I've never been much good at it.
In the periods of time when I do achieve it, it's never because I sought it as my goal. Instead, I back into it, as an unexpected side effect of sheer obsession, and my tendency to multi-task my obsessions: work, yoga, riding, music, books.
But of late, everything has taken a backseat to work. Work has colored my every impression. I study my friends and internally assess their value to me in a work context, and categorize them into buckets: so-and-so's tastes and habits are perfectly in line with those of my ideal end-user so I should study them closely, so-and-so might be potential colleagues/partners/employees when I can afford to pay them what they are worth, so-and-so has contacts that are valuable.
But specifically, I have been obsessed with "sales" and the ability to persuade, to manipulate, to persevere, to overcome objections, to engage. I see people on the street handing out flyers and I wonder how much they get paid and, if they are attractive and personable (usually they aren't), I wonder if I should hire them. I have developed an informal and highly politically incorrect algorithm for assessing potential employees.
I have been thinking about Beauty.
SK laughingly pointed out that what was once a deeply interesting hobby of mine (spa treatments, facials, mani/pedis, hair cuts, fashion) has now become my business.
But because IC and I are too busy still to fulfill our dream of running our business from neighboring pedicure chairs, we sit around in my apt., furiously bent over our computers, often gesticulating loudly into our respective cell phones, with our hair untidily piled on our heads, faces bare of makeup, wiggling our unpedicured toes (although now we wear socks since it is getting colder), and talking about how we ARE beauty.
Occasionally, we see the humor in this.
But of late, we have realized that we need to step up. We can't just look neat and tidy and washed on the days when we have meetings. Since we work with salons and spas and exclusive boutiques, and since I spend the vast part of everyday in the above establishments, I should really have the Best Hair Ever and The Best Clothes Ever.
So, to achieve both Beauty and Balance, here I sit, typing at my computer with a mud mask on my face and deep conditioner in my hair.
Not sure if that's really the most effective way to achieve either of those goals. But hey, it's all about baby steps.
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8 months ago