For my most recent birthday, my family gifted me with a spa certificate. The aesthetic of this particular spa is soothing water based relaxation, featuring steam, sauna, plunge pool and jetted pool. The goal of an experience such as this is pure relaxation. Pure relaxation can lead to thinking about varying things, both deep and shallow…..So, in no particular order, are the things that pure relaxation brought to mind.
1) There is no reason to post a “Maximum Occupancy 2” sign above an ice cold plunge pool. I didn’t see one person go in past their ankles.
2) The locker room made me self conscious. I am not thin, nor am I heavy. But my body has changed with age. Since Voldemort (I’m using this word because I don’t want to use the dreaded “M” word) I have gone up a few sizes. My body has shifted uncomfortably south. Changing into my bathing suit in a locker room of extremely fit 20 somethings was a little intimidating. I felt judged (and honestly, I probably was) and I wanted to scream ” talk to me in 30 years…after you’ve had a kid”) For the first time in my life I changed out of my bathing suit in the stall( to be fair, the location was practical).
3) Two cups of chamomile tea, three glasses of lemon water and the sounds of a waterfall are not great on a post childbirth bladder.
4) The smell of eucalyptus in a a steamroom is intoxicating. I am going to buy a dram of eucalyptus oil to sniff whenever I want to get to my Happy place.
5) Mothers and daughters visit the spa together. I could never do that with my Mom. First off, she would hate the spa experience. She would not find water therapy relaxing. She would not enjoy a massage. But more importantly, my Mom is not my friend yet- she is still clearly trying to control any situation we are both involved in. This wasn’t a new thing I learned at the spa- it just highlighted my relationship issue with her. After 53 years the relationship between my mother and I is still in the rough stages. My goal is for my relationship with my daughter will be better. I don’t know how to fix my relationship with my Mother.
6) I don’t understand why people want you to be quiet in a loud coffee shop, but have no problem being loud in a whirlpool tub with only classical music and rushing water sounds as backdrop.
7) I found the steam room to be a little claustrophobic at first. I almost didn’t want to shut the door because I had this insane fear that I wouldn’t be able to open the door again. (I think I saw that scene in a horror movie) But it was also about how steamy the room was (duh)- I couldn’t see in front of me.
8) I found myself in the sauna with two men. No, I didn’t feel self-conscious about my body (that special privilege is reserved to when I’m around women). But I had to laugh, because I think men just always talk about sports. I learned way more than I ever wanted to about the basketball playoffs.
9) Warm towels are spectacular. I can think of no other word to describe drying off with a big, fluffy warm towel.
10) When the masseuse asks if there is any part of your body that is particularly tense, it’s easier to list the parts that aren’t tense.
Alas, my spa day ended way too soon. When I returned home I found to my dismay that I was not exempt from:
1) walking the dog
2) baking brownies for a bake sale
4) buying peaches and eggs
5) accompanying my daughter to her annual check up
and so on……
But while it lasted, my day was perfect, for body and soul.