Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 Days of Joy: Day 20-Beauty

Today I went to get my nails done.  What a relief!  I have been trying to get in for the last 2 weeks, but life has been very busy lately.  It had been so long since my last appointment that one of my nails had broken off which never happens to me.  I enjoy getting my nails done.  It is the one thing I have kept doing for myself after retirement. I enjoy the pampering and find it interesting to observe people when  I'm there.  Everywhere you look you see staff and clients in pursuit of various forms of beauty.  For me, there is something about having my nails done that makes me feel better about myself!  I'm clearly not the only one.  The whole beauty industry is built on people's desire to look and feel better.

As I was arriving, a gentlemen was finishing up with a hair stylist.  Several women joined me in the relaxation room while I was waiting for my appointment with Jodi, my wonderful nail technician.  One woman was looking at her phone; another was trying to read in the dim lighting.  A third woman, older than me, sat down and started talking to me about the fish in the aquarium.  She went on to share stories of times when she and her husband had fish.  We all went our separate ways for massages or manicures.  I think it is a testament to the wonderful staff at beauty salons that we all feel pampered, valued, and cared for as we go about these various activities.  We truly experience joy during this experience.

I have always been a people watcher.  I have an appreciation for all people at all stages of their lives.  Perhaps this is one reason I enjoyed being in Human Resources so much.  There are many times when Don and I will be somewhere geocaching or exploring where I spend my time watching the people nearby.  I like to see people smile and interact with each other, and I like to find beauty in those around me.  It's particularly intriguing when I see several generations together where I can see the familial beauty in various forms and stages.

I believe that we are all beautiful no matter what age. I know that we live in a youth oriented society, and I do find young people very beautiful and attractive.  However, I have an appreciation for all ages and for the beauty that springs from the lives they have lived.  I particularly find faces fascinating: the smooth clear soft skin of a baby or young child, the compelling beauty of a young adult beginning their life journey on their own, the wise, experienced face of an elder.  Every face has a story to tell.  Everyone has beauty to share.
I think that there is a different standard of beauty for men and women.  Men often do not like to be called beautiful, but I think that they are.  Hollywood and the movie industry certainly promotes beauty although they usually identify men as being handsome.  There are many women out there who will be heading to the theater to see beautiful, handsome men in the upcoming movie, Magic Mike.  Men of all ages are beautiful.  They, too, have fascinating stories etched in their faces.

I think that the most important part of beauty to me is to find a way to let a person's inner beauty shine through.  That doesn't mean that women can't wear makeup.  I certainly do.  I look better with makeup to hide flaws in my complexion, highlight my eyes, and add color to my lips.   However, there is an art to wearing makeup to enhance your natural beauty and not cover it up.  In the generation before mine, it was a common practice to wear heavy foundation and eye/lip makeup that is more commonly used only in the evening for special occasions in our current times.  I have always felt that these women were hiding behind a facade and never understood why they didn't let their natural beauty shine through.  I know it was a by-product of women's roles in society at that time.  I am so grateful that I am living in a society that finds joy in the natural beauty of women and men.

I hope that you have some beauty ritual or routine that makes you feel beautiful.  Whether it is getting your hair cut, a pedicure, a manicure, a facial, or a massage, I hope that you are finding great joy in your beauty, because you are beautiful!

Have you found your joy today?

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