I’m a lover of cute clothes, converse in fifty colors and designs, fresh picked or growing flowers, bright eyeshadow, pretty hairpins, vintage items, and anything that makes me feel happy. I’m convinced we all need a bit of pretty in our lives. Luckily, it comes in many forms.
The last month of my life has been largely devoted to myself. I know, I know, what a selfish concept for a woman with two young children. But, it was necessary. I wasn’t happy with myself and when you aren’t happy with you then you aren’t really happy with anything else. I’ve done a lot of container gardening with my children and we planted some pretty flowers outside yesterday. We planted a little curvy, waving line of sunflower seeds in the backyard that I’m hoping my children will LOVE when they start growing taller than they are over the next couple of months.
I even dug out my hair rollers and curling irons from their lonely spots in the back of the linen closet. And… I’ve taken time to wear makeup more because it was always something I loved experimenting with. My lovely, sweet, fantastically amazing husband (yes, he deserves all those adjectives) even took me out to dinner (just the two of us) and shopping for Mother’s Day. I’ve been on a path to living a healthier lifestyle. I don’t really want to call it a diet, because it really isn’t that. It’s much more than that. It’s been me learning how to eat healthy and enjoy exercise. It’s been me taking care of myself instead of putting myself at the bottom of the list. Less TV and internet, more…living. It’s been lovely and I fully intend to make this way of living a permanent one.
My reason for sharing all this is a hope that it will inspire other women to do the same. To find that something, those somethings, that make YOU feel pretty inside and out. It could be taking time to start reading again, painting, gardening, cooking…just living. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive, do it and let go of the excuses as to why you can’t.
We so easily leave behind little parts of ourselves every single year. Maybe the piano lessons had to go when you got the promotion, the tennis went with the birth of your second child… We get busy with work, children, and all those other obligations that slowly take away little pieces of who we used to be. Life is about change and change can be a very good thing, but I sincerely believe we need to keep a part of who we once ‘were’ to stay happy. We have to understand what parts of our being are integral to our happiness and feed them; let them thrive.
Spiritual nourishment comes in many forms. For some it’s religion, for others it takes on a whole other being. I’m an artistic soul at heart. I have always found comfort in some form of art – music, writing, anything that lets me express myself. Creativity is my outlet, the thing that comes in and heals my wounds. It gives me strength and hope. Without it, I start to feel caged and pent-up. I start to lose who I am and I retreat. I’m also a highly emotional person so I react strongly to the loss of something. We all react in some way. Whether it seems small or large, it’s important to give yourself the outlet that YOU need. It’s also important to allow the other people in your life their outlet.
The latter of those two, I’m pretty bad at. While my husband and I have many things in common, there are things that we each love and the other has no interest in. I hate sports….always have. I’m not too crazy about superheroes and comics either. My husband loves them all, but isn’t into gardening, sewing, writing, or most of my artistic endeavors. We find common ground in music and travel. I am really horrible at letting him have his time to enjoy the things I don’t love so much. It is something I am promising myself to try better at. Luckily, my sons provide sidekicks for BOTH of our interests as they love anything we do. They bring us together. They’re happy to try it all and I should take a cue from them. Who knows what you might really enjoy if you give it a shot.
Whatever your ‘bit of pretty’ is, try it. Immerse yourself in it and indulge the part of living that makes you feel whole and complete. Our lives really aren’t that long and with so much to experience in this world each of us deserve to fully enjoy it.