What Matters Today: Whimsy

Ah, Friday. It always feels like it’s gone for good, like it will never show up again. Then somehow, it arrives just in the nick of time, like your best friend showing up at your doorstep with a bottle of your favorite wine and a dessert for two. It is both sweet, and oh-so-welcome.

Personally, I like for my Fridays — especially in the summer — to feel like a respite, a pause amid the heat and humidity to take time to clear my head. To slow myself down from the hustle of the work week, to force my brain to hit a much-needed speed bump to interrupt its racing through the avenues of my to-lists and mental checklists. Sometimes, that looks like an afternoon spent in the pool as the sun’s warmth removes the chill from my AC-frozen bones. Others, it involves finding the coziest spot in my house and setting about finishing the latest novel I’ve been reading, eager as I am to find out how the story ends.

But today, my Friday involved a little ‘me’ time, a few minutes set aside to coat my fingernails in a lovely pink polish and add a hint of magic to what is normally left unadorned — and what an upgrade it’s been already.

Between my work life and my personal life, I find myself always typing. Typing an email for work, or answering a colleague’s question on a design project. Pounding out a text to my friends about an upcoming socially-distant small get together outdoors or hitting the keyboard of my laptop as I plan out my next blog posts — and let’s not forget about online shopping. No matter what situation, what day of the week, I always find my hands in front of me, flying across whatever keyboard happens to me underneath at the moment.

My thought for today’s mode of relaxation? If I’m always looking at my hands, let’s make them worth looking at!

I started off with a base of pale pink Essie nail polish aptly named “Minimalistic.” Three coats later, and it’s the perfect shade, the kind of pink that is both pretty and peaceful. Once it dried completely, I took the cutest Olive & June star nail art stickers and put one large star on each hand’s middle digit, and then a medium-sized star on each of my thumbs. I topped all 10 nails with a shiny, clear OPI top coat, and suddenly, I found myself smiling at my hands as opposed to wondering why they were still before me, typing away.

Voilà! My pink star nails (please ignore my less-than-perfect paint job — it’s not easy being your own nail artist!).

While are not the most ‘mature’ nail art choice in the world, I have to say: they most certainly did brighten my day. They also reminded me to stop taking life so seriously and being so focused on what’s ‘mature’ or ‘age-appropriate’ or what a 25-year-old professional ‘should’ be doing in her down time. Sometimes, you have to unleash your inner child and her come out to play, if only with a little bit of nail polish.

So what matters today is finding the joy in small things, even something as simple as some star nail art stickers and some pink polish. What matters today is indulging and enjoying the moments we get to be child-like and tabling our responsibilities when we have the chance. What matters today letting the whimsy of a moment wash over whatever our days, weeks, months have been — especially in these strange and uncertain times we’ve been living in.

What matters most today is taking a little time out for yourself, in whatever way you see fit. Take a walk, make a cup of tea, read a book, call a friend, bake a cake. Whatever it is that lets you exhale and return to yourself, go do that. Paying attention to yourself is important, and I think we can all spare at least one day per week to make sure we have time to be with ourselves, come down from the week, and enjoy our own company. What matters is making it a point to do so.