I love toenail polish. I remember going into the hospital for my third C-section and I made sure to get help fixing my toes before I went in. I couldn’t really reach them myself and usually had a five-day stay per operation. Someone asked me, “why are you doing that now?” I really couldn’t answer but I did get a lot of compliments from the nursing staff.
Recently I had a pedicure and the fella really gave me an awesome foot and leg massage. I’m starting to think that is why so many people pay for painted toes. A leg rub with warm oil. A kneading of the pressure points on the arches. Divine.
It was disappointing that the polish job was hideous. I took it off when I got home, but no way was I going to redo it when I had just paid beaucoup bucks to get it done. Maybe I was being too lazy to do it myself as well.
It looked so strange. I’m used to black or fuchsia topped toes. My sister noticed as well and said the same, “that looks so odd.” In addition, my nails are in bad shape. They are cracking and thin and peeling. I read somewhere along the line that nail polish starves the nail bed of oxygen. They lose their natural durability. I decided to leave them be for awhile to see if they would improve without being covered up.
Now isn’t that a trip? The divinely created clear nail looks strange. And the thing used to make them pretty was killing them. It made me wonder, (really what doesn’t make me wonder?) how much of my life has been spent covering up the natural? I’m not talking about other forms of beautification either. I’m guessing it relates to some sort of vulnerability. A smile can cover up a need to cry. A good curse word could be a feint of courage when I’m feeling hurt or alone. I guess some of it is a learned coping method. Probably a lot of it is healthy as well. Life is complicated at times and I’m sure that knowing how to suck it up is a divinely embedded emotional survival skill.
Some people say that life is about thriving, not surviving. Some people, by the nature of their childhoods had to develop a survival mode to get through childhood. Neglectful parenting, sexual abuse, that sort of thing. I’m only intellectually aware of those realities.
I deeply respect those people for growing up and learning to live in vulnerability. Those who left survivor mode behind along with their childhoods. They can teach us a little something about thriving. Some of us can get stuck and forget that life is full of joy and beauty. That even if the bills are due and the bank account is empty or the relationship is rocky or health is waning, or the kids are nutty…There is life to be lived in the presence of all that. There is joy available in the good moments. There is the laughter of a child. The beauty of a sunset. The smell of fresh-cut grass. A friendly pet. A loving touch.
Are there places covered up with so much polish that we wouldn’t recognize them in their natural state? Let’s take it off.
“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”