There was a moment there where I threw in the towel. At least on my effort towards dressing. Momentarily (at least I hope it was? how much time has even passed?) I went through a period where I was wearing stretchy pants and mostly black or grey. My husband said our new neighbors probably think I am goth (but not in a polished, cyber punk way) in an I-bought-this-while-walking-towards-the-produce-at-Costco kind of way. And you know what? In an effort to be "comfortable" I lost myself a little. With all of the inside and alone time in the last year, I got into a weird groove where it became ok to stop mindfully dressing myself. I would put on makeup for zoom calls, usually wearing something unflattering out of view. I caught a glimpse of myself one day and went, whoa. Who is that? I literally didn't recognize myself. Nothing fit well, and frankly - I just looked sloppy. My signature big hair? Untrimmed in 6 months it looked like a wig belonging to Louis the XIV.
Dressing has always been a big part the way I express myself. I am a mood dresser. If I am feeling under the weather, I actually ramp it up and will make an effort to put on a pop of color or something I feel powerful in, just to make myself feel better. I also dress for myself, not really for others. I like to catch a glimpse of an interesting silhouette as I walk by and cast a shadow. It brings me joy. Not trying to look pretty, or trendy. Just like my own uniquely wonderful me. And then, covid.
Something about all that quarantine time & home made bread brought out my desire to try this look where you have a sloppy bun, cropped hoodie and leggings. Every day. TBH I hadn't worn my hair in a bun pre-2020. And yet, there I was, completely oblivious to how I had stopped taking care of myself.
I think especially when you're a mother it becomes ok or acceptable to put yourself last. At least I have. You do so much dawn to dusk taking care of the house and the humans (and pets and plants) that you forget to schedule some "me time". You tell yourself you "can't be gone" and stay home in case someone forgets where the paper towels are. I did so good getting outside and walking, & practicing mindfulness for the first half of 2020, that I didn't notice my slide into anxiety for the last half of 2020. Mental health is a complex thing, and it doesn't always express it's challenges the way you'd expect. For me, I learned how stressed I was when I started journaling. Just 1-5 minutes on my phone, writing down what I did each day to gauge where I was at. I was shocked when I re-read my cliff notes the next week. Day after day of "feeling overwhelmed, I feel like I can't keep up". That, my friends, just won't do. I deserve better.
I am happy to say that I found someone to talk to, keep up with my journaling, and am more mindful of the thoughts I allow to take space in my head. Don't be too jealous, but I am also working out 3-4x a week. I feel like a new man. Or woman. Whatever.
Anyway, I am sharing this because we've all been through a lot. It is hard some days to be optimistic especially with everything you see and hear. But we will get through this, the world will not cease turning. This will eventually be an insane story we tell our grand children, or whoever will listen to us in line at the airport. At the end of this wild pandemic, do you want to emerge like a cave-person, a disoriented mess in unbecoming rags? Or the phoenix in high waisted jeans and a great handbag. You decide.
Sending love and light to all you beautiful humans. Hope this brings you a laugh, or a reminder to take better care of yourselves. You deserve it. We all do.