My Relationship with Dove Soap!

There are many differing views these days on this matter of Self Care. What does it mean to each of us and why do it, because…haven’t we been taught to not be self centered. To not be over indulgent. To not be self*ish*, as it were. Indeed. But, as most of us have learned as time worn adults, this is not what Self Care is all about.

Recently, I happened on a post here chiding the typical opinion of Self Care. A tad on the scathing side, it began, “people think self care is about bubble baths and chocolate and other stupid shit like that, and it’s not…” Okay. Now, admittedly, I didn’t like the cheap unbending tone invalidating these particular things as credible soothers, so I backed out. But it got me to thinking about just how subjective Self Care really is. How individual these needs are. And just how unique they are to all of us. Like a fingerprint of sorts.

Maybe, at the heart of it, I backed out of that post because, to me, simplicities like baths and comfort foods are at the very root of how I have learned best caring for myself. But being just a root doesn’t make them any less valid. We resort to comforts whenever we’re able and, barring those less available to us, these ‘typical’ self soothers are crucial. Even though they are an easy go-to, our reasons for needing them are just as unique as we are. That alone may be why they so easily soothe us at times.

I look forward to things as comfort. I look forward to time alone to clean, I look forward to a movie download in bed, a long car ride to think, new notebooks, ‘campouts’ with my daughter, baking with her, vacation, running and all the talking you could imagine. All things that involve time. Having uninterrupted time with no obligations. Time I rarely ever get. In my life structure this is what’s most valuable to me. And it’s what gives me the mental break I need. Time is my true soother. That is where my joys are, in that time. But these things and that time aren’t always available. This is when I find myself reverting to other comforts…And going to the mall.

I’ve often spoken here about my love for Lush bath goodies and…my candles. And recently, thanks to my daughter’s teacher, I’ve discovered the essential oil diffuser. Which I don’t use to ‘get well’ exactly, but if I can make my house smell like a peppermint factory or a eucalyptus patch, or however the hell eucalyptus grows, I will do that! There is nothing so comforting or soothing to me as a warm welcoming feeling in my home when it’s clean, lit to best boost my mood and smellin’ like the woods, cinnamon or, my favorite, peppercorn 😍 I am an allergist’s nightmare. To enjoy uninterrupted time in my home with the right conditions. That is my ultimate joy and my own version of Self Care. It all goes to my senses.

It may be the lack of one of my senses that heightens others, but for most of my life I’ve been scent sensitive. I will remember words, place, people, weather, time of day, mood, details of events, and in some cases even what I was wearing on a given day based on scent alone. It becomes attached to me because I’ve learned to tune into it. To rely on it. And the quickest comforts that I can always find are scent related. Which brings me to where I’ve been going with this. I’ll make it quick.

When I was little, my hard edged, tough as nails grandmother did things the same every. Single. Day. Like a machine. If you stepped out of bed she opened the shades and made up the bed. You were done sleeping now. You stayed outside all day and ate the same food at the same times as the day before. Energy and water were conserved. Lights and televisions got shut off if you weren’t in the room. And she would wait outside the door for the five minute shower we were allowed so we all didn’t waste water. But, in that same vein, she also did something else for me. At the end of every day she filled the sink. Once for all of us. And with a bar of white Dove soap, she’d stand behind me and wash my hands in the sink. This woman who hated all animals equally, drank like a fish in her younger years, and had paddled her sons when they were growing up provided such an act of tenderness for me to end my day. It was personal time and care I could count on like everything else in her house. No matter how busy she was. Then she’d set the soap aside and towel dry my hands for me. And I’d head to bed smelling like Dove.

Still, with all the choices I provide myself these days and everything available to me, when I most want comfort and to care for myself, I go back to that Dove White. It’s uncomplicated. It’s always around. And it always helps. Sometimes Self Care actually is as simple as baths, and a reliable schedule. Finding that time I’m always after. And there’s always time for memories and comfort smells.

Have a great weekend, Friends!

Sam

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20 thoughts on “My Relationship with Dove Soap!

  1. This is a lovely memory about your grandmother. 😊

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    1. Thank you! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— I was so scared of her (at least of disobeying her, lol) yet there was such a heart of a caretaker in her for all she had been through. She never batted an eye about anything.

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  2. It is ALWAYS about the little things. To me, that’s where all the best comforts reside.

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    1. I find myself looking forward to the littlest of things, or little pieces of time. Settling in on a Sunday night before Snowpocalypse 2019 and no school tomorrow counts ☺

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  3. Plus your smell memories are so sweetly remembered and shared. I love your candle pantry. Popcorn must smell wonderful! πŸ™‚ Enjoyed this post. Happy weekend to you too.

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    1. Thank you so much! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— Now that I think of it popcorn would be great, too πŸ˜ƒ This is peppercorn so it’s spicy/peppery, lol. I burned the last of it down today and they don’t sell it anymore. That picture was right before my daughter forbade me from buying more candles on some subsequent pity party day πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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      1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Oh my gosh I thought it said popcorn. LOL I totally love food smelling candles. My newest candle is Black Cherry Merlot from BBW. My house smells like fine wine LOL my daughter says I go overboard which is very true. I even got the wallflowers this time. LOL πŸ˜€

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        1. Popcorn would be great but only if it was like movie popcorn and not “Burnt Office Microwave Popcorn” scent. 😝 I’m laughing because on our last spree at BBW I let my 7 year old pick a few little candles for her bathtime and she totally picked that cherry merlot one! πŸ˜‚ I said now you can have a tub and smell like WIIINE!!! I’ve been keeping Almond Wallflowers going since fall. They go nice with everything.

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  4. Self care is about reducing stress and making your body/mind/soul feel better. On what planet is a bubble bath not self care? And chocolate? It releases endorphins, fer cryin out loud.

    And just so ya know, eucalyptus is a tree. We’ve got lots of them here in So Cal. The were brought over from down under. Now you’ve got another useless Jeopardy factπŸ˜œπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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    1. I knoow, I’m thinking why don’t you leave it to everyone else to decide what’s bullshit when it comes to their own care. Sheesh.

      I’m cracking up because I knew it was a tree but, like a gaggle of geese, it seems like a ‘patch’ of eucalyptus trees should have a proper name for itself! You could say, “did you see the schmegeggy of eucalyptus trees?” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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      1. Yep! Schmegeggy is definitely gonna get some use πŸ‘πŸ˜‚

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  5. I am in love with my oil diffusers. In the bedroom, it’s a nightly ritual. Lavender usually. Eucalyptus smells wonderful, fresh. AND it is the, best. for getting rid of that sticky glue residue. And in the rinse cycle of the washing….. I live in the Land Down Under so we are surrounded by eucalyptus trees 😊

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    1. I love it so much. My mom always had her dried eucalyptus twiggy things in the house when I was growing up so that in itself is so comforting. All the eucalyptus!! 🐨🐨🐨

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  6. Small thing usually makes big difference. I think we need to talk more about chocolate baths for example. Why isn’t that a thing?

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    1. That would be like turning the tub into a giant chocolate fondue pot! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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      1. Not a bad idea…at all! Bath and dinner in one.

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  7. This warmed my heart. I completely understand about smells and how they trigger emotion. I’ve been there – the good, the bad, the ill-inducing.

    Dove soap will always smell β€œclean” regardless of everything else. I’m glad you have those memories and consistencies to remember.

    As an aside, I read someone that self-care is also calling yourself out when needed. I love sleep, but that can negatively affect productivity; sometimes its self-care, sometimes it’s self-destruction. Then I find the comfort of milk duds. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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    1. Oh! Always Milk Duds even if my one crown disagrees! And it’s so true that checking yourself is included in this. It’s like keeping personal inventory of yourself and what’s working and what is not, even in the short run!

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