Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Excuses

Going back to Staging Your Comeback, my next assignment is to explore my excuses for not taking better care of myself, for letting myself go. I'm already getting knots in my stomach...

  1. I would have to say that the biggest reason I haven't taken care of myself is because I just haven't felt well. On day when I feel really good, I dress for it. I long for clothes that bring out the best in me. On days when I feel like crap and I am forced to dress up, I feel so uncomfortable and I can't wait to get home to change into something soft and comforting.

  2. I don't like what's in my closet.

Based on that first reason alone, I have a fresh perspective on caring for myself and moving towards optimum health. My personal healthcare has been rather reactive in nature. I didn't put alot of thought into caring for myself. What ever healthy eating/living that had been occuring in my life was more due to preference choices (I like vegetables, I didn't really like fried foods, I enjoyed dance classes, I don't enjoy heavy drinking, etc.) I guess that's more about being young and not feeling the effects of poor health just yet. Feeling older is quite a wake-up call!

So it would follow that the better I care for my health, the better I'll feel, and the better I'll want to look in order to reflect my inner state of wellbeing. And that's where what's in my closet comes in. I've been buying based on how I felt for a very long time, so the closet is full of schlumpy clothes. T-shirts, jeans, lots of the same dreary colors. There are a few pieces that I really like, but they're not complete outfits yet. I really need to get sewing again!

I was looking at the Ann Taylor website today. There's this silk shirt dress that I want to copy. It's very sophisticated. The cuffs are elegant. The fabric has a slight stretch to it. I need to find some similar fabric.

This morning on one of the "this-is-how-you're-supposed-to-live-your-life+news/weather" morning shows, I saw some fashions made with sweatshirt fabrics. This could be a good thing, provided they were made properly. Comfort and style. A soft plum structured blazer over a crisp white tailored shirt and a pair of dark jeans. A heathered gray ruana wrap over a dove gray cashmere turtleneck and dark wool flannel slacks. And lots of layered pearls and chains. Very Coco Chanel.

Just to make sure I was working on the right issue, I actually looked what it means to "let oneself go"...according to sources on the Internet, it's an idiom that means to let one's appearance and health suffer or to neglect one's personal hygiene and appearance. According to Oprah (& co.), this is why we women do this:

Women aren't on their own list of priorities. After taking care of everyone else, they are always putting themselves last on the list, and often have very little left to give. There are many women who aren't living—they are just existing. This is a form of self-abuse. Women often wear their exhaustion as a badge of honor. The more you do for your loved ones, the more acceptable it becomes to "let yourself go." Women believe it's okay to become a "sacrificial lamb" within their own
families.

This rings true for me. I was not raised to put my self-maintenance high on my priority list. I still struggle with feeling guilty over it. Going to get a massage feels like a guilty pleasure. I don't even tell my mother about it, and yet I really need it in order to maintain my health. I remember my mother commenting about a woman with three children who took time to maintain her nails. She concluded that she was not a good woman. I still don't get my nails done more than once every quarter.

I'm worried if I don't care for myself, I'm not exhibiting some sort of self-respect and in turn, my sons will come to view women with less respect. It's already tough to convince adolescents that hygiene is important to their health. They don't seem to care what others think of them. I didn't have any sort of model at home regarding hygiene when I was growing up. Without a father around, I'm wondering how to do this for my boys.

That's it! I've got to call the salon for a hair appointment next week. I've got a Pepe Le Pew stripe going along my hairline and my hair is looking tired and untidy. Time for a color and cut. And maybe a good full body exfoliating treatment.

2 comments:

Alana in Canada said...

Hi Georgia! I found you blog via 3FC. I'm reading the book as well--because you recommended it!

You didn't list it as an "excuse" but I bet your upbringing has a HUGE amount to do with your lack of attention to your appearence. I grew up thinking that beyond looking "presentable" all else was vanity. But every time I looked in the mirror or dallies at the make up counter, I was "vain." It was very confusing.

So, I did nothing. Still don't. My biggest hurdle (and it was an excuse) is that I don't know *how* to put on make-up!

This book has been just what I needed, thank you!

Principessa said...

Alana, you nailed it! I come from post-WW2 immigrant stock, peasants looking for a better life. If you had spotlessly clean clothes, food in your belly and a solid roof over your head, you were lucky!

So, growing up dark, fuzzy and solidly built didn't exactly make for a canvas on which "fashionable" was painted. I struggle with a daily reason to apply blush and lip gloss. I can't even recall the last time I tweezed my brows.

Yours look fabulous, by the way!