Friday, December 28, 2018

Confessions of a Bath-a-holic

"The Bath-a-holic"
My name is Jana. There is nothing I care about more than water security and... I am a bath-a-holic. Yeah, it's a thing. This is the 20th anniversary of my short film, "The Bath-a-holic," inspired by my mom. When I was little, my mom would disappear into the bathroom with a magazine - no doubt to escape her noisy horde of kids. Now that I think of it, I should have known. She brought a magazine into the bathroom, but no matches. So that's why we never had any hot water. That's why dad always bellowed about wasting water. Who knew dad was a water conservationist!

This isn't easy for me to admit. If you follow my blog, you know that Dan and I put a lot of effort (and muscle) into conserving water in the desert. Dan dug catchment basins to catch greywater from our washing machine. We use rainwater from the roof on desert-adapted heritage fig and pomegranate trees. We even carry our dishwater out to water the compost pit and our hummingbird trumpets. We turn the water off while we brush our teeth or while we soap up in the shower. You might say we're a little compulsive about the whole water thing.

But, if I'm gonna be completely honest...sometimes I don't feel like carrying a tub of water outside. I make convenient excuses like it's already raining out there. And I have to confess...I don't always turn the water off while I scrub my hair. Sometimes, just sometimes, I like to lean back and enjoy the steamy hot water massaging my worried little head. I perfect my vocal stylings as I turn the water up hotter and hotter and HOTTER. Sometimes I just have to wash away all of my cares about our 19 year drought or how Tucson's water is pushed 326 miles uphill using a dirty coal generator to power the pumps. Shoot! That just killed my buzz. I'm out of hot water anyway. Oh, well. Next time I'll do better. I'll let Dan take his shower first so the water won't go down the drain while it warms up. (My baby is so stoic and strong!) I'll turn off the water while I shave my legs. Or better yet I'll stop shaving my legs. I'll let the water mellow until Dan uses the toilet in the morning. I'll let him put a composting toilet in our cactus garden! Anything! As long as I can sing "The Way We Were" at the top of my lungs until the hot water runs out - at least once in a while.

I guess I should clarify why I wrote this blog. I don't have some deep-seeded need to confess - I'm doing the best I can right now. Changing habits is hard - as I expressed in an earlier tongue-in-cheek blog, "Spilt Tomatoes."  In this capitalist country we have been taught to consume, consume, consume. Our current economy relies on it. The only acceptable reason for most people to slow down is because it is cost prohibitive. We take our water for granted because we don't pay the real cost of it. We complain when our water bill goes up to cover those costs.  Many Arizonans have no idea where our water comes from. We're only beginning to understand the impact of our 19 year drought.

Now that we are aware, we can do something. Being conscious of our water use is the first step in conserving it. Turning the water off while we brush our teeth or we scrub our hands is a good place to start. Once that becomes a habit, it becomes easier to see other ways to conserve water. Planting native trees that don't require a lot of water is pretty painless... Dan and I really enjoy transforming our yard into a desert rainwater oasis. It is a process. A process of unlearning unsustainable consumer thinking and starting new habits. So I guess the point of this blog is that even though I'm not perfect, I can do something to make a difference. It's not easy. But it's a start.

It's time to start.


Picture on top of page: The talented Caroline Reed in The Bath-a-holic.

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