Today, I got a pedicure for the second time in my life. The first time was four years ago, when Hannah was about to graduate from sixth grade. She wanted to get a pedicure before the graduation, and when I brought her in to the nail place, the receptionist asked if I wanted a pedicure, too, and I thought, why not?
Today's decision was more pre-meditated. Two people--my sister (who I get to see tomorrow--yay!) and a dear friend both mentioned getting pedicures within the last week; my sister put it in the context of taking care of herself, and my friend said that she felt reborn afterward. I felt I could use a little of both. I definitely have not been focusing on self care since the baby's been born, and I am feeling the repercussions of this deeply. I am tired and achy all the time, and am really not doing anything to remedy the situation. My feet, especially, have been paying the price. Every morning, it takes them a while to get going. They are stiff and sore and heavy, as are my hands when I wake up. This concerns me greatly--I worry about arthritis, I worry about potential loss of movement (although I hope I'll always find a way to dance, to write.) I finally set up an appointment to see a foot doctor in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to do something else to take care of myself, something to thank my body for all it's been doing, my body that feels like an unfamiliar home these days. Something, too, to celebrate Entertainment Weekly calling Delta Girls a "best new paperback." If that doesn't call for a pedicure, I don't know what does.
I was worried I wouldn't find a place open on the 4th, but the first place I called, a place I've noticed a few blocks away, said to come on in.
Soaking my feet in hot water while sitting in a massage chair was lovely. I loved the foot and leg massage. I said yes to a bunch of extras they offered--foot mask? Bring it on. Leg waxing? Sure; my legs, which I only shave sporadically, had grown pretty weedy. The only thing I didn't agree to was eyebrow waxing. Three different women asked if they could do my shaggy, untouched brows. Looking at the thin lines above their eyes, I had to say no.
The pampering brought up a lot of stuff for me. Feelings of guilt, of unworthiness. Feelings of vulnerability, of exposure. Feelings of missing my baby and husband, my big kids, too. And feelings of missing my mom. With the baby, I don't get a lot of time to just sit quietly with my thoughts, and my brain quickly filled with a wild rush of emotion. I thought of how my mom used to get pedicures, how that's something she and I never shared together, since I generally shy away from such indulgences. I found myself wishing that she and I could have gone to a spa together, wishing that I could talk to her about having my second pedicure. Every song that came on the radio seemed to be about missing someone, and each note just about tore my heart out.
The women there took great care of me. When I told them I had a seven month old baby, they turned more tender; my scruffy feet suddenly made more sense. I spent much of the time there holding back tears; I probably should have just let myself cry, but I didn't want to have to explain. As soon as I got in the car and called Michael, though, the tears began to flow.
I know I need to take better care of myself--go to sleep earlier so waking up with the baby doesn't take such a toll, go to the chiropractor, etc.--I just hope I'll be able to do it without guilt. Maybe as my pearly green toenail polish (which looked better in the bottle than on my feet, I must say) starts to chip, I'll remember that I need to do a better job of keeping myself whole.