Happy Thoughts and Pedicure Stress

January is usually such a drawn-out drag of a month; I don’t know WHAT is going on, but this January is just flying by. I mean, it is the LAST WEEK OF JANUARY and it feels like I only just put up my puppy wall calendar, admiring the photo of the cute golden retriever puppy with a stick in his mouth. In just a few short days there will be a new puppy to look at and I cannot believe it. Could it be because since the polar vortex broke, it’s been beautifully pleasant outside? Could it be the bizarre three weeks of no classes my older son has been experiencing, for his alleged Exam Break? Could it be my busy new schedule of classes that makes the week speed by? Who can say?

I’m currently reading a historical fiction book about Zelda Fitzgerald, and I have been thinking about all the Women Who Have Come Before Us. Sometimes, when I think I’m having a bad day, I think of my grandmother who was widowed with six children under the age of 12, with literally no money at all. I think of her working at night so that the older boys would be home with the toddler twin girls, I think of her taking in boarders to make ends meet, I think of her walking a two mile round trip to milk her neighbour’s cow so that the girls could have milk. I have a wonderful life, full stop, no caveat necessary. Yes, life in this day and age has its peculiar challenges, but really. Really.

All of which is to segue into something that is bizarrely giving me a low-level anxious feeling, and it is the most Princess Problem of all Princess Problems. It’s right up there with my tiara is slightly too tight and this diamond ring is too heavy for my finger. Here is the issue, if we can even call it an issue: I have a pedicure booked for this Saturday. I am a person who does her own pedicures, with the exception of my annual Mother’s Day treat when my mom and I go to a fancy spa to get one done. I keep my toenails polished and my feet pumice-d and lotion-ed. My feet are on display almost every day because of my job, and so I like to keep them looking nice. Well, that’s not entirely true, the job really doesn’t have much to do with it. I’ve always kept my feet looking nice; it’s like wearing pretty underwear, even if I am the only person who knows about it, it gives me a boost.

So back to the Princess Problem. There is a cute little day spa that opened up in my neighbourhood, and I have fully switched from my usual place where I get waxes to this new place. This spa charges half the amount the other one did for a wax, the job is just as good, and I can walk there in five minutes. I really like the esthetician who does my waxes, and I impulsively booked a pedicure with her, even though I a) do my own and b) it isn’t Mother’s Day.

At this point you are probably wondering where I’m going with this. What is the big deal? Well, the thing that is causing me low-level anxiety is that the new cute day spa only does gel pedicures, and I normally get regular polish.

Who even cares, you might be thinking, but the thing is I’ve never had a gel pedicure and I don’t know what I will do if a) the polish chips or b) how to even remove the polish if it starts to grow out and look weird. I’ve seen ladies get gel polish removed at the spa and it seems like such an ordeal: toes wrapped in foil, some kind of buffing tool, etc. Now that I’m writing it down, it looks like possibly the stupidest blog topic ever, and that includes the time I wrote about buying the wrong scent of bathroom cleanser. 

Well. I guess I’m worried that it will chip and I won’t be able to fix it on my own and I will have figuratively thrown money out the window. Even though the price of the pedicure is 52% of the price of a pedicure at the fancy spa, it’s still money being spent on something completely frivolous and will it be wasted due to a polish chip? I guess we will wait and see. I’m also worried I’m going to love it so much that I will be one of those people who stops doing her own pedicures and becomes addicted to having them done and then I will be wasting money left, right, and centre.

I COULD just call and cancel, I guess, but I’m in a Support Local Business Mode and I do, I really DO want to be that kind of person that Supports Local Businesses. Plus, as I said, I like the esthetician on a personal level, and well. I have probably spent more than enough brain power thinking about this. Moving on!

What if they don’t have the kind of red I like for…NO, I AM MOVING ON FROM THIS TOPIC.

This morning Swistle asked her readers what they think of when they wake up in the middle of the night; good things, soothing things. If you are not a person who is experiencing peri-menopause and you sleep solidly through the night, congratulations and I am envious! I think most women of my age have some sort of sleep interruption, and usually when I find myself awake I try to focus on my breathing (INHALE….EXHALE….) but I also remember something I read that even just lying in bed is resting my body. Instead of looking at the clock and frantically thinking If I fell asleep this minute I would still get five and a half hours of sleep…okay now it’s five hours and twenty-nine minutes, I think Even if I don’t fall asleep, my body is resting. My body is getting rest. I find that soothing enough that I usually do drift off.

Most days I find myself awake a good half hour before I need/ want to be, and we all know that the worst thing is falling dead asleep just before your alarm goes off, rendering you disoriented and useless. So when I do find myself awake, I think happy things about the day ahead (not, apparently, about pedicures). The happy things I focus on are: what I’m making for dinner that night, according to my Unchanging Eating a Rainbow Meal Plan (tonight: pasta and cauliflower!), what dessert I am going to make for upcoming Sunday dinner, what class(es) I am teaching that day and which students will be there (Yay, I get to see the seniors! Yay, we are working on lower backs!), and, if it is a Planned Workout Day, what that workout will be. If I find myself awake near a weekend, I think about what wine I will have on Friday and Saturday, and I will think about any plans we might have. It all helps to keep me from falling disastrously back asleep and gets me excited about the day ahead.

Oh, that reminds me! My Saturday morning spin class fell on Robbie Burns Day, which inspired our instructor to add BAGPIPE MUSIC to our warmup. It was strangely invigorating. Also included in the class playlist was The Pointer Sisters, Neil Young, Bruno Mars, and – even more invigorating than the bagpipe music – a dance remix of many classical songs, including Ode to Joy and the Hallelujah chorus from Handel. I do like a good eclectic playlist, but my own will have to wait for another day. I need to go start the pasta sauce (it’s Monday!) before I go teach my afternoon class (backbends!). Happy Last Week of January, everyone. xo


  1. Delurking to share that you can remove it yourself with acetone but gel can damage your nails so maybe think about it? Also, if you bring your own non gel polish they will probably be willing to use that instead.

  2. bibliomama2 says

    Omg, look at Samantha swooping in with the useful knowledge! I actually am right with you on this worry. I got one gel manicure once for a cruise, and my thumbnail broke halfway down and it was a freaking nightmare (in a very First World kind of way) and I wouldn’t do it again on my fingers or toes. I would definitely bring my own polish and try to get them to use that. I love that you keep your feet pretty. I try, but I’m not thin or graceful enough to paint my own toenails without a lot of unseemly contortions, so I usually try to get two or three pedicures a year. I don’t feel like January has flown, but aside from the week I was sick and mired in existential despair, it hasn’t been all that bad. When I (invariably) wake up at four or five a.m., I do the breathing thing, I don’t look at the clock, and usually I sing a Broadway musical in my head – right now it’s Waitress. It’s soothing, entertaining and passes the time,

  3. I DO find the “I am still getting rest just by lying here” soothing.

    I would be stressed about the gel polish thing too. I don’t understand gel polish yet, but it seems complicated.

  4. Your soothing “my body is getting rest” thought is a good one – I will try that next time!

    Goodbye, January!

  5. I like the idea of bringing your own polish. Or, I was thinking, you could just skip the polish step altogether, and then put it on yourself when you get home. Good luck!

  6. Oh, such a good idea to bring your own polish. I refuse to ever use a home cleaning service for the same fear that I will not know how to live without it. I very rarely get a pedicure and I do paint my nails myself but only in the summer. Fortunately no one sees it the rest of the time.

    I had a ton of trouble sleeping back before I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I also used to get more stressed out about things. When it does happen, I try to just lay there quietly because the more I stir the more I feel awake. I often pray and that helps me drift off (and feel refreshed spiritually!).

    Speaking of sleep. I need some. I just booked my son’s spring break flight home from college with his birthday but my name. Fortunately it was on Southwest, and we just cancelled it and redid it. But I should have been in bed an hour ago. I needed to catch up on blog reading, so thanks for this array of topics.

    My grandmother had a rough childhood and I have recently been thinking about her and how she managed it! I felt like calling you up to share her story 🙂 because it so fresh in my mind and it was so interesting that you just posted something about your grandma.

    Good night!

Leave a Reply