Yesterday, I did what I do every two weeks; I went to the nail salon and got a manicure. I’ve been doing this, fairly regularly, for the last 4 or 5 years. And for all of those years, I have seen one technician. For the first few years, I didn’t know his name. I sat in the chair, played on my phone, texted, talked to the people next to me. We would smile at each other. Never really speaking. Other than the obligatory hello, thank you and goodbye.
About a year ago, I brought my girls in to get their nails painted and he was wonderful with them. I asked if he had children and he told me had two sons. From then on, I learned more about him each visit. His wife works with him. They like to take the kids to the beach.
Now when I go in we talk the whole time. Asking each other about our lives, the holidays, the weather. Normal, polite, chit chat.
Until yesterday. I sat down in his chair utterly defeated. For reasons, I don’t even want to get into, I am defeated right now. Tired, grumpy, irritable, blah. A product of my own doing.
He began his usual routine and when I looked up at him, he asked me, “What do you want for Christmas?”
“Peace,” I answered truthfully.
“A quiet day?” he asked.
“No. Peace inside,” I said.
He thought this over for a minute and said to me, “I stopped picking up my phone when I was bored. I have peace.”
I sat staring at him, speechless. Wondering what prompted him to share this with me. And then I realized that he sees me every few weeks, come in, pick up my phone, waste my time, and all the while looking exhausted and defeated when I get off of the phone.
He asked if I had ever delted social media and I told him I had for a few months a few years ago. “What did you do instead of picking up your phone,” he said.
I remembered back to those few months and answered, “I prayed.”
“How did you feel?”
“Peaceful,” I said.
I left feeling like I had just been through an hour of therapy except I saved a couple hundred dollars and my nails looked fabulous to boot.
I can’t delete social media these days. Future book sales depend on it. I have to cultivate a base of support before publishing houses will even look at me.
But it makes me wonder what it would be like if I could go back again. Delete it all. I would miss my friends that I do not speak to on a regular basis. Miss seeing what they are doing. I would miss….ummm….give me a minute. I’ll think of something else.
If I took away all the distraction, what would I discover about myself? Would I fall back in love with this life I created? Would I feel rested? Secure? Confident? Peaceful?
Or would I come to admit that when all the noise is gone, I’m not the person I should be? Would I have to face my flaws? Could I handle the silence?
Food for thought this Tuesday morning.