I’m not a spa day novice anymore! This might not seem so amazing to you, such a little thing in the grand scheme, but to me this is a big deal. Somehow I managed to live many decades on this earth without ever having a massage, a facial or a paraffin manicure. Until last week. But after my little outing, I can only ask myself one question: Why not?
A spa day had never been on my bucket list. It seemed too indulgent. But it felt like a bucket bonus when my three daughters gave me a gift certificate for my significant birthday in January. (I won’t tell you my age, but it rhymes with nifty, and there are days when it’s kind of not.) Yes, I said January. It took me eight months to finally get around to using my gift certificate. What can I say? I’m a busy gal. But as I sit here with relaxed muscles, smaller pores and hands so silky smooth that a baby’s bottom would be jealous, I wonder why it took me so long.
I admit it. I was a little nervous going into the spa. I was out of my element in that big, fluffy robe and those little spa socks. I even had a moment of panic as I considered the all-important decision: underwear or no underwear. Ultimately, I just picked one, but for the record, my masseuse told me that either way was fine.
I learned several things throughout my 4 1/2 hours of absolute indulgence. For one thing, Swedish Massage rocks! I could have stayed all day with my face in that little hole on that massage table, the scent of vanilla-lavender aromatherapy oils swirling around me. And who knew there could be so many lotions and creams and gels to exfoliate, hydrate and brighten my skin? It was a whole new world for someone like me. When the esthetician asked what I used to cleanse my face, I had to admit that it was “precious little.”
I’m not positive that I took a nap during my pedicure while cocooned in heated blankets, a cool sleep mask over my eyes and my hands covered in a paraffin treatment, but it was a whole lot later when the manicurist uncovered my eyes. I learned that I like having someone bring me cups of ice water with lemon every hour or so. And I learned that butter mints from a candy dish are addictive. Oh, I already knew that.
Yes, I learned a few new things that day about the tricks of beauty and relaxation, but the spa day had me thinking on a larger scale about how many of us don’t take time for ourselves. For our bodies, our minds, our spirits. We get caught up in our busy lives – work, meetings and our children’s ballgames and plays. All of those things are important. Vital. But we don’t take time to decompress from all that busyness so that we can reflect and appreciate. Those things are important, too. At the end of each of my spa-package sessions, my beauty team members would ask me to breathe in and out a few times. I need to remember that as I reenter the real world, where I have to get my own ice water and smooth on my own lotions and creams: When relaxation and renewal seem out of reach, I can still take time to breathe.