I dipped my toes past mountainous beaded barriers and felt warmth soothe my senses. My foot steadied on the bathtub floor as the rest of my body followed, folding beneath fragrant Eucalyptus and Sage bubbles. I leaned back, allowing myself to find comfort before closing my eyes.
There were candles, music, a towel and robe beside me for whenever I was ready to leave the small sanctuary. People were slated to arrive at five o’clock, and there was still so much to be done: Appetizers needed to be heated and set to serve, cookies still needed to be made, a final clean sweep needed to be done and I needed to get myself ready.
But I kept Christmas Eve stress at bay by drowning out all thoughts of a to-do list and just… sat still. Focused on my breathing. Listened to the sound of bubbles crackling by ears as they popped.
It was one of the most self-fulfilling moments that I had this year. I thought to myself, “I should do this more often,” as I dipped deeper into the water, into utter euphoria. Such a simple act made a world of a difference on my mindset, and all it took was a will to enforce that mental “time-out.”
I opened my eyes and found my reflection in the neighboring shower glass door. My hair stuck out from my bun in all directions. My silhouette was a not exactly dainty, definitely broader than my usual form. Time had certainly taken its toll, but I still recognized myself in the foggy frame.
I bent forward and drew a heart with my point finger, around my shadow in the condensation, before pulling the up drain plug. Smiling inwardly, I reached for my towel and mentally prepared to check back into my to-do list.
Christmas Eve dinner was set to commence at five o’clock with an elaborate spread in the oven, great friends gathered around, and my husband waiting for me underneath the mistletoe.
The world was waiting.
And alas, I was ready.