RUNAWAY BAY, Saint Ann’s Parish, Jamaica _ It was called a sugar and spice scrub. The masseuse didn’t detail what those ingredients were, and I didn’t ask. I didn’t need to know. What I did know was that, by the time she was done, she had scrubbed away every bad thing anyone had ever said to me.
By the time it was over, she had scrubbed away every horrible boss, every broken promise, every deferred dream.
By the time she was finished, I felt like sugar and spice and everything nice. And as I walked along the beach afterward, I felt beautiful, excited to be alive, appreciative of the blessing to be on a beach with sand so soft, it wouldn’t hold heat.
I was at a resort in the middle of a work week because my family told me to take a break, even a short one. And I didn’t even realize how much I needed it until I felt tiny granules of sugar and spice scrape the worry from my skin. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I sat under an umbrella, a virgin pina colada in hand, and it dawned on me that I didn’t have anywhere to be just then.
I won a music trivia contest (28 points. All the music was American.)
I took a break.
Not all breaks are sunshine and pina coladas. Not all periods of reflection come at the end of a plane ride. If you can do it, it’s a great way to stop. But however you do it, do it. Take a moment to think a moment about what kind of life you’re living, what kind of joy you’re giving.
Take a moment to decide whether that unfinished project is worth your time. If it is, get back to it. If it’s not, stop letting it make you feel like a failure. You cannot fail at something you’re not supposed to be doing.
Your moment can be anywhere and at any time. You decide.
But if you can make that moment of reflection come at the end of a sugar and spice scrub that can take away the past, do that.
ROCHELLE RILEY is a writer whose essays here are about her personal thoughts and adventures. No reprints without permission.
You can read her columns at www.freep.com/rochelleriley and follow her on Twitter @rochelleriley.