Learning to Relax (and wash my face)

Whoo! It feels like its been forever. First I was sick, then I went to Florida with my husband and cousin to visit my parents and grandparents and THEN I left straight from Florida for a work trip in Tuscaloosa. AND as I write this, I’m mentally packing for my other cousin’s wedding in Maryland…which I’ll be leaving on Wednesday.

See? I’m not lazy for not blogging. I’ve just been literally not available. Which sadly also means I haven’t had time to work out either. My whole routine is completely thrown off.

But as you can imagine, its been a bit stressful. I feel like I’m so behind on so many things and don’t have much time for myself. In fact, my idea of relaxation consists of looking at Pinterest on my iPhone (which admittedly gives me a headache) while maybe watching TV and then MAYBE taking a longer than 5 minute shower.

So imagine my epiphany this past weekend when I learned what REAL relaxation is.

The day after I got back from my trip (well technically same day– I got back from Tuscaloosa at 2 a.m.), the Hubs had a work picnic that he RSVPed for us weeks ago. At first I was not a happy camper. I was EXHAUSTED. My eyes hurt. And now I have to socialize? However, the Hubs swayed me with the promise that I didn’t have to cook since there was going to be free barbecue and frozen yogurt present (talk about utopia in my mouth).

We go. We eat. We talk to great people. We have a general good time. And then the most amazing thing happened– my darling husband won a raffle prize! I was so excited for him, especially since he had just said he never wins anything. When he came up, I asked him what he had won and he handed the gold envelope to me saying he’d rather me look and be surprised myself.

Confused, I tore through the envelope without much thought. Everyone else had been winning oil changes and $10 off of Sagebrush so far. But when I read the paper inside, I couldn’t believe it.

An entire Spa Package at the ritzy mountain resort near our house. For real? I couldn’t believe it. I told him he could trade it with someone if he wanted something else (someone had won 4 rounds of golf that he had been eyeing), but he insisted that he wanted me to take it.

So I went home and looked up what this spa package entailed– an hour and 15 minutes of pampering to include a massage and a facial. It was worth $125! I would never have spent money on myself like that. And when the Hubster told me he had planned on playing in an epic card tournament the majority of the day on Sunday, I figured I better cash that puppy in before I got too busy to use it.

I was SO nervous going to my appointment. I had never been to a spa. In fact, I’ve only had a pedicure once in my life because a friend treated me before my wedding. Pampering and me just don’t have a relationship. Who has the time?

But I went and I got there early enough to sit in the most COMFORTABLE robe and slippers I have ever met (yes. “met.” This robe was so nice, I liken it to a person or even a best friend) in a beautifully dim room with great music. The lady directed me to the complimentary refreshment bar where I downed three glasses of the most amazing naturally flavored water I’ve ever had and nibbled on some homemade trail mix. There was even a Keurig with an assortment of teas, coffees, and even hot cocoa and apple cider.

Paradise? Indeed. I had just started flipping through a magazine when my…Spa person(?) got me for my “treatment.” I nearly fell asleep on the massage table, it was so amazing. Though I have to admit, there was nothing relaxing about the facial, with the exception of the hot rag part. I’m not one to like my nose to be touched– EVER. Not sure why. Maybe one-too-many games of “I’ve got your nose” went horribly awry in infancy. Who knows? But on top of the constant nose issue that made me feel like I was drowning, there was part in the process that wasn’t all that pleasant.

Maybe its my own fault. I had no idea what a facial was until Sunday after I had experienced it. Maybe I should have Googled the process before I went. I just assumed it was like…you wash your face and wear a mask or something.

No one warned me that there was going to be a bright light like an alien abduction where she literally pinches your face to get gunk out of your pores.

Seriously. Ouch.

But when the whole thing was over, my face had never felt better. And the second my husband got home, he took one look at me and was like, “Wow! Your skin looks FANTASTIC.”

But after both treatments were said and done, the lady gave me an interesting look and was like, “So… how often do you wash your face?”

What I heard: Seriously, do you ever wash your face?

When I answered “every night” she  asked, “So… do you use a wash cloth or just splash water on your face?”

What I heard: Um… are you sure you wash your face?

The jest of this conversation evolved into basically whatever I was doing wasn’t “doing it for me” and I needed to consider other options because my pores were TERRIBLE (apparently why she spent so long digging into them with what I can only image was metal tweezers or the teeth of a tiger).

So she printed up some papers on some skin care products she thought could help me that were “medical grade.” I decided to use the new reading material as an excuse to stay longer in the lounge area in that comfy robe and drink some hot cocoa. Imagine my surprise when a lady came out asking me if I’d want a hot neck wrap.

Seriously… how have I never entered this form of heaven before?

So as I read, though I originally thought, “Pfft…I’m not going to buy any of this,” I realized that everything looked legit, the prices were reasonable and let’s be honest…my face was pretty gross and now my own assessment of my grossness was confirmed by a professional who apparently was convinced I basically sprinkle water on my forehead instead of washing my face like an adult. And since I had just received a nice fat freelance check, I did have more money to burn than usual and I hadn’t bought nice skin care products since I was engaged…so why not? I bought it all.

I was prepared to defend my purchase to Addison when he got home (he is the frugal one after all), but I didn’t have to. Instead he was thrilled I bought skin care products for myself that were of good quality (apparently he noticed my gross skin too. Thanks, dear. Next time let a girl know!).

So between my spa treatment and my new face washing regimen, I feel like a new woman. Getting the massage and facial felt so refreshing– almost like I had just gotten up from a nap, even though I was definitely awake the whole time.

Maybe there is something behind this pampering thing. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself every once in awhile. It’s not vain to make sure you’re not neglecting yourself.

And I have to admit, it was MUCH better than Pinteresting on my iPhone. Apparently I never knew what relaxation was.   And apparently my face never knew what it meant to be truly clean until now.

My world has been forever changed.

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