Sunday, Feb 3 9:15pm. I hold up a new face cleanser I’ve been loving, to snap a picture for a post to my IG stories and notice my nails. Polish chipped and fading, I hide them from view as I take a quick pic to share. I think back to a few weeks ago when Eric and I did a family mani pedi day with the girls on a Sunday Funday. Fast forward 2 or maybe 3 weeks? Who knows, either way I’ve had no time to go back and get a refresh.
Monday, Feb 4 6:30am. Ready, set go: “Girls, come down for breakfast!” “Babe, what’s your day like today, can you pick them up?” “Don’t forget your jackets guys!” Our Mondays are as typical as they get. By 8am any working parent (or non-working either for that matter) feels like they have had a full day already and work hasn’t even started. When the front door closes I get to take a breath, throw my coffee in the microwave for the 4thtime and then do my own rush off to work dance.
Today is going to be nuts. 6 meetings all over the place, which means lunch in my car and 2 coffees. I finish the second meeting and as I’m driving to grab my quick salad I pass by the same salon E and I took the girls too, in all its gold glory. I keep driving. Salad on lap, computer open I catch up on email in the car and see that I’ve just had a major success with a new account. Thrilled I call Eric and share, to which he gives me his sweet pat on the back. It’s a GOOD day. I set off toward my next meeting and here’s that salon creeping into view again. “F it” I think, my cloud 9 work success moment fogging up my brain. I have 45 minutes….”just do it!”
As I take an unsure seat at the mostly empty and vast salon, my mind is on everything but my nails. To-dos swirling in my mind of this one to call, this email that needs answering. Ah, I won’t be able to touch my phone! Ok this was a bad idea. How can I not be ‘on’ for over 30 minutes??
A pretty gold tea cup gets placed in front of me, and a warm neck pillow on my shoulders. Ok, I’m going with this. My eyes relax as I look up at the colorful wall of polishes above my nail gal’s head. And off I drift, as the colors blend into a pretty pastel blur. No phone, no noise, no……anything. Just me, in an empty nail salon listening to, myself I guess.
“No phone, no noise, no……anything. Just me, in an empty nail salon listening to, myself I guess.”
In that moment what I found myself thinking about was not the all-encompassing to-do list. Not tense upcoming tasks for work. I was remembering how over the weekend Charlie drew a heart balloon and excitedly ran the page over to me before she was even done drawing the string. How Grace made up a game charging us a dollar every time we had to go up or down the stairs which had Eric hardily laughing at her savvy business skills. How he walked over to me after bed time holding out a glass of wine and plopping down on the couch with his sweet warm smile, saying ‘Hi. Can I join you?’ Those moments are priceless and oh so fleeting. They get lost in the shuffle of all the less important things we think we HAVE to do. And the worst offense is we often, hell almost always don’t notice them pass quietly by, never to return.
That little hour I allowed myself gave back so much more than some fresh fingertips. Unplugging from the world and unwittingly plugging into what matters, even if for a moment. Well isn’t that just priceless?
Hands on the wheel, fresh pink fingertips looking back at me I rush off to the next meeting, then the next. I feel different. Calm. Happier? Or just at peace. I can’t wait to get home tonight and hold my loves. My last meeting is with a hotel. I meet the wine buyer and we instantly hit it off as she tells me about her 3 day cross-country drive to start this new job, and how she had to jump straight into work after driving for 9 hours, then not leaving the property for another 10. We laugh and joke about how wine makes everything better. I hand her a mini bottle of champagne I sell to show her the packaging and she says with a shy laugh hiding her hand from view “Oh god, just don’t look at my awful nails. I’ve had no time to get them done. Yours look so perfect” If she only knew. I gently grab her shoulder, smile and say, “Girl, get your nails done, it’s good for the soul!”
PS. It’s my big girl Charlie’s 4th Birthday today! Going to take my own advice and take in the moment, the whole day, and celebrate my special girl.