I love shitting. I really do. It does so much for me: it gives me physical relief from discomfort in my gut; it gives me a moment to myself, free from the pressure of a busy lifestyle; and it gives me an opportunity to be mindful and to reflect on my day.
In a first-year sociology class, we had a series of lectures on the sociology of bathrooms and using them. Basically our attitudes towards bathrooms is caused by society and a need to keep our bodily functions private. It’s a serious problem for those with disabilities and those working certain jobs, like taxi drivers, and they can’t talk about it for the shame of it. Talking about the “dirty” aspects of our bodies is a taboo, and one that in my opinion needs to be done away with.
Sure, it may be unhygienic to cake yourself in shit and piss and menses and then walk around all day stinking like a Portaloo, but simply using the bathroom and washing your hands isn’t. Everyone needs to shit, it’s what we do. You could make the case that humans are just complicated machines that suck the nutrients out of food and turns it into neat brown logs, like WALL-E for turds.
I always brag to friends if I’ve taken an especially satisfying dump. Admittedly, a medic friend suggested that I may have a touch of irritable bowel syndrome, so maybe a good unloading does more for my mood than it would for others. I once went to the out-of-hours doctor because I was convinced I had appendicitis, but it turned out I was severely constipated. I was prescribed brown bread and a load of apples and I was grand a day later.
Regardless of the amount of private satisfaction you gain from the process of shitting, I still believe it’s the finest place for a spot of meditation. Mindfulness is about being aware of your body and the space around you, and it’s easy to be aware of your body when you’re pushing a dookie out of it. Next time you’re making a stool, try closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths and then see if you’re a little more calm after you come out then you were going in. Your mind needs some downtime, expel your stress as well as your brown stuff.
Our modern lives mean there’s always something we ought to be doing. If it’s not working then it’s socialising, and if it’s not that then there’s an infinite amount of television and books and recreation to be done. Everyone feels like if they’re not carrying on with all of this stuff then the world will pass them by. Enjoy those precious moments when no one, not even yourself, can blame you for taking a break. Take a nice, long, relaxing shit, and enjoy yourself, you filthy bastard.
[Jimmy Donaghy – @JimmyDonagee]