things i currently need #12

You’ll see a definite theme. (See current needs #11 needs here.)

vacances1

Somewhere in the Maldives.

vacances2

Pretty please, Positano.

vacances3

Oh, hi, Oregon.

You get my drift. My last real, bonafide vacation was in February 2016, when my girls and I went to that lovely trip to Paris. (Plenty of photos of that trip; search “Paris” and swoon.) It’s high time to get somewhere and find relaxation. Self care. It’s necessary. I do plenty of it stateside, taking time for myself, but I need to do it in another land/on a beach/in a hot spring/on a gondola. Hoping that early 2020 gives me that opportunity.

Happy Friyay, y’all. Any planned trips?

things i currently need #10: stuff and tings.

I’ll link to #1-9 needful things at the end of this post because it’s been a while since this feature and I miss those halcyon days.

Anywho, shall we get to it?

insouciant

I need to feel this way right now. Just pure insouciance. I tend to be tightly wound, remember? Sometimes I feel anxiety wrapping itself around my bones, as tight as the torture devices I hurled away from my life nine years ago. Le sigh. We must effect change, somehow. Which leads me to…

island

…any island. I’ll take any island. I need an island. I want to stroll inside warm waters and gaze down and see my toes waving back at me. Which won’t even weird me out because I’ve been relaxed beyond reason. I just need to find a place and breathe. My last real vacation was in 2016 when I went to Paris (all of which was documented here for your fine eyes; search Paris in the taggy section to you right), and it’s now 2018 and I can taste a getaway on my tongue. This must happen soon. I certainly don’t want you to read about anxiety-ridden Square Pegs having nervous breakdowns in the frozen food aisle of your local grocer, which, strangely, I can see happening. Why frozen foods? I feel like I could be coaxed into calming down with a carton of cookies ‘n cream ice cream.

I’m going to need the above three to kindly leave my wallet alone. But not really. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line launched in the fall of 2017, I initially didn’t pay attention. I was largely a MAC disciple, having found the latter to provide well for my makeup needs. And then I walked into a Sephora store and curiously asked for the ladies there to do a color match for the Fenty Beauty foundation…and then I discovered the

shrug2
That Fenty shrug.

wonder of makeup that actually matched my skin tone. Honestly, most of us with melanin make do when it comes to makeup. We mix colors, we try not to look gray or 143 shades lighter–anything to creatively find shades that best match our skin tone and/or won’t render us into performers at your local Kabuki theater production. When I saw my face and couldn’t tell the difference between my own skin and the foundation…when I saw the smoothness and the coverage…RiRi owns me, Sephora owns me, and that entire makeup line owns me.

That’s it for now. I do need actual things, like to decorate my apartment (apartment video tour coming soon y’all), to find a cute cross-body handbag, to go shopping for new earrings (these hoops have been worn so much I thin they’re shrinking), etc. More will come later. Happy Friyay, bon weekend, onwards and upwards, and see the links below for your reading pleasure.

[Things I currently need 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.]

What are you needing these days? Share in the comments? Please and thanks?

relax…relate…release…

This past weekend, I had a much-needed, long-overdue massage. Incidentally, one of my former masseuses mentioned that I should be doing these once a month. relaxrelatereleaseAs lovely as that sounds, since Idris hasn’t yet proposed, my income just doesn’t allow for that yet. But with the increase in my exercise regimen (I’ve joined the back-to-back daily workouts life; more on that in another post) and more importantly, the quiet cries I hear from my joints every time a workout is completed, it’s time to use that Groupon app and find some massage deals, isn’t it? Anyway, during the session, my masseuse promised to give me a list of areas on my body where she noticed muscle tension–from there, I could go online and research stretching tips for those areas. Well, I got that list. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t a few places here and there. There were five areas she noted, all places that I tend to feel muscle tension throughout the minutes, days, months, years, that pass me by.

And that leads to my confession, dear reader: I don’t think I’ve ever been fully relaxed. Ever. Sure, I’ve had moments where I lay there and feel at peace, serene, undisturbed. But not 100 percent, you know? Not just like languid and droopy with relaxation. Case in point: just last week, prior to this massage, I was laying on the couch in our living room. Ostensibly relaxed, right? My eagle-eyed mom looks at me and asks if there’s anything wrong with my foot. I respond that my foot is fine. She then asks why it seems to be at attention, straight and rigid. I shrug and respond that I don’t know and that it feels fine. When I told her about the masseuse and her list of five areas, she reminded me about our conversation about my foot and how it looked tense. I thought it over and over and realized what I mentioned above.

rrrHonestly, I believe that This Square Peg came into this world not only quietly, but enshrouded with a ball of tension and pre-adult anxiety. So not African, right? Most of my countrymen and women are relaxed, easygoing, go-with-the-flow kind of people. (Yet another thing I didn’t inherit.) Not this one. I think I was born ready to run, ready to spring. I’m never even fully asleep when I sleep. Always aware, always listening, always ready to club someone over the head with a can of potpourri or whatever usable weapon I can find. My beloved dad, who worked at night, used to say that when he came home in the mornings from work, he knew one person would always hear the key going into the front door and would be ready to greet him: me. It was true. I basically sleep/rest/relax with an asterisk next to my brain: *asleep/resting/relaxing, but not really.

Le sigh. So what do I do? Google “how to relax”? Psychologically identify why tension coils around my bones and muscles? More massages? We shall do them all, especially starting with making use of that Groupon app I mentioned above. I have a feeling that if I incorporate massages into my regular schedule, perhaps I’ll finally begin to unwind. After that, I’ll need a leather couch, someone with a pen, and long conversations about just why I believe someone needs to be struck with a can of potpourri in the middle of the night.

How do you relax?

Solace.

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ready to go…
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Where heaven awaited.
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Pre-Massage #1
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Pre-Massage #2
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Pre-Massage #3
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Aaaaand look at those eyes. Clearly post-massage!

Your Square Peg was stressed. And has been for a while. So I made a much-needed appointment for this past Saturday with my masseuse (it’s kind of awesome to have a masseuse, huh?) at Solace Day Spa, a nice establishment here in our area. And let me tell you, which you know I will: it was simply mahvelous.

Jackie, she with the heavenly hands, was shocked to see me, being that a year had passed between appointments. So for the next hour and half of my aromatherapy massage, she made up for our lost time. My achy feet, my achy back, even my typing-all-day hands–she lovingly beat those things into submission with scented oils. I particularly enjoyed the massaging of the sinus pressure points in my scalp and neck, which tend to give me lots of trouble. It was such sweet relief. As you can see from that last picture above, I was essentially pudding when the whole thing was over. Later, I mused that it shouldn’t take another year to see my Jackie. So:

1. I pledge to get a massage once a month. Even I have to forego my Starbucks green teas to save some money, I will do it. (And we all know the mortgages we take out to purchase anything from Starbucks.)

2. I pledge to make it every other month if the plans in #1 fall by the wayside. Sigh.

3. I pledge to relax. Lord, I need to relax. I hold all the tension in my life–99% of it coming from the Garden of Eden that is my job–in my neck and shoulders and back. So I need to get away from the desk, walk around, breathe. It’s imperative.

That, in several nutshells, was the wonder of my weekend. How was yours?