My personal handwashing is up year over year by at least 300%. It may be higher or lower but, emotionally, 300% feels about right.

It also feels correct to estimate that in addition to handwashing, a majority of personal habits have fluctuated wildly when compared to the Before Times.

Sleep? Easily 20% up on average.

Time spent worrying about work? Down 100% most days, but occasionally spikes up.

Makeup usage? Down 95% on average, but with an occasional lip moment.

Face mask usage (the skincare kind)? Up 50%.

Face mask usage (the humanity-care kind)? Up >100%.

Frivolous spending? On its own emotional rollercoaster. When I took my severance check on sheer panic shopping spree (a $250 vape, a $50 bidet), it was way up. But then, as rollercoasters do, it came back down and I cancelled my Amazon Prime subscription.

So, when my typical stockpile of fancy soaps and lotions and potions and things from the Before Times began running low, I had a long and very compelling pep talk with myself.

We talked about reigning it in and simplifying, spending the time to find the good shit but also a bargain, and (ideally…) finding products that were as natural, simple, and long lasting as possible. But, I am me and naturally still demand luuxxxurrrryy. Take my financial security, but not my facial oils!

It’s only in the last few years that I enjoy spending time to research purchases, having somewhat seen the error of my impulse shopping ways. This new skillset has really come in handy in 2020. By spending time to think about the problem a new thing will solve, the outcome is that I generally have fewer, higher quality things that I genuinely enjoy and actually use to make everyday activities fun. A life-long lover of the frivolous, I am a newer lover of the beautiful and practical. An example? I couldn’t have predicted that in 2020 I’d be stoked about a German duster, broom, and dustpan but here we are.

And now I’m also that person who won’t shut up about soap.

I use this fancy French soap…

This particular olive oil based soap from Marseille keeps my hands and nails feeling satisfyingly supple and moisturized. A vigorous rubbing (i.e. a 20-second hand rub where I imagine literally anyone else is doing the rubbing) actually leaves them feeling extra loved. This magical Marseillais soap is also a wonder for hand-washing laundry (i.e. face masks) and, I think probably due to the olive oil content, a true champ at getting out oil-based stains (i.e. chicken finger grease). One $10 cube cut it into two smaller blocks (one for the kitchen sink, one for the bath) has lasted nearly six months and my supply is still going strong and I’m never going back to the shit I used before.

…and now this lady is me.

I mean, I guess *none* of us are going back to the shit that was before. So, yes, let’s just say good riddance, wash our hands of it, and try something new and better.

Main image: Bomb ass nail artistry always by @nail_stoned at Nail Art Revival