Ms. Type A Goes to the Spa

I am a big fan of embracing the little things in life and making them special. To this end, I try to make an effort to spoil myself by indulging in pampering sessions every few weeks or so. These may come in the form of a premium pedi (which is really just a basic pedi, only I allow "Karen" to talk me into the $10 upgrade that, as far as I can see, justifies an extra coat of callous remover and an algae scrub that burns every last freshly-shaven hair follicle to its core), a full-body massage with Rhonda (magic hands, I tell ya), or one of my famous Spa Baths. (The recipe: tub full of hot water, pretty smelling candle, glass of bubbly with a maraschino cherry, Spa station on Pandora, and stern orders to everyone else in the house to leave you the eff alone until you emerge. Mix, enjoy, and repeat as often as possible.) None of these gems are over-the-top pricey, but they give me something to look forward to and make me feel absolutely spoiled and lovely.

However, there is something amiss that occurs every time I start to get in the zone during one of these wonderful Natty-Time sessions. My mind starts to wander, but not to a place of rainbows and lollipops (...mmm, lollipops...). Rather, I am carried away to a very productive, organized place in which my little brain starts crafting about fifteen different lists and contemplating all matter of ideas and situations. Picture dozens of tiny secretaries with perfect red lipstick, running to and fro, moving papers from one file folder to another, with "Brazil" playing in the background.

For example: after my splendid massage today, I left with oily appendages, a ring around my face, a skip in my step, and a head full of ideas that I couldn't put into motion fast enough. During the hour I had spent between the perfectly warmed sheets, listening to flutes and cranes lulling me into a zen-like state, I came up with the following: care package ideas for friends, an entire design scheme for a house that I have not seen nor own, a new makeup look that I simply must try on myself, holiday gift lists, and a renewed desire to write my book and get back to grad school. I also started writing this blog in my head as she was working on my neck, which may or may not pan out. (Starting to think not. )

But it occurred to me as I was driving home, the Philadelphia Orchestra serenading me in my Volvo and maintaining the tranquil vibe, that some of my best, most creative ideas have come to me when I am completely relaxed. It's quite bothersome, really, because I can barely enjoy the experience for wanting to get up and get started on all my new projects. Totally kills the mood. But why should we be able to come up with something brilliant in the midst of everyday chaos? It seems understandable that only when we lay everything else to rest can our minds make room for new ventures.

And so, my dear readers, I encourage us all to make a little more time in our lives for the kind of peace and tranquility it takes to let our minds wander into new and wonderful places. I know for some that is much more difficult than others, especially for those of you with little ones on the loose. But even if you just try the ol' Spa Bath once a month (I'd be more than happy to whip up a little kit for ya!), please take a few moments to release the stress and worry of the days before, and think about tomorrow...whatever that means for you.


  1. Seriously, rock climbing. It's the most bizarrely "zen" thing I've ever done. I can't even clear my head in yoga, but while I'm climbing? I can't think about anything else. And then these moments of just pure clarity and insight just...happen.

    (Or at least I think they're moments of pure clarity and insight. Who knows?)

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