I pooped in a bucket today.

Seriously. Pooped. In a bucket. At my house.

Obviously if you’re poop-a-phobic or possibly eating dinner, or if you don’t want to know about one of nature’s most natural subjects – please stop reading now. However there’s a moral to this story – kind of. Anyway, if poop doesn’t bother you, continue on. (No photo to this story for obvious reasons.)

So we’re remodeling our bathroom, and we’re blessed with only one glorious bathroom in our house. It’s been a much bigger project than we anticipated, with water pipes having to be replaced in all directions, and it meant we went without water in our house for 11 days.

We have gotten it back on by now, but we still have no toliet. A shower, but no toliet.

But how did we manage?, you ask yourself. Where do they shower? Where do they poop?

Shower: gym. Poop: Quik Trip.

Yep, that’s right. Every time we have to go to the bathroom, Quik Trip gets a little more business – and of course, we have to buy something after we do our business there. I wonder how much money we would have saved if we had a spare toliet during this time period… All of those miscellaneous bottles of water and packages of gum.

Anyway, so we have running water again, but now it’s day 13 from when we initially started this project – and still no toliet. The tile must be put down first. And this morning, I had enough. I had to poop and I didn’t want to do my business in that gas station any more. I wanted to poop in the privacy of my own home.

So I did. In a bucket.

Yesterday, I’d been chatting with my yoga class about not having plumbing, and I chatted with one woman who told me she had no plumbing at all until she got to college. Others were amazed at how long we’ve gone to Quik Trip and were amazed at our remarkable bladder control. (Trust me, this has made it much better.) So several of my students asked me – why not go in a bucket? They make seats for these buckets, you see. When you go camping, this is what the campers bring along – their bucket and their seat.

A few days ago I had told Keith I was going to poop in the bucket, and he told me it was gnarly and disgusting – so I went to the gas station instead.

But today – not today. Today I went for it. I pooped in the bucket. And then promptly buried it outside, way way deep into earth and then covered it up. Just like a cat.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I’m in the habit of flushing right away so that no unpleasant odors waft into my nose, and I know it wastes extra water that way, because I might flush twice while using the restroom. This also means that I don’t often see what my poop looks like – but poop is a really great indicator of health. Its consistency, whether or not it floats, if it’s super mushy or really hard – this all indicate your digestive health, and here it went unnoticed by me for a long time just because I was trying to alleviate myself of some embarrassment.

And wasting water in the process, too.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole experience, it is to not take water, showers, or toliets for granted. These are amazing things. And some people live entire lifetimes without them, which is pretty incredible. When you’re working outside and have dirt all over your hands and then can’t wash them… What do you do? We used bottled water in as little increments as possible. But what if we didn’t have access to bottled water? What would we do then?

It certainly made me more aware of what not having access to clean water feels like, and certainly more empathetic.

And I just started thinking – how unaware we really are. How often we try to just get rid of something that we think is unpleasant – like poop – and how unwilling we are to talk about it. How many of you cringed at the title of this blog? And why?

The weird thing is we all poop. WE ALL POOP. Every one of us, every single day. (Or multiple times a day if you’re in prime digestive health!) Why are we so unwilling to talk about it? It’s so natural.

Anyway I’m done stuffing away things and pretending like they don’t happen. Hi, I’m Amy, and today I pooped in a bucket, and it was kind of nice. It was nice to poop in private. It was nice to feel connected to where my poop went after I was done. It was nice to share it all with you so we can all get over this stigma of keeping things in the dark, avoiding our problems, and pretending like we don’t poop. Or sometimes get angry at silly things. Or occasionally drink too many beers. Or that one time when you forgot your mother’s birthday.

Because we all do things like this. It’s cool. Everyone poops. Everyone gets angry. Maybe we should stop hiding from it, conserve our water, and bury it in the backyard.

Okay maybe not really. I’ll be happy when my toliet is up and running again. But it’s been a nice experiment in perspective.

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