They say that taking time for yourself is essential.
I know that, in theory. It’s just that in reality it doesn’t work so well. It feels selfish and self indulgent to take twenty minutes out to get a massage, a facial or a manicure. I used to do it, back in the BC (Before Children) when things were different. I used to wear jewellery and make up every day and even dress up sometimes. Once upon a my mid-twenties I actually used to get false nails done.
But that was two kids ago. I went from being Lori, a kinda hot actual grown up woman… to ‘Mum’. And so I have remained. From the moment my son was born, I just never seemed to have enough time for me.
And besides that, long acrylics make nappy changes extremely difficult.
Without fake nails- even with them, if I’m really honest-, I bite my real nails atrociously. All the way down to nothing. It’s a vicious cycle– I’ll file and paint them and grow them for a few weeks. Then I’ll get stuck in traffic or have an argument with my mum or start stressing about my overflowing email folder, and I’ll shear strips off keratin off my fingers, ripping my nails back to the already stinging quick. On top of that, washing my hands continually after rounds of nappy changing, cat-wrangling and food preparation leaves them dried out the point where they are cracked and bleeding.
I’m ok with that, most of the time– amongst all my other bad habits, anxieties and issues, biting my nails is very low down on the scale of stuff to worry about. The only time it really worries me is on the rare occasion I get my nails done.
I was treated to a day out not long ago thanks to Dettol’s new Touch Of Foam hand wash, which kills 99.9 percent of germs. In honour of a little foamy luxury every day, they took me to the Sheraton On The Park for a manicure and lunch. Between manicuring, lunch and just general ‘how many people have touched that lift button?’-ness, I washed my hands five times in a row. I can tell you, quite honestly, that even using the Dettol Touch of Foam five times over didn’t leave my hands the way they normally are- swollen and sore, feeling as though I’m wearing gloves two sizes too tight.
With that kind of invitation, it’s slightly easier to find five minutes for myself.
It was also fundamentally embarrassing, being confronted with a gorgeous French beauty therapist named Angie. She was very polite and didn’t laugh too much at my teeny, tiny, bitten off fingernails.
I sat and stared at the window. Soaking up the view. It looked something like this…
…with Hyde Park and some gorgeous cathedral in the background.
And I tried to find five minutes of quiet in my mind. Taking deep breaths, concentrating on them. Seeking a point of solace with myself.
I’m not entirely sure I was successful. I seek silence and my mind is going “Lalalalalalala” in the background. Making noise just for the point of it.
Five minutes of quiet can be a very difficult thing to find, when your head is such a noisy place to be.