Artwork: @full_of_freckles_illustrations on Instagram
Welcome to “I’ll Try Anything For A Week,” the new column where I, your Editor-In-Chief, take your suggestions and try, well, anything. Okay, almost anything. Don’t ask me to free-jump, that is not happening.
I didn’t start this column thinking that it would be awesome for me. I started it thinking that it would be interesting to try things that other folks do or would like to do and then report back to you all.
But the first thing you suggested I do was stop reading the news. And what do you know, it’s been a month and I’m still not reading the news. It’s beautiful. The second thing you suggested was a radical act of self-care every day and I just don’t know who would complain about that.
So far this feature is 100% the best decision I have ever made.
But what counts as “radical?” Some folks said anything that lasted a significant amount of time (i.e more than an hour). Some folks suggested things I wouldn’t normally do for myself. Some folks suggested things that were expensive, some suggested things that were free.
Ultimately, I made it up as I went along. Some of the things were free, some inexpensive, some costly. Some of the things I wanted to do. Some of them I needed to do but didn't want to do.
I started the week with the first session of my half-sleeve tattoo.
Tattoos hurt like a bitch, but there is some power in that pain. There is beauty in taking back your body when it's belonged to God, to man, to everyone but you.
The day after the half-sleeve, I got an hour-and-a-half massage. That’s a long time. I thought an hour-and-a-half might be too long to lay naked on a table being rubbed with delicious-smelling essential oils, but, as it turns out, there’s no time-cap on bliss.
I went to the doctor. Not because I wanted to — Who wants to go to the doctor? — but because my body demanded it. I’ve been able to ignore my body (specifically the bone spur in my right foot) for a long time because I’m not yet crawling on the floor in total agony, but just being capable of moving is a pretty low-bar for life. So I went. I had two moles removed. Got my meds refilled. Got a referral to a podiatrist. It took a long time but it was necessary.
I napped on a day I absolutely could not. I found out that there really isn’t any day that I absolutely cannot nap. There are only the days that I think everything I am doing in my life is more important than rest. I napped. Nothing terrible happened. I still got my work done. I felt better.
I walked every morning for an hour or more. There were a couple of days I really didn’t want to walk, but I did anyway and I always felt good when I was done. (Even though my foot hurts — turns out, my foot hurts either way.)
I got a manicure (and a pedicure). I gave up trips to the salon when we were working really hard to save money to buy a new house and to pay off debt (that is still not paid off.) After about nine months, it felt really luxuriant to let someone else paint my toes.
I also did one of those Baby Feet foot masks. My 18-year-old son and I did them together. I very arrogantly declared my feet free of dead skin to be removed (because of the aforementioned pedicure.)
And then this happened (it’s really gross, sorry):
1. Baby Feet masks work.
2. Never make outrageous claims about the purity of your feet.
I also took at least a couple of baths and spent one whole evening I should have been cleaning reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
I finished the book. The house was still a disaster. Nothing happened.
What did I learn in my week of Radical Self-Care?
Cleaning the house isn’t that important. Going to the doctor is that important. Massages should happen every day. Naps are not a thing you need to “deserve,” you can just take one. My feet are gross.
Next week: A Random Act of Kindness a day!