120 isn't too cool for Crocs.
But also consider our movie theater seats, the snuggie, what we consider to be our comfort foods... we are creatures of comfort. Wearing a hair shirt just doesn't sound appealing to your average person, just like the idea of this Wellness Cleanse.
The funny thing is I don't feel like this cleanse is my hair shirt. Blogging is.
As much as I'd like to tell you that I'm naturally insightful with tidbits of funny anecdotes and am passionate about writing, I would be lying. Don't get me wrong. Keeping up with this blog isn't the bane of my existence. There are other things that are on the top of that list, like people who drive Hummers while talking on their cell phone.
But maintaining a blog that is cohesive and a healthy mixture of light-hearted humor and substance does require me to use parts of my brain and photo library that have been a little dusty. As you can tell from the time stamps on most of my posts, blogging is also a late night activity for me. It's replaced many hours of sleep and reality TV.
You should feel honored that I chose to blog throughout the week rather than watch the Bachelor finale. I'd choose you over Vienna any day.
Despite some changes to my schedule and habits, in the words of Mark Darcy, "But the thing is, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are."
I'd like to be his hair shirt.
This blogging experience has helped me to gain much more from this cleanse than I otherwise would have. The reflection of the process and having to put into words and stories the effects of the cleanse on my body, my life and on others creates an experience greater than simply restricting myself of my comfort items. It has motivated me to stay focused and see the greater purpose, especially during those times I just want to eat a brownie or breakfast burrito or ice cream or queso or pizza or shrimp po-boy or bagel or mayonnaise...
So thanks blog, blog readers, the Internet and Al Gore for being my hair shirt.
My dog won't "follow" my blog but can totally relate on the hair shirt thing.