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I’ve never really understood the importance of this phrase or the concept behind it. Raised in a culture where self-service to others was modeled and seen as more important than service-to-self, I’ve embraced a model of sacrificial love for my family and those around me. I was even raised with a prayer that suggested this was the right way to do things: God first, others second, myself third.

And ultimately, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t think of God and others before ourselves. I’m not voting for a culture of self-absorbed nutjobs. I think we kind of have that already, and it’s not workin’ so well for us as a whole.  But I do think there’s an enormous benefit to caring for ourselves – or at least, I’m beginning to think so.  It’s still patently foreign to my way of thinking and life, so I’m stretching my own paradigm a little at a time.  I can take better care of my family and those around me if I also care for myself – so I’m learning.

That said, I realized around the 3rd week of January that I was running on empty.  Not like the old Jackson Browne song, but seriously depleted.  I’ve been dealing with some major things in life for a while now, made it through the holidays, got in to January and kept up the major grind, topped it off with a round of the stomach flu for Mark & Brendan, got through my kid’s birthday and all that encompassed… I had cared for everyone but me.  And I was totally feelin’ it.

I had seen an ad in a local “coupon magazine” that comes to the house for a “Winter Renewal Package” that had a lot to it and was only $99.  Ninety-nine extra dollars is quite hard to come up with right now, but I found myself longing for something I’d never done before – be totally pampered at a salon.  Plus, the fact that I hadn’t had my hair cut since early July wasn’t helping – I felt scraggly in the hair department.

The nice thing is that some of my friends on facebook (alternately known as The Huddle) surprised me for my birthday with a gift that allowed me to book this Winter Renewal Pkg and be pampered. 

If you’re local to the Ann Arbor area, this package is available for another 10 days or so and includes the following:  a 30-minute massage (from Main Street Massage Therapy), a haircut, a full colour or partial highlight, a scalp massage, a paraffin hand treatment, an express manicure (all from Salon 328), and a $10 gift certificate to The Prickly Pear.  All for $99.  Seriously. Good. Stuff.

If you’re not familiar with the location, it’s (oddly enough) at 328 South Main Street in Ann Arbor.  The two businesses share a locale above The Prickly Pear.  It’s a humble exterior, but the interior is quite nice.

The massage was *heaven*.  If I had the ability, I’d hire a masseuse to be on staff at Chez Me.  Wow.

Monica at Salon328 did my hair – I told her I’d like to preserve the length, but that I was aware of the split ends and that it needed some serious trimming.  I chose highlights, a trim (of 3″ !!), and proceeded with the rest of the package.  She did a great job and I was quite pleased with the outcome.

If you are local and want to book the package, the phone number is 734.827.2777.  Ask for The Winter Renewal Package before the 23rd of February – you won’t regret the cash you spend and the way you care for yourself.


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  • Nettie

    Echoing your sentiments, here’s an oft-quoted statement by my main man Frederick Buechner:
    “Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death.”

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    somehow, after our conversation the other night, introducing Buechner in to the discussion isn’t quite so strange. or surprising. 😉


  • http://taliajenea.blogspot.com Hilary

    So, do we get to see pics of the renewed you?

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    yeah, maybe that’s something i oughta do, Hilary. i don’t look that much different – just feel different. 😉

    but maybe i’ll take a snapshot & put it up, just for fun. :)