I have this theory on nail polish. I don’t know that it applies to everyone, but it certainly has proved true in my life. The theory is this:
When my nails are painted with nail polish, I’m taking better care of myself overall. When they are not painted, I’m probably not spending enough time on my own care.
The first time I realized and started sharing this theory was in high school. I would rarely take the time to paint my nails- even though I love it- because I very rarely had the time to sit down and do it. Even if I did have the time to do it, they wouldn’t last very long and I certainly didn’t have time for maintenance.
So I would keep them painted sometimes. But usually not. It was a treat. Once in a blue moon (my favorite beer…) I would get a manicure and then they would really last a long time (like a week!).
I didn’t think much of it until a few years ago when I was living in Chicago. I had a few life changes go down and decided to start taking better care of myself. I put on more lotion every night and I took the time to make sure my nails were always nice (or at least relatively presentable). Then I met a guy who noted that when I talked to him. I proceeded to date that guy for over two years. I would make it a goal to keep my nails polished not because he insisted on it, but because it was a neat thing he would notice. And it made me feel feminine. And reminded me to take time to balance.
That relationship has ended. I tried to keep up with the nail polish on my own. I love nail polish on people. I notice it on my friends. I really do love when my nails are done. But I’ll be honest, the past few weeks, I’ve been shitty about keeping my them painted. I did it a little bit for a Vegas weekend, but they immediately chipped and I got annoyed with them and they’re naked again.
I’m not spending money on manicures right now. I don’t have the money to spend on those frivolities. Every little bit that comes in that doesn’t go towards basic life maintenance (rent, groceries, car, gas, etc.) gets spent on career. Parking, drink minimums, classes, headshots, workshops, video and show production, festival entrance fees… you name it. There’s always something else I’d rather spend the money on.
And here’s why… I’m not worried about balance right now. I’m not being very balanced. I’m in a phase of my life where I have a one-track mind. I’m constantly working and focusing on all things creative that could help me be funnier and a better comedy package to market and share with the world. I’m still taking time for myself at the gym (because that’s helpful for both my mind and career) and I’m still trying to get plenty of sleep.
Other than that, I’m not spending very much time at home. I don’t have a lot of downtime for non-productive things. I don’t have a lot of interest in balance right now. I’m ok with the nails because at this very precious very rare time in my life, I can spend every waking hour working on forwarding my career. And- although nails are great when I have time- I’m ok with not having the time for it right now.
I’ve spent big chunks of my life in good balance. And big chunks of my life focusing on people, places, and things that were not “productive” to my career. I wouldn’t change those times for anything because they very much inform who I am now. And I look forward to the future when I have more time for those places, hobbies, and people again. But right now… I’m in focus mode. And nothing- not even gorgeous nail polish- is going to distract me from that.
And I’m ok with it.
Though…if I see a really cute color or style and have an excuse for a party or even to wear it to, I may splurge. We’ll see.