Getting Rid of the Gunk in My Life

I recently dealt with a skin issue—some dry and peeling skin on my face—and was advised to keep it covered with Aquaphor.

For the clueless, Aquaphor is a healing ointment used to treat/prevent dry rough skin and minor irritations such as diaper rash or skin burns. I dutifully kept the Aquaphor on my face and it lived up to its reputation.

But there was a downside—trying to wash this ointment off my hands was a challenge and thus, my house soon had signs of Aquaphor grease everywhere—on my keyboard, my iPhone, my iPad, doorknobs, and worst of all—in my hair.

Once in my hair—it would glide down each strand to the end and settle there. After several days, my hair felt like it weighed 25 pounds. I had decided to not wash it until I was done with the treatment and thus, I spent the days wearing a head-band with my hair pulled up in a pony tail.

Not a good look—at least not a picture I would use for eHarmony!

The day finally came where I was done with my Aquaphor facials. I excitedly hopped into the shower to wash my hair. And then I ran into a problem—no matter which shampoo I tried—nothing happened. The Aquaphor stayed attached to my hair—slick and greasy—it just laughed at the shampoo.

Not be outwitted, I did what any other techy-woman would do—I googled “how to get Aquaphor out of your hair”. It turns out there are parents all across America with toddlers who have dipped their chubby little hands into Aquaphor and then used it to style their hair.

The tried and true solution—wash the hair with Dawn dish detergent. That made sense as Dawn dish detergent was used to get oil off the birds in the Exon-Valdez oil leak. Unfortunately, I did not have Dawn at home…I had a less expensive liquid degreaser which I used.

No luck—it removed some of the grease but not very much. So much for the bargain brand.

I headed out to the local Publix and bought an extra-large bottle of Blue Dawn. (Per internet advice: Blue Dawn is the best.)

OH MY GOSH—what a difference. Blue Dawn was thick and creamy in my hands and the lather it created was huge—I could have created snow cities in my hair with all the bubbles and foam. It took 4 washings but sure enough…the grease vanished.

It felt so wonderful to be have all that gunk out of my hair. It felt lighter and whereas the various strands of gray were still there—my hair was squeaky clean.

I have thought about my Aquaphor-Dawn adventure these last few weeks—because I have been on a mission of sorts. I have been trying to remove the gunk in my life.

I am sure you have gunk in your life—things you are doing that weigh you down—that do not add any benefit or value to your life—some may be old habits—or perhaps you have some relationships that need to end—whatever it may be—you have gunk in your life that is sticky and it won’t let go of you.

And you need to wash it out of your life.

For me, September is the perfect month to start this washing process. September marks a new beginning—the end of summer and the coming of fall. After a hot summer, I feel more alive in the Fall—the cool air—the changing of the color of the leaves—taking long walks in the park.

Fall changes my view of the world I live in—leaves drop and tree limbs that were hidden become visible—you see the sunlight streaming through the branches as it lights up the earth.

Fall is my favorite time of year. It is my new beginning time. I want to embrace it.

And I want to remove gunk in my life so I can truly enjoy this season. But how?

And how do you define gunk?

For me, some of the “gunk” in my life involves physical possessions. I own a house that is, quite frankly, bigger than I need but for now I am staying here. “Bigger than I need” makes it easier to have more things – more clothes—more knick-knacks—more “I might need this one day” items. So, I spent one week in August going room to room—closet to closet—drawer to drawer—and looking with great intention at my clutter—my gunk.

Once done, I took a car-load to Goodwill—one man’s gunk is another man’s treasure!

Actually, the truth is I was raised by parents who stressed if you are not using something—if you are no longer wearing that blouse—using that kitchen item—then you need to take it to Goodwill as there is someone who could use it. It has been psychologically and emotionally freeing to have less “stuff” in my home.

The other gunk in my life is more challenging to assess—and that involves the clutter/choices I make regarding how I spend my time during the week. The cleanser I need to use is one of being intentional with my time.

I realize I have a large list of things I like to do and people I enjoy being with. I can fill my calendar up very quickly and if not careful, can spend my days running in circles…. simply being busy… running from one event to another…creating shallow surface moments but none of true depth.

I need to focus on choosing moments of time that really count—where I am building a relationship—with family; with friends; with God; and with myself—and to identify and remove the needless chatter and noise that today’s world wants to fill our minds and souls with.

And there is also one other concern… the midst of building relationships with family and friends….. that I no longer have the quiet time I need to listen for God’s inner voice.

So, here we are—on the cusp of Fall and a new beginning season and what I want to ask you is this…..

What is the gunk in your life?

And what are you willing to do about it?


2018-08-28 Gunk (Medium)





6 thoughts on “Getting Rid of the Gunk in My Life

  1. Retirement, and I am finally cleaning out!!! My daughter-in-law gave me a book
    Spark Joy by Marie Kondo (the Martha Stewart of Japan)
    What I learned from this book is to keep the things you really need or that bring you joy.
    If it once brought you joy, be grateful and pass it on. Priceless advice, as are your
    insights and life lessons.

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