Beautify, One Word, Flower, Maplopo

To beautify, or not to beautify: that is the question… 

As last year was coming to a close, I chose the word, “beautify” to be my focus word for next year. This word choosing event for the year is something we do here at Maplopo. Doc chose “thrive” as his word for this year. I picked “beautify” because life was getting considerably busy and I felt as though I was neglecting myself. I stopped using my face steamer at night, and my hair ended up growing out so much my sister unabashedly described me as looking like a “ghost.” My desk had become cluttered with its drawers difficult to navigate, and my closet was a mess. An unhealthy period of nightly drinking cropped up, and I found myself dashing in and out of a quick shower instead of taking a long bath like I used to do… Having just started a new job amplified the loss of my general calmness, and the day was going by quickly in the blink of an eye.

This is not good, I thought. I like taking care of myself, and I shouldn’t let myself slip downhill, living life as a worn-out zombie. So, I declared to Doc I would beautify myself and the house. 

I put to use my face steamer that had been collecting dust for half a year in the kitchen cabinet drawer. I went and got a haircut, a conditioning treatment, and aesthetic head massage, bought my long-forgotten eyelash treatment solution, cleared all the junk from my desk, organized a million dictionaries and geeky language books laying around the room, lining them all up nicely with bookends on my desk, and got rid of a bunch of dull clothes that were just not doing it for me anymore. Doc and I went out and bought elegant-looking curtains for the windows at last (yes, we were famously curtainless for a year), and got nice incense for relaxing at bath time. Doc also likes to surprise me with gorgeous flowers from the local florists that he picks up on his way home, and we acquired many kinds of tea leaves we can drink more often instead of hard, adult beverages. 

I feel my beautifying project is going fantabulous. The word reminds me of the necessity to take loving care of myself, and keeps me on track. I’m looking forward to improving our house as this year goes on, collecting more items to cherish. I’m glad we’ve finally put a stop to our regular crazy drinking habit (drinking like two pirates on the ship, two sheets to the wind. “Shiver my timbers!”). I’m enjoying my night-time face steaming, taking care of my hair diligently with a longer conditioning time in each bath with my trusty grape-seed serum or the Hawaiian tamanu oil, and relishing in the banana, coconut, and honey scent of my hair on those particular days when I use that special shampoo of mine that I’ve set aside for occasional use. This feels so lovely. Much better than when I let my sloppiness take over me and live without proper care. 

Tuesday morning feels almost spiritual as I go downstairs and into the chilly, quiet kitchen at 4:20, standing there making my drip coffee with the charcoal-roasted beans scooped from its beautiful royal blue package we got from the local coffee joint. I love the smell of this heavenly product. In the foyer and bathroom, dainty flowers are placed in empty sake bottles that, for the time being, substitute as vases. Saturday morning, I open my newly purchased, A5-sized black notebook and grab the burgundy pen that will help me write a story, my jasmine-flavored earl grey tea sitting on its coaster just in front of the row of dictionaries on my desk. And, sometimes here and there, I do love sneaking a tiny bit of whisky in my hot chocolate on a delightful Sunday afternoon. Then I go upstairs and toss myself next to my sweetest darling bear who’s working on his own story.

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