I’ve spent a career working with women in the salon industry. My goal has been to make women feel sexier and more confident. Since I truly believe that happiness comes from within, I have always encouraged my clients to make themselves a priority. I’ve also reminded countless women to focus more on their relationships instead of all the extra crap that inundates their lives.  During this past holiday, however, I think many people forgot the true meaning of Christmas.

Everyone was in such a rush. Our city was like a bumper car ride at the Amusement Park. Heck, a girl who couldn’t get to Starbucks quick enough totaled my daughter’s car. Thankfully, my daughter was fine. Her car, on the other hand, was trashed. I listened to women lament about all the money they were forced to spend and all of the errands they had to do. I was waiting for stories about the joy everyone would feel knowing they were going to be with the people they love. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

The focus should be on love, family, and the notion of giving. Nowadays, it seems like everyone is in a frenzy over what to buy and how much to spend. I have a novel thought. Why doesn’t everyone give their loved one’s a gift of time? Time is precious and once it passes, you’ll never get it back.

When I listened to all of the bitching about the time and money spent on presents, it made me reflect on how things have changed since I was a kid. Remember the day when you really got to know someone and bought a gift that reminded you of him or her? You weren’t told what to buy or how much to spend.  Today we are so worried about making sure we are equitable with our purchases that we forget to focus on getting something meaningful, regardless of the cost. The spirit of Christmas should not be causing this much stress. The holidays have become so commercialized that people are forgetting what the true meaning is. I always thought it was about love. Now I’m not so sure. It may not be the season to stop and smell the flowers, but it should be the time for reflection and gratitude. Heck, when was the last time you stopped under the mistletoe and shared a big, fat kiss?

When I was growing up, our relationships were built on a strong foundation of years of getting to know one another. Now, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a face-to-face conversation with another person. Since the incredible (or not so incredible) invention of the text message, this generation is losing its ability to communicate. How can you truly know someone if you don’t hang out and talk for hours? It seems like the Millennial’s are losing their ability to have a meaningful conversations. According to Webster (that’s the name of a dictionary, not the suburb of Rochester) communicating refers to sharing or exchanging ideas. Is that happening anymore? This old-fashioned girl doesn’t think texting is an adequate way of communicating with another person.

When you look at Facebook, people seem to always be putting their “best face forward.” C’mon, that’s not reality. My blonde eyelashes, uneven skin tone, and crazy morning hair are the real thing. When the guy at the gym asks me if I’m under the weather, I want to slap him. Sorry darling, this is the real me. I do my hair and makeup daily after I finish my workout. You shouldn’t sweat with makeup on; it’s bad for the skin. And the way I sweat these days, I have to do my hair when I’m finished anyways. So my imperfect face and my ‘Wax Queen’ baseball cap are what I don at the gym. If you don’t like it, no worries, I’m not looking for a guy, just a healthy body. But at least I make going to the gym a priority. I like feeling healthy and I’m convinced that it is endorphins that keep my middle-aged body going.

With the worries over gift giving, the fear of gaining weight and the need to get a zillion things accomplished in the month of December, we neglect ourselves. And this neglect causes many to get overwhelmed or run down. The amount of sick people I encountered over the past month was staggering. Things like working out and preparing healthy meals become unattainable concepts. And that’s not right. When was the last time you read a book, got a massage, or had sex? If you had to really think about it, then it’s time for me to remind you what is really important in life.

Let’s start with the most important person…you.  I know I’ve said this before, but the happier you are with yourself, the better wife, mother, friend, and partner you will be to others. You need to make yourself a priority. I’m not embarrassed to admit I love having pedicures, facials, and massages. I love drinking wine and making love to my husband. I love reading romance novels and getting lost in another world. Have you done any of those things lately or have you let your needs be something you’ll think about next year?

I wrote this whimsical, non-fiction booked called The Happy Hoo-Ha. It recounts absurd stories about my crazy profession as a Brazilian wax technician. Even if you aren’t a fan of raucous, non-fiction humor about the life of a Brazilian waxer, you should take a step back to think about my message. And the message is simple. Take care of your needs first, figure out what things in life will truly make you happy, and hopefully then you’ll be able to find peace and joy. The Happy Hoo-Ha refers to more than having a fulfilling sex life. It’s about finding happy in all aspects of your life.

Many women are so focused on everyone else’s needs that they neglect their own, and that is just wrong. We are all busy. Life is hectic and often stressful. I get it. But when was the last time you laughed so hard that snot came out of your nose?

Life is too short to put happy on the back burner. You figure that tomorrow will be better; there isn’t always a tomorrow. Your job may not be perfect. You may weigh a few more pounds than you want. There are probably a slew of things in your life that you’d like to change. If that’s the case, then make the conscious decision to make the changes that are necessary to help you find real happiness. Don’t be complacent. There isn’t time for that. Don’t wait for a vacation to have fun. What if there are complications with your travels?

When the plane is delayed and it rains the entire time in Aruba, you’ll realize that you can’t guarantee joy one to two weeks a year.

The New Year is here my friends. It is time to make sure that you focus on you and the things in life that will bring you joy. Don’t let the stressors in your life steal your fun. “Sex, love, and rock-n-roll” was more than just an expression. They were words to live by. This generation may not even know about that expression, which is a shame. There was an enormous group of people that made living a loving and fun life a priority. As long as you are a good person who treats others with respect, then take a chance at happiness. Even more importantly, don’t let the stressors in life make you forget how to have a happy hoo-ha!