I showed up to work today at a cut-rate nail salon.
But that’s not how it started. It started with a To Do list that included ideation and creation, as well as less free-floating things.
But my cuticles were really bad and my toes? Forget it. A mani-pedi wasn’t resistance, it had to get done. I work in an office several days a week.
The real resistance? The seductive voice inside me saying that 3 PM on a Wednesday is as good a time as any to bake chocolate chip cookies.
I didn’t do it.
Instead, I wrote the mission critical emails and crossed a few essential items off the list. And when the clock struck 5 I walked down the street, took in the early spring evening light, and bought myself a cookie and a coffee. This was a major act of efficiency as far as I’m concerned, as I estimate the time needed to procure cookie ingredients, bake said cookies, consume to satisfaction, and clean the whole mess up is approximately 2 hours.
Then I ducked into a nail salon on Manhattan Avenue and requested the “Special Time” special: a manicure + pedicure + 10 minute foot massage for $28. I gave up on any sort of ideas or creative thinking happening today.
But in the final stretch, as my fingernails were being clipped and filed back into civilized society, ideas started to bubble up. My half-polished left hand reached for my iPhone as the manicurist grabbed for my right. I passed the phone back and forth, clicking and typing away until I was finally under the dryer and free to flow, at least within the confines of a mobile browser and a note-taking app. Twenty minutes later I walked home in flip-flops, boots in hand, with a device full of ideas.
I credit the single serving cookie, the coffee shop coffee, and especially the foot massage. Both most importantly the fact that I let myself off the hook, ideas-wise. Because sometimes that’s what it takes for the muse to surface.