Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Long-Awaited Luxury

Last night I did something I've hadn't done in over a year....I took a bath! No, no, don't misunderstand. I take showers daily (in fact, often twice a day during the summer), but because of the issue with my back last year I wasn't able to indulge in one of my favorite vices, a long, hot, relaxing bath.

For years I would fill the tub with steamy water and luxurious bath oils, soaking away the stress of the day. I finally had to ban myself from reading anything but inexpensive paperback books in my bath because I would occasionally fall asleep, allowing whatever I was reading to fall into the water.

But during the time I was dealing with my back problem and suffering terrible leg pain, I was unable to sit down in the tub. In fact, one evening I was in so much pain I decided that maybe a good soaking would give me some relief. I actually thought I was going to have to call someone to get help getting out of the tub!

So I resorted to quick hot showers....not as relaxing, but at least I could be clean without fear of being trapped in the tub by my bum leg! After surgery last November I was sent home with a shower chair, which became my new best friend. I could sit in the chair and enjoy a much longer shower without exhausting myself.

This has been a stressful week, and last night I decided that a long soak in a steamy tub just might be the thing to relax my tense muscles. I kept a portable phone within reach (just in case this turned out to be a really bad idea), washed my hair under the shower, and wrapped a towel around my head. I then filled the tub with hot water and moisturizing bath beads and spread a layer of cleansing oil on my face and neck (more about that later). I slipped into the tub, leaned back, and relaxed. I don't have words to describe how exquisite it felt to soak in that warm, lightly fragranced water!

The pain I feared might occur never came; I could feel the stress melting from my tense muscles. I soaked until the water cooled, steamed the cleansing oil from my face with a hot facecloth, then stepped from the tub and patted my refreshed skin dry with a fresh towel.

Though it was pretty early in the evening, I slipped into comfy pajamas and treated myself to some knitting time in the recliner before bedtime. What a wonderful spa-like retreat! So this morning I woke early, relaxed and refreshed. It's so great to be able to enjoy a long, hot soak in a tub again!

Now, about this cleansing oil I had on my face during my soak. I've thought for a long time that one of the terrible things about growing older is that women who are dealing with wrinkles should never have to deal with occasional skin break-outs. It's just NOT FAIR. Anyway, a week or so ago I had a blemish appear right on the end of my nose. *sheesh* I decided to do an internet search to see if there were any new home remedies I hadn't heard about.

My search revealed a website about the oil cleansing method, which I hadn't heard about. You can read about it by clicking here. The mixture used includes castor oil, which I didn't have on hand. Yesterday I had the opportunity to stop at Walgreens to pick up a few items, and I bought some castor oil while I was there. I mixed it as suggested on the website with extra virgin olive oil (I used that instead of sunflower seed oil, because I happened to have plenty of it on hand). I was amazed at how soothing it felt having the oil on my face, then steaming it away with a hot facecloth. Even more amazing was how wonderful my skin feels this morning. It feels clean and moisturized without the heavy feel of an overnight moisturizing cream. We'll see how this progresses; I'll keep you posted.

And so, it's early Saturday morning and I need to chase dust bunnies and do laundry today. First, however, I'm going to make myself a pot of coffee (the blend with chickory, I think) and snuggle up in the recliner to knit for an hour or so. What a terrific way to start a weekend!

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