As the dark winter approaches, holding us indoors to contemplate the woes of our lives, there are several common cures for its cold gray oppression. To that list I add haircuts and nail clippings.
Less obsessive-compulsive than constant hand washings, these two personal hygiene rituals have a certain soul cleansing property that shouldn't be overlooked. So here's a column about them.
This isn't really about the hair and nails as much as it's about what they might symbolize.
Both of these grooming tasks tend to sneak up on us, and the realization that they need some attention is, at least for me, a very compelling issue.
First for the nail clippings. This is a great joy for me, which I reserve for the workday. It's like taking a smoke break without the cigarette. I can't overstate the cathartic quality of metaphorically clipping away little daily annoyances into a trash can.
After the trimming my hands dance across the keyboard like ballerinas. Anyone in the data entry field should clip their fingernails daily.
Haircuts are slightly more complicated. I suppose you could give yourself a haircut in the bathroom at work, but it's not recommended. The haircut is the closest thing to a massage that I can allow myself. It's also like getting your teeth cleaned without the pain factor.
What's more refreshing than walking out of the salon sporting a fresh 'do to tackle the world with?
This is after you've gotten all the hair out of your shirt, of course.
The commonality here is the idea of shedding off unwanted growth. It's about realizing that you've gone a bit too long without some proper maintenance, and it's past due that you get it fixed.
Maybe your haircut has gone out of style, and after looking around a bit you realize that you're due for a change. Maybe your fingernails are too long and you notice them when you type - they slow you down with a constant annoyance.
Here's to winter inspiring us all to find the nail clippers and the scissors so we can straighten this mess out.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org .