What makes you feel truly beautiful? I don't just mean for that passing moment when your hair happens to actually obey your commands, or your makeup just happens to match on both eyes, but really aware of your worth? For me, I feel it most when I give myself permission to invest a little of my well sought after time, solely in my mind, body and spirit, without guilt or consequence. It could be as simple as painting my nails, reading a book or article I've had my eye on for a while, or connecting with those around me to discuss the issues that really fire me up.
Mostly for me, it comes down to self-development and control. If I can recognize that I'm taking a positive step in any direction, then I know I'm placing value on my own self and I'm content. But what happens if I don't find time to invest in these personal qualities? I flounder, that's what.
Nothing will shake my confidence or darken my mood faster, than spending more than one afternoon in sweatpants/pajamas, or vegging out in front of too much crap TV . When I can see that I'm donating hours to mindlessness, without really taking anything of intellectual consideration away from it, then I suppose I feel a bit lost. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for winding down and switching the ol' noggin off for a while (we all need that!), but at least for me, there's a time and place where that serves to revitalize me, and the rest of the time it only makes me question what the point of my day was.
My hubby (who plainly loves me whether I've spent the day on the sofa or developing opinions and hypothetical arguments -- should anyone challenge my stance on the current social phenomena of sexualizing preteens, I am well prepared to take part in that debate) still can't mask his true enthusiasm when he sees his wife putting care and effort into her appearance, her intellect and her ability to be a contributing and stimulating member of our life together. And who can blame him? What spouse wouldn't be overjoyed to spend their days with someone who takes joy in attacking life with passion, ferocity and an astute attention to detail? Especially one who sincerely cares to look appealing to their partner while doing it? For me it's about respect - I respect myself and I respect my husband, and on both accounts I want to appear well put together and ready and willing for improvement because that's what life is all about. Growing.
The issue arises when my lazy bone is tickled (as it has been often during the harder weeks of this pregnancy). As someone who has dealt with and adapted to life with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome over the last 8 years, it's fair to say that there are many days when even slithering into tailored clothes or donning a coat or two of mascara seem like demanding, energy sucking tasks. I can only imagine how motivated I'm going to feel once a newborn/toddler/preteen (and on it goes...) is vying for my attention too. But here's the thing: If I prioritize my feel good boosters and take action to make them happen, I always find that I stand a little straighter and walk a little taller. That's just a fact for me. Okay, so on some of my very worst days it might only be making the bed or managing to wash my hair, but as long as I'm looking up and shuffling forwards, I can still recognize that I am a success.
Maybe there's some real merit in placing yourself a little higher up on the list and remembering your importance inside and outside of Mom and wife. Maybe that's how I'll keep making my husband beam with pride, or how I'll introduce my children to the skill of creating self-confidence and pursuing true personal development. Perhaps it's only through being a role model to myself and paying attention to my own advice, that I can be a true role model to those around me too.
Please swing by and check out my blog, chock full of pregnancy tips, musings an beyond! www.theblossomingbump.com
More from parenting