Lately things have been a bit hectic and stressful in my life (yes, even more so than for the average working mom with 2 young boys and a baby on the way). While everything is just fine at the moment, I’ve definitely felt the pressure building up and knew I needed to do something to escape. People always say, “Be sure to take care of yourself.” I usually roll my eyes or nod with a smile and know that I’m the last “to do” on my list. But last week I had a day to myself and I decided to heed the advice I’ve come to quickly dismiss. I had a gift certificate my boys gave me to Burke Williams that had been collecting dust for two years. You see, I’m not really a spa person. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to be so self-indulgent. Well, at least that’s what I thought.
I arrived to low lights, quiet talkers and pleasant scents. Every person I met asked what they could do for me. What they. Could do. For me. (While this was a bit out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t nearly as upsetting as I had made it out to be in my mind.) I got the tour, spotted every place I could fill up on cucumber lemon water and went to get ready for my day of indulgence. Terrycloth, slippers and make-up remover…and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet.
First up, my very own milk bath. This wasn’t my plan. It was theirs. You see, because I’m pregnant, I wasn’t allowed to use some of the facilities. Since the idea of suffocating in a sauna or sitting in a hot tub full of naked women makes me break into hives, I assured them I would be just fine. They said something or other about a complimentary bath instead. Sure. Fine. Sounds good.
But the lovely bath was just the beginning. The mind-reader who was working in the locker room must have realized a pregnant woman should never skip lunch, so she brought me a fruit platter (to go with my pitcher of cucumber lemon water, of course). Apple slices, banana chunks, oranges cut to look like flowers (man, I gotta step up my kids’ lunches) and two glorious banana pieces frozen on sticks to dip in chocolate. I almost skipped the bath to be sure I didn’t leave a crumb behind. But whose eyes would those cute little cucumber slices slide off of for 20 minutes if I didn’t take a dip? (My only complaint is that they didn’t include tape to keep those suckers on.)
Next up, a prenatal massage. Usually to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, I like to have bruises and feel sore for days afterwards. But again, because I’m pregnant, she told me she’d have to go light. Turns out, I actually DO like massages when they don’t pull my fingers and toes out of the socket. Who knew? And while I appreciated her constant efforts to retuck my blankets just so, I wanted to tell her to relax. I’ve given birth a couple times, modesty in these situations is a thing of the past for me. But not to worry, she made up for it with her “specialty”. Within 10 seconds of her rubbing my scalp, I was out cold. How do I know? I woke myself up snoring (and I don’t typically snore). I just hoped that she realized all moms are masters at multitasking—and though I was technically off the clock, there were some things I couldn’t let go of.
My last pampering was a facial. This was my second facial ever and I really didn’t remember what to expect. So after the gal asked if I usually need extractions with my treatments, I couldn’t help but think of Michael Vartan sneaking in to save me from the steam that was taking my breath away (literally, I’m afraid). I quickly overlooked the steam, scrubbing and other forms of torture though when the treatment ended with another snore-inducing scalp massage.
After the paid gluttony was over, I headed back to the locker room to drink lots more of that delicious water (stay hydrated!) and get cleaned up (you know, so I could go home and make dinner). Brushes, hair dryers, flat irons…and no one who wanted to use my make-up brushes to clean the toilets. Though, ironically, that low lighting was not forgiving of gray hairs (and neither am I). I took my time getting ready to go home and realized I hadn’t looked at my phone for three hours. Three hours. Granted this could have been risky if my nanny was looking for me, but I was confident she’d have everything under control at home. And email, Facebook and Twitter could wait.
It turns out none of the stress in my life disappeared during those three hours, but I sure did have a different outlook and ability to cope with things when I felt like—even if for just for a bit—I didn’t have to do anything but relax and forget my worries. (And wonder what all those other people were doing there on a Wednesday afternoon.)
What about you? What do you do to recharge?
Photo from Flickr by Zucchero, Zucchero.