Unapologetically Real

So, Sherri, how’s that RUHCUS thing going, four days in?

Well, Dear Reader, I am experiencing some of the bumpiness that occurs when the best of intentions collide with the realness of life.

I don’t think I’m alone if having that kind of work-based karmic payback that emerges after a 3-day weekend, when you realize that however much you enjoyed that extra day off, you’re now trying to do 5 full days of work in 4.(1) So between the office re-entry and the side gig(2), my Tuesday and Wednesday have not exactly been flush with time for self-pampering.

So I’ve had some real-world, real-time opportunities to practice living in my skin, and to find moments of sensory enjoyment even on the tilty-est of full-tilt days.

Yesterday’s sensual moment was truly a minimalist exercise.

When I had my salad for dinner, I actually sat in the living room, ate my salad, and talked to Mr. Mezzo about stuff we’ve got going on. I know: this is a really low bar that I have cleared. But the true truth is that I eat almost every breakfast and lunch at my desk at work, and that many, many dinners happen in front of a TV show or at my home desk as I’m starting on a post for JALC. So taking the time to pay more attention to the flavors of my salad and spend time with the hubs is an exercise in sensory awareness and quiet pleasure.

Today was another day to identify “in the wild” opportunities to cultivate sensation. So on the drive home from work, instead of obsessively going over my to-do list(3), I consciously tried to listen to the music and pay attention to my body. Didn’t it feel nice to wiggle my toes while sitting at the stop light? How about drumming my fingers against the steering wheel?

Then I finally took one slightly-more-than-ordinary step. After my shower—that part’s ordinary, of course—I put on a moisturizing facial masque, one of a small sample-size splurge I went on during my last trip to Sephora.

The masque is actually on my skin in this picture, but it’s so subtle that I figured the only way to really show I was wearing the masque was to wear it—in the manner of balancing the jar on my head. ‘Cos I’m quirky like that.

I’m early enough in this process that I’m not sure what interpretations to put on all of this, what deeper understandings I’m achieving. I’m glad I found ways to embrace this challenge in an imperfect way, rather than just giving up. I’m also noticing some amount of embarrassment in my system from bragging on this silly little face masque.

Like on the one side there’s the old programming against doing frivolous, self-pampering things. And on the other, there’s the “high performer” self that judges doing a facial masque as such a small thing that it maybe shouldn’t even count as part of my pleasure challenge.

All of which, I suppose, proves the main point of most things in my life.

Progress, not perfection.

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(1) Or, if you work at a non-profit, 8 full days of work in 4, instead of the 8:5 ratio you usually run.

(2) Sorry. I’ll talk more about this when that’s permissible. Until then, apologies for the ongoing crypticness.

(3) Again: 5 (or 8) days of work in 4.

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Image credit: Photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

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