I realized something about myself and I am still not sure if it’s normal. However, I have the inkling that is not only because I have been nonchalantly spying on my friend’s…accessories.
I never ever buy new purses, or bras, and I usually have chipped nail polish on my hands. These are all things that I wish to change because I am turning the corner toward 40. I have been using the same Coach wrist-let that my fashion forward cousin bought me on my 30th birthday in 2012. My designer friend bought me a cute make-up bag at least 8 years ago that holds all my make-up, including my blush brush from my wedding day in 2010. I am still wearing a nursing bra and I stopped nursing last June. I even went to Nordstrom and was fitted for a “real” bra but couldn’t bring myself to spend the sixty dollars. I carry a knock-off Hermes’ bowling bag purse with a broken strap that I fished out of someone’s ‘Good-will’ garbage bag. I don’t even like the purse but I keep it because it’s sensible. It is able to hold my dirty wrist-let, two diapers, a pack of wipes, a couple pairs of mismatched toddler socks, and Chapstick.
I am looking at my nails as I type and it makes me feel like… I am 12. Something about this chipped hot pink nail polish symbolizes that I am not where I imagine I should be at 36 years old.
I believe these superficial things are subtle clues pointing to a deeper issue that I need to examine to become the person I am striving toward.
This morning I sat under my covered porch with my coffee and fuzzy blanket. I left my phone and all distractions inside. I forced myself to be still and listen. It is amazing how loud the birds are when you are focused on them. At first, I was sitting in an Adirondack chair drowning in my busy thoughts, “I need to pay Colton’s gymnastics bill, the toilets need to be cleaned, what kind of paint should I use on the dining table so it doesn’t chip?” Then I quiet my thoughts and suddenly I find myself immersed inside a magical symphony of a thousand small harmonious composers.
Suddenly, it is all I can hear.
Isn’t this true with anything in life? Whatever we focus our energy on becomes louder, brighter and BIGGER. The opposite is also true, whatever we ignore becomes quiet, tired, out of focus, and even sick.
You might be wondering where this is going. I gave birth to two babies in the span of 22 months. I was just recovering from Post Partum depression and then got pregnant with my second. My only focus was outward; Diapers. Nursing. Nap time. Dishes. Dinner… on and on it goes. I completely neglected myself. In fact, I may not remember much but I will never forget the feeling of having to pee, being hungry, and so tired that my eyes stung, simultaneously, for months at a time.
It is so easy to ignore ourselves but sometimes it’s not a choice, it’s a matter of survival.
By the time I came up for air, I realized I hadn’t actually taken a substantial lung filled breath in so long that I forgot how to breathe.
I’ll admit that I have never been into purses, nails, and fancy bras but I know that is not the reason I haven’t updated them. It is because it is more comfortable for me to buy a cute wool sweater for my two year old. It is because my focus is mostly on the chatter of the needs of everyone else. I have not chosen to cozy up in a blanket and listen to the song of my own heart. I have not completely bought into the idea that if I am empty, I am not able to pour anything out and if I do not make myself a priority, who will? If I do not teach my kids by example to love themselves, who will? The truth is that making ourselves a priority benefits everyone. However, it does not come naturally. It is a conscious choice and it must be fought for. Sometimes it means saying no to something and rearranging plans or sacrificing financially. It doesn’t just happen. We have to make it happen.
My kids are now able to play outside without my constant supervision. I no longer have tiny humans relying on my body for their sustenance, and I am actually getting more than 4 hours of sleep at night!
Without warning, I am beginning to hear that familiar song again…and I am listening closely. Whatever stage you are in, love yourself enough to stop and listen to your song. There is a magical symphony singing of a thousand stories that make you, you. There is a melody inside you that is asking to be the beat to your future steps.
So today, both my kids are in school and instead of going home to put away four loads of clean laundry, I am headed out to buy myself a new purse…and it may not be a sensible one.