Momlogic contributor Rabbi Sherre Hirsch: I got my period just after my 16th birthday. Every single one of my friends had had their period for at least two years and, as a result, they were experts with a tampon.
Pads were so eighth grade! Of course, I got my period in middle of tenth grade English and I had to wear a pad for the entire day. Back in the day, pads were big, they were bulky -- they all looked like the ones you can now only find in airplane bathrooms. I got home from that horrific day of feeling like I was wearing a diaper, and locked myself in the bathroom with a box of tampons and a phone. I dialed my best friend (who went to another school) and for the next two hours had her talk me through putting in and taking out a tampon. From that day forward, I never wore a pad again for my period.
So began my 23-year relationship with Playtex Gentle Glide tampons unscented. I never wavered. In my sorority house bathroom, I noticed that my sorority sisters used other brands. I did not experiment -- not even once. I consider myself extremely loyal. I have never changed toothpaste either. Until last week.
I am in Ralph's Market and I notice another box of tampons staring at me. The cover is pink and green, my favorite preppy colors. The women on the front are playing tennis, my favorite sport. I am mesmerized and cannot look away. I break down and buy the package.
When I get home I feel like a traitor. I put them under the sink, unopened. No harm, no foul. My trusty blue and white tampon box sits comfortably on the counter. Then, five days later, I get my period. I start to reach for the old box, but as though someone else was controlling my hands, I tear open the new box and take out a new tampon.
Wow. Tampons have improved over the past 20 something years. I cannot believe I have waited so long to make this change.
What is wrong with me? Am I that afraid of change? If it takes me this long to change my relationship with my tampons, then what about the things that really matter?
I have to forgive myself. Tampons cannot be an all-encompassing metaphor of my life. If they are, then I am in big trouble. However, this switch did remind me that we all have habits that have become so a part of our lives that we fail to make improvements -- even in the most subtle of ways.
In the quest to live a full life, ask yourself what habit is it time to change?