Hair Raising

As individual states continue to implement phases of re-entry into the COVID-19 world, each of us continues to interpret what this means for ourselves and our families. Some of us have bolted out of our homes like a thoroughbred out of the starting gate, while some of us have tentatively stuck our heads out, like a turtle peeking out of its protective shell. Others remain firmly hunkered down at home for the time being.

I have been hunkered down at home for the past two months, and I have viewed the lessening of restrictions with cautious optimism. I have been in no hurry to venture out into my community. Until this week.

Monday was more than Memorial Day. In Kentucky, it marked the reopening of hair salons and nail salons. It felt like Christmas!

Despite my pandemic uniform of running clothes, a bandana, and running shoes and foregoing the little makeup that I usually wear, I beat a path to both the hair salon and the nail salon this week. It was not a moment too soon! It had been three months since my last hair and nail appointments. My cowlicks and gray roots joined forces to launch a full-on follicle assault, that not even my bandana could defend. Ever since I had an ingrown toenail surgically removed years ago, due to my shoddy nail trimming skills, I have entrusted my nail care to professionals. Without a nail technician’s care, my nails had become deadly weapons.

After receiving some much needed pampering, I realized that these services provided benefits that went far beyond skin deep. As good as they made me appear on the outside, they made me feel even better on the inside. I felt re-energized, rejuvenated, and more confident. I also felt guilty.

As I enjoyed the return to these self-care rituals, I found myself questioning whether or not these were frivolous indulgences in a world that feels very heavy these days. I feared that these pleasures were somehow wrong right now. Then, I got myself right.

Yes, there is a great deal of pain and suffering in our world at any given moment. Not being able to get my hair and nails done is a minuscule sacrifice to make to keep myself and others healthy during COVID-19. This also pales in comparison to the racial unrest in our respective communities.

I strive to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of others and to show up in the world being my best, in order to give my best to others, especially those who are facing challenges. As I debated whether or not to keep my scheduled hair and nail appointments, I recognized that my own self-care was not taking anything away from anyone else and that I needed to replenish my own emotional reserves to be of service to others. These services were not so much about vanity, as much as they were about maintaining a sense of normalcy and sanity in world seemingly gone mad.

As we continue to navigate our way through this unchartered territory, I hope that we can make ourselves a priority on par with prioritizing the needs of those around us.

That’s another story. . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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