There was time when I couldn’t relate to the woman who appeared on TV in desperate need of a makeover. The recurring theme was that she was just too busy with the demands of family life to maintain her looks. When I was single and free, it was impossible for me to grasp how these women could just “let themselves go.”
But alas, I understand. I have finally arrived at that place where .I would be selected as an obvious candidate for a makeover today.
In my youth, my hair was done on a weekly basis, or sooner in preparation for a night on the town. (The only thing I prep now are meals.) And in between these regular visits, I would style it at home, if needed. I could spend hours with a curling iron to get my hair just right for a date and with ample time to spare. Now, I simply pull it back into a bun. How cliché.
Although I was not much of a fashionista, I did maintain a polished and professional appearance at work. I loved to shop during my lunch hour for anything I could find that would flatter my body type. I was very good at camouflaging or emphasizing what needed to be, in order to look and feel as confident as possible. So, whatever the occasion, I always had a selection of appropriate outfits ready and waiting in my wardrobe. And of course, a woman could never have enough shoes or accessories to go with it. So, there was always room for another bracelet, belt or bag.
I was also able to indulge in mani/pedi sessions, whether or not I was actually due for another. (The only pampering I recall since then has been changing diapers.) Other scheduled appointments in the old days revolved around spa treatments, hot stone massages, waxing and taking impromptu classes just for fun– like dance or yoga. Chores and constantly chasing my kid around is how I move now.
Then there were the toiletries. Oh, how I loved to make pit stops at places like Aveda to take home their latest sustainable product or Sabon for another batch of my favorite salt scrub. Quick showers have since replaced leisurely hot baths in which I surrounded myself with scented candles as Billy Joel played in the background. I miss threading my eyebrows, too. Plucking them is just not the same.
Even though I was all set with an array of lotions or perfumes, I would routinely stop by the fragrance or cosmetic counters, mostly on a whim. While I was there I listened to the sales pitch even though I didn’t need to hear it to make a purchase either way.
High from my goodies, I would stop at Godiva for the real thing and enjoyed my chocolate covered cherries on the subway ride.
Now, I do realize that for some women, none of this has become a thing of the past. We all have our own unique set of circumstances in life and for me (after motherhood) it most certainly did.
It’s not the end of the world but I wanted to reminisce a little bit.
What I have learned recently is that self-care applies to things other than the focus on our physical appearance, too. For instance, personal fulfillment through our interests and hobbies but of course, there’s nothing wrong with being able to look good while you’re doing them.
Nevertheless, devoting my free time to what feeds my soul matters more to me now than what I’d like to see reflected in the mirror.
Furthermore, the reality is that the average woman cannot have it all or do it all. She has to choose between painting her fingernails or a blank canvas whenever she has a free window because there’s only so many hours in a day.