Day 97 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

‘Public’ Health Reform

I have a healthy fear of public restrooms. Well, maybe fear is a bit of an exaggeration; but I definitely do not like multiple-stalled, hope-the-hook-for-your-purse is still in tact, and lines out the door annoyance of bathrooms. But, being forced to walk through the large ‘W’ door at a public location made me think about health. Yes, this place of known uncleanliness actually caused thoughts of health to swirl around my head, proving that Unexpected Health can truly be found in the most peculiar places…even public restrooms.

Now, let me better explain my health claims of public facilities. I am in no way suggesting you allow your 1-year-old crawl around the floors of a public restroom. There are all sorts of unhealthful substances lurking in the cracks of a restroom tile floor. Nor are my health claims related to the motion-detected soap dispensers, faucets, and paper towel dispensers (although they too are a healthy bonus to any restroom). What I discovered to be Unexpectedly Healthy about a public bathroom is not the fancy equipment but the helpful–the healthFUL–insights scribbled on the bathroom stall doors…and being inspired in ANY location is healthy.

I am always fascinated by the things people write on bathroom stalls. Sometimes their words are full of hate, of hurt, or bizarre pictures of cartoon-like characters. But other times, the words you find Sharpied on the back of  a door cause an immediate self-reflective wonderment and curiosity. “We often miss what we need to see” were the words of wisdom on my bathroom door. Like I said, self-reflection, no matter where you are, is always a healthFUL practice.

What makes people feel so inspired (or so vandalism-prone) to write something in a place for the whole world to see (or at least the women coming and going at the Oakland International Airport)? What made that woman write THAT statement? Was it meant for herself? Did she intend someone specific to read it? Maybe she posted it as a reminder for all to read while making a ‘pit stop’ before taking off to another place or landing back at home? Whatever the reason, I (aside from the illegal part of her word location) appreciated the reflective statement. I couldn’t help but smile and wonder how I can better ‘see’ those things, those people, those experiences that I so easily overlook in my life. So the next time you find yourself in a public restroom, look for the healthFUL insights. Yes, they may be mounted in the anti-bacterial product dispensers…but they could also be scribbled on the very same door sharing stall space with you. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

If you squint your eyes only then can you see, that below is a place for comments to leave.

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