OHBD 2015

OHBD 2015

Monday, March 14, 2016

Taking Care of Self is the Key to Success in All Areas

Since I was a teen, I had beautiful long nails.  I was genetically blessed with fingernails that were thick and strong.  With a bit of care, they would grow to enviable lengths. I enjoyed painting them every imaginable hue.  I nurtured them and loved hearing the compliments as well as the question, "Are they real?"

During those adolescent years, they were a sign of beauty I could honestly claim when my hair, my face and my body were not as I wished.  My nails were also a creative outlet as I could use them as accessories, color coordinating with my makeup and clothes.  I embraced a rainbow of possibilities. I loved rotating 10 or more shades preferring a bold and attention getting palate.  I even hand modeled for a brief period.
As college and searching for my path in life challenged me, I saw my nails as a symbol of how I wished the world would see me: beautiful, strong and unique.  When I became a mom, maintaining my nails became a luxury of my previous life that was just too difficult to maintain. My nails immediately showed if they were not given consistent, proper care.  They peeled, chipped, and broke.  I gave in to the message they sent me.  With the limited investment I could make as a new mother, I needed to settle for short, natural nails. I also felt deep down perhaps manicures were now a bit of a frivolous use of energy when there were so many important obligations calling to me
However, as my firstborn grew into a more independent toddler, I again found the time as well as the joy of length and polish.  My approach was more practical at this stage; I stuck with muted colors where chips would not easily show.  I also was okay with short and natural if they were healthy.  I no longer wanted to garner attention.  But rather, I was content to just enjoy their beauty -- more appreciated because of the hiatus.   
Over two more kids and lots of health and work challenges, I noticed a pattern. If my life was well managed, my nails were long, healthy and meticulously polished.  When I took on too much, was in transition, or in the eye of storm of three kids and two careers, my nails became ragged and broken; a reflection of where I was. 
I maintain them now but don’t take it too seriously.  I garden, play piano and do many things that involve using my fingers as tools.  However, when I look down at my hands, I see instruments that have played many melodies in my life.  They still gives me much satisfaction.  I have learned I let the decorative piece go sometimes if my schedule gets out of control, keeping them healthy is always a priority. Now it is for different reasons.  I have nothing to prove to the world.  But I do know I need to take care of myself to be a success at home or at work; and my fingers let me know how well I am doing.

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