Bathroom Epiphanies


Time on the toilet isn’t just for aimless contemplation over constipation!

Sorry, I just had to use that line. XD

Well, if I can get over my giggles long enough to write this post, I’ll share with you some of the accomplishments I’ve achieved while, uh, occupied with other matters. You wouldn’t believe how some quiet time (relatively speaking) can help you solve problems in other areas of your life!

The Infamous “Layout Fix”

One afternoon, I was having a terrible problem with spacing in one of my web designs; a divided layer in my layout insisted on ending up at the bottom of the layout rather than up with its friends and neighbors closer to the top. As invariably happens when I’m struggling with a problem, my frustration level soared, which sent me to the restroom within minutes. (I swear, as long as I do web design, I will never need Dulcolax, ever. LOL)

As I sat there, reading randomly in a magazine I was keeping in the bathroom for such purposes, it hit me (not literally): had I remembered to set the padding to 0px for that particular divided layer? Being rather new to the concept of CSS padding as I was, I wasn’t used to taking that into consideration. My frustration level began to settle, as did my stomach–I had hope of fixing the issue.

Once I was finished, I headed straight back to the computer and checked, and nope, I hadn’t set the padding. The default padding for divided layers is 2px, and that 2px was JUST enough to throw off my design. I typed in “padding: 0px;”, and watched my layout fix itself, with joy.

Inspired by Necessity: A New Recipe

I was busy in the kitchen in my apartment up near college one evening, trying to figure out something to cook for dinner that wasn’t ramen noodles or a microwave meal again. I didn’t want to chance screwing up my meal by burning something (as I am so wont to do), but I wanted something “comfort-food-y,” something yummy and warm, because it was so darned cold outside that it made my insides cramp just thinking about driving out in it. Not to mention that my poor tummy had been upset most of the day, anyway.

Well, as you might have guessed, I ended up in a position to sit and think for a while. This time, I was without a magazine (horror of horrors!), and so all I could do was think…and I ended up thinking about recipes for comfort food. (Strange place to be thinking about food, I know, but there I was!) Eventually I found myself thinking about what Mom used to fix when I was little and had an upset tummy, and a memory of a wonderful chicken-flavored casserole came to mind. Mind you, I didn’t remember what all was in it, specifically, but I remembered the creamy yumminess of what tasted like cream of chicken soup, mixed with some kind of stuffing crumbs and white meat chicken, all baked and comfortingly warm.

Once I was finished, I called home and asked, “What was that awesome casserole you used to fix when I was home sick from school, Mom?” She fetched the recipe and read it off to me over the phone, and with new motivation I braved the bitter weather long enough to get the ingredients. About an hour later, I was enjoying warm memories and tummy comfort.

The Super Epic Final Exam-Finishing Visit

I was one of the unfortunate students who caught the stomach bug going around the dorm room one fall semester, and wouldn’t you know it, I had a huge final paper in one of my English classes to do and turn in the next day. How much had I done on it? Umm…yeah, let’s just say they don’t call me “The Procrastinator” for nothing.

So, I was sitting in front of my laptop, alternating between typing, backspacing, checking Facebook, and groaning…and then, I realized that just verbally expressing my discomfort was not going to work anymore. Speed was necessary–but so was my final paper, which I was currently very stuck on. Thinking quickly, I grabbed up my laptop and headed toward relief.

Without my ethernet cable connection (this was 2004, so wireless internet in the dorms was still a thing of the future), I was utterly without Internet, but the session still proved to be very, uh, fruitful; I suddenly remembered I had some additional points to make in my final paper, which I had forgotten in the throes of the last cramp. It almost seemed as if my current situation helped unbind my brain, and I found myself with a lot more to type about the pieces of literature I was studying. I took all the time I needed (both meanings intended), and ended up finishing the final paper entirely. More astonishing than writing it in the bathroom was the fact that I was actually DONE with a final paper more than an hour before it was due!

The Moral of the Story

Time spent thinking is never wasted, no matter where it happens! ROFL!

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