One of the things that Lisa and I did on my birthday was to go to Bellanina, a local day spa, to make use of some massage gift certificates that we had. We got the certificates at the Chamber of Commerce member reception put on by Dynamic Edge a couple of months ago.
It's a pretty nice way to spend my birthday afternoon.
After filling out some paperwork, our host led us upstairs to a massage suite. On several placards in the hall were indications that it would be frowned upon to be using your cell phone. This was a quiet area, designated for peaceful contemplation and stress-free relaxation.
The original plan had been that we would get our massages simultaneously, but due to a scheduling glitch, we had to go one at a time. I think the measure of good customer service is often not only how well a business treats its customers, but also how well it recovers when an unexpected problem crops up.
Bellanina did a great job in this respect. After apologizing profusely, they offered to bring up a complimentary tray of snacks for us. A few minutes later, I was ensconced in the sitting room while Lisa was getting her massage. I had a delightful array of cheese, crackers, and fruit before me and a nice cool glass of sparkling cranberry juice in one hand. Our masseuse, Jennifer Foresythe, made sure that I was comfortable before she went to give Lisa her massage.
I tell you, just the atmosphere was enough to sooth any residual stress I might have been experiencing over it being my birthday. I actually dozed off for a while.
When it came my turn, Jennifer did just an amazing job. One of the hallmarks for me of a great masseuse is the ability to apply enough force so that you can really feel it down deep in the muscle without tipping over the threshold into actual pain. Jennifer was spot-on in this area.
After getting my massage, while waiting to check out, I had the curious sensation of being simultaneously so relaxed that I could take a nap and so energized that I felt like I could take on the world. Great job, Jennifer!
Reflecting on my birthday, I guess we have some sort of psychological need to recognize these mileposts in our lives, but there's so much baggage associated with turning forty that I could easily have sunk into a depressive funk from which I might not have recovered until I hit forty-one.
Instead, I had a pretty darned good day.
I don't feel forty (or at least the way you are supposed to feel when you are forty). I still feel like I'm in my early thirties -- maybe younger. I'll consider feeling old next year. For now I'm having too much fun.
So, how old do you feel?