The Ahhhhh In Spa

Okay, seriously, you guys. I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, without the whole prostitution, and having great legs and a tiny waist, part. Also, I’d rather sleep with my husband than Richard Gere, any day, or every day, of the week. But, other than that, I feel, soak in the giant hot tub listening to Prince, surrounded by the kind of opulence you have only dreamed about, with bubbles floating as high as your dreams, kind of ecstatic.

It is Sunday morning, and instead of getting five sleepy/slightly cranky children ready for church or a day in Coeur D’ Alene as a family (because both feel just as holy to me, because both expand my view, and both show me a perspective that I hadn’t considered before), I am in bed. Not in my bed, but a bed that will only be mine for the next few hours.

I have just eaten breakfast in this same bed, with the window open, overlooking trees that have been here longer than anyone I know. Watching as they wave to the breeze, swaying dancers, under a gray sky. Life feels as open as the golf course that surrounds this place. Sure, there are some sand traps here and there, but mostly it is rolling green fairways. I don’t golf, but I’m still excited.

Yesterday was the first day that I have ever spent in a spa, other than getting a pedicure in this same spa last December. I was nervous. And by nervous, I mean self conscious in a way that I vowed I would no longer allow myself to be. I felt like a big apology in a bathrobe, for the first half hour of the morning. But then reality set in and I realized that if I was going to really do this thing, I had to do it all the way. I most certainly did not arrange childcare for 5 children, and do all of the things that it takes to plan an entire weekend away, just to sit in uncomfortable emotions. So I stopped.

I drank my second glass of cucumber water, and laid down on the plushest chaise lounge I could find. I closed my eyes and let the calm music overtake the turbulence of my always on the go mind.  I guided my own thoughts towards what was open and true, and did not allow myself to make mental to do lists, or try to control anything other than my breathing. It was amazing. I felt more alive than I have in a long time. With nothing pulling at me, I allowed myself to just lay there and breathe.

Throughout the day, I enjoyed facials and treatments, a pedicure, and massages. I laughed and chatted with my sister and best friend, and also with others. I drank my weight in cucumber water. We had tea, and lunch delivered in a special room. We sat in water that is heated to 103.2 degrees, under a drizzly sky, and felt the dichotomy of the two. We drank champagne during leg massages, and yes, developed something called spa brain, even before that. Where you are so relaxed that you have a hard time standing and remembering how to put on your shoes.

Today, I’m trying to sneak in this blog before we go back down to the spa for more treatments. The truth is, as much as I anticipate that, I don’t want to leave this room. My best friend surprised me by booking the Presidential Suite. The dining room in it seats 8. Eight! The living room has almost floor to ceiling double doors that open, on both sides of a gigantic gas fireplace. The bathroom has a hot tub that could fit my family of seven. There is a bar, and kitchen, and too many things to mention.

And yes, it all makes me feel like a pretty woman. It makes me feel chosen, and cared for, humbled, and grateful. But I also identify with the part of knowing that this is not home, and not where I came from. I grew up just, so, poor, you guys, that this all seems surreal. And while part of me feels a little bit guilty for this birthday weekend, the rest of me is sitting here in amazement. What’s a girl to do? I’m going to enjoy the heck out of it.

Because life is short, but also amazing. Because my life is filled with others who need me. My life might be small, but it matters to some, so I’m going to take today to gather my strength. I will soak it all in, before I go back and wring what I’m learning out onto those I love. I will be pampered and coddled, given to, and nurtured. And I won’t waste a minute of it by apologizing.

Tomorrow I will go back to being mostly a mommy and a wife. But I’ll still remember that I was a woman, and maybe even a pretty one, first.

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