This year I turned 29. So far, I haven’t found birthdays to be a source of anxiety. In general, getting older is ok with me and my twenties have been pretty great. But next year I will be thirty, and I have an adult job now, and an adult life. But my basic hygiene is about one step above a toddler. I’m the worst at forming habits. I’ve spent most of my twenties flirting with skin care (after years of acne in university), makeup, and hair styling, but nothing has ever stuck. The last two years I have tried to make one new year’s resolution: to quit biting my nails. However, last year was…a bit stressful. A new baby, finishing a master’s thesis, and an international move did not work in my favor. But this is my year.
This is nothing exciting to anyone else, of course, but seeing white on the tips of my nails hasn’t happened in nine years. I quit biting my nails before BD and I got married, by getting manicures every few weeks for six months. Spending money on my nails had the desired effect of me not ruining them. This time I went the more inexpensive route, with Stop n’ Grow (tagline: WILLPOWER IN A BOTTLE), some Burt’s Bees cuticle cream, and clear nail polish. In the mornings I apply the Burt’s Bees lemon butter cuticle cream, which smells amazing, followed by a layer of clear nail polish as needed, and then the nasty willpower in a bottle (which usually goes on at work). I have to admit, I really only used that willpower in a bottle for the first week. It tastes so bitter, and the taste lingers in your mouth for some time afterwards (effective!). I kept forgetting and eating with my hands and then my food experience was ruined. I am almost three weeks in now, and I’m mostly relying on the clear nail polish as a deterrent. My only lapse has been cuticle biting, which is why I am trying to be good about the cuticle cream.
The biggest reason I quit is our open office plan. Working at my computer is a major trigger for my nail biting, and it is not a good look, personally and professionally. It remains to be seen what oral fixation will replace nail biting–candy, or cigarettes? I kid. And the irony is that not nail biting is more expensive than nail biting. I have to go out and buy a file, and nail clippers, and the nail polish, and bitter bite-y stuff. mo’ money, mo’ problems.
In conclusion, please do not look too closely at my hands, because my cuticles are still gross (Mom always said I could just push them back after a shower with the corner of a towel, but I seem to fail at that. I feel sometimes like there is this school of personal grooming that I missed) and my hands are kind of dry and gross from handling concrete at work. Baby steps!
P.S. I have also started washing my face every morning. I know, who am I?! I hardly know myself anymore. But…I still don’t do anything to my hair. And I still mentally high five myself when I have to make an adult phone call and take care of business, like our utilities or medical stuff. I identify with this Hyperbole and Half post deeply.