As I mentioned a couple of times on the show, specifically in Episode 30, Buying Time, and Where Do I Start? and I think I mentioned it more recently in Episode 35, Living in 50 Square Feet…Vacation Simplified (but I’m not 100% sure), I’ve started looking at the necessary evil of shaving as a ritual rather than merely a task.
I have to admit that shaving was a “must do” chore for most of my first 27 years of adulthood. It kind of came with the territory of being in the military. Every day I had to scrape that blade across my skin and shave off (or worst yet, tug out) the facial hair. Not something I looked forward to!
Since I retired, I’ve taken on the well-trimmed mustache & goatee look as you can see in my profile photos online or in our About Us video. So, gone are my days of hacking off all my facial hair as fast as I can just to get to work on time. Now I actually take my time when I do shave and typically only shave every few days.
So what does shaving have to do with simplicity? Well, for me it’s more about the “ritual” of it than the actual act. So here are a few of ways this ritual has helped me simplify (at least this aspect of) my life:
- I’m more focused on living in the moment than I am about completing a required step for a later moment in my life. When shaving was a “must do”, or task, it was just a step I had to go through to present a proper appearance at work. Now it’s on my terms. And I’m enjoying it more for that simple fact alone.
- I’ve always hated the Razor Blade sales model. You know, give’em a cheap buy-in (low cost metal handle and a sample blade) and then nail ’em with the follow-on purchases (expensive blades). The printer/ink model is like this too. I can’t stand feeling like a sucker so I try to opt out of those models whenever possible. So, my option to return fire is by switching to a good old fashioned safety razor. I’ll admit, I “upgraded a bit” when purchasing the handle but the blades are still very inexpensive. My handle of choice was the Edwin Jaggar Double Edged Safety Razor (Lined). I LOVE it! Balanced, exquisitely chromed, and smooth! You certainly don’t need an expensive handle, but it sure feels nice to hold. I know…I do like “nice stuff.” Guilty as charged…
- Candidly, as a kid I watched my grandfather shave with a mug, soap, and brush. I still have his mug in our hallway bathroom (which I remodeled to look like his did…1920/30’s style). Later, as a kid, I loved to watch my Dad shave. All that shaving cream looked like whipped cream to me. “How cool would that be?”, I thought. Turns out, not so cool. To me, shaving creams are messy and expensive. I preferred gels (apparently, my skin isn’t as rough and tough as a real man’s). Gels are even more expensive. So when I bought my safety razor I also ordered some shaving oil because I read/heard raving reviews for it. I opted for Pacific Natural Shaving Oil. Wow! This stuff rocks! I use about 10 drops every time I shave so it’ll last me over a year, I’m sure. And it makes for the smoothest, easiest, knick-free shave I ever had.
Do I want you to run out and buy safety razors and shaving oil to simplify your life? Heck no! But what I would encourage you to do is look for something that’s a “must do” in your life…something mundane, or better yet, something that feels like a chore. Once you’ve found it, see if there’s a way to make it better or even enjoyable. Start a new ritual. In the end, I think you’ll find you’ve made your life a little simpler.