I hate my hands. When I see them in photographs or on video (I recently watched a tape of when I was on a DayStar production, which left me frowning), I want to call the “hand doctor” and beg for some sort of replacement or transplant. In turn, when I look at a particular family photograph—the one with my great-great grandmother sitting stoically in front of my great-great grandfather—I realize that my hands are part of my inheritance.

Not that I’m blaming Great-great Grandmother Mozelle or anything. That’s just the way it is…or was. We have large hands, big knuckles, and showy veins. Fortunately for her, she lived in a time when women were known to wear gloves upon leaving the house.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t.

The Body Beautiful/Physical

“I would suggest,” beloved speaker and author Florence Littauer once said to me, “that you get a manicure. You tend to your use hands when you speak…in fact, I’m not sure you could speak if you didn’t have your hands.”

I looked down at my knubby nails, split and broken from constant use and abuse. “It’s true,” I said. “I use my hands when I speak…and they are not attractive.”

 

When I arrived home, I called a gal named Sharon who has a nail salon in my area. She said she could see me on Tuesday morning at 9:00. Since that date in 1999, Sharon has been doing my nails every other Tuesday morning at 9:00. The old polish is removed, cuticles are pushed back, a thin layer of acrylic is applied, buffed, and then repolished. Of course there may be more to it than that. And, to tell you the truth, Sharon is more like my therapist than my manicurist. Sitting there for an hour, I spill my heart and soul out while my hands are made more beautiful.

 

Well, in my case, less unattractive.

 

Whether you have inherited hands to die for or hands to cry over, caring for your hands is fairly basic, but extremely important. The parts of our bodies hardest worked are the hands and feet. (We will speak on feet in the next installment of HMC.) Housework, gardening, and life in general puts wear and tear on an often neglected and always exposed area. What began as soft and pliable ends up calloused, gnarled and freckled with age spots.

 

What can you do? For starters, consider investing in a paraffin wax treatment home spa. Paraffin (not a true wax, but a waxy crystalline substance that in the pure form is white, odorless and translucent) is not only wonderful for renewing dry skin; it also acts as a hydrating treatment, perfect for sore muscles and arthritis. If you can’t go that route, purchase a pair of gloves (yes, the old fashioned kind) and nightly coat your hands in a thin veil of petroleum jelly. Then put the gloves on and go to bed. Within a short period of time your hands will feel absolutely wonderful and will look younger, too.

 

Of course hand lotion, ladies, hand lotion. Put a bottle of it everywhere! At your desk, next to the bathroom and kitchen sinks, at your vanity, and next to your bedside. Use it and use it often. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you should want it to have some sort of moisture guard and be non-greasy.

 

Editor’s Side Note: Kathleen Jackson, publisher of The Godly Business Woman magazine, gets a manicure (acrylic overlays) every other week. She says, “My sister convinced me I should get them done to bless and spoil myself. Having it done makes me feel feminine. I have long fingers and when my nails are done they just look and feel so pretty.”