A few weeks ago, my high school “bestie” and I met in our hometown to attend the wedding of another one of our high school best friends. We each have three children, so road trips over a normal two day weekend are best avoided like oh, say, the bubonic plague. But, when you have a friend who finally makes it to the altar at the age of thirty-eight, you do whatever it takes to get there.
Baby A was just two months old at the time, and I remarked to my friend that this occasion was maybe the third time I had put on makeup since As arrival. Aghast, my friend E replied, “Oh no. Makeup is not optional for me.”
E is always dressed beautifully. Her outfits are always the latest style, her shoes are always fabulous, and she has the ideal jewelry and accessories. She is always put together.
Well, you guys have seen what I wear on my feet, right? And as for attire, I am usually sporting Target’s athletic line, circa 2005. Then there’s the hat.
Always, the hat.
Sometimes I brush my eyebrows, curl my lashes and add a bit of color to my lips. But that’s reserved for special occasions.
When I had my first child, W, in 2007, I told my husband that as long as I could eat well and move my body everyday, I could survive the brutal sleeplessness. Now, with three kids to manage, my refrain remains the same – I need to eat well and move my body and I will remain sane. It’s a little pledge I make to myself everyday to take care of me, because those are the things I know that I need.
E is not like me. In order to feel like herself in the midst of chaos, she needed something different. She needed to wear makeup and feel pulled together. One of the reasons I love her is that she is self-aware enough to know all that about herself. A person who knows who she is is a wonderful person to have in your life, I think.
When you hit stressful times in your life, do you know what your “must-haves” are? Do you articulate your need for them, carve out time for them, and let others know that they are important to you? We all hit times in our lives when self-care falls to a lower rung on the ladder, but knowing your minimum daily requirements can help you stay well throughout the tough spots.