I recently purchased Hallie Lord's book Style, Sex, and Substance. I'm loving it. I'm loving it despite the fact it's been difficult to read. Mainly because what I've read has been pushing me out of my comfort zone. My very cozy, glowing fire, slippers and tea comfort zone.
Growing as a person is never easy, but I've found that since I did a lot of growing in my childhood-teen years and early on in my marriage, I get sort of stuck in thinking that I don't need to grow anymore. I have said to Ben on more than one occasion how much work I've done on myself to strip away the hard layers I had developed as a child, to be a better partner. As in, "I've done all this work and read all these books, and what have you done?" Yeah, super saintly. I tend to go really hard on myself when I do examine the areas where I need work and that has frightened me into the corner of 'I'm good-thanks'.
I am literally just beginning this book and I have already hit a rocky shore. Particularly Hallie's chapter on feeling feminine and confident through physical health and presentation. As in: exercising, eating healthy, taking personal time, and adequate rest. I do okay with some of those things (okay one: eating healthy. Okay fine, I do sort of okay at it), but most of them are not really on my radar. Hallie also really believes in dressing well. One part of the chapter really struck me, "I want my children to know that my vocation has value and is worthy of respect (certainly not the message I send when I wear sweat pants or pajamas all day long)." Um, you guys, I am wearing sweats right now!!! And I do most days. I know that not all women feel this way and more power to you, I am strictly talking about myself right now, but I do feel pretty lousy about myself when I stay in sweats all day and don't do my makeup and hair. I do feel slightly embarrassed when Ben comes home and I look like a deranged housewife from a horror movie spoof. Part of it is being lazy and part of it is a feeling of not wanting to get ready for a day of being at home. I never thought about what I was communicating to my girls about being a Mom by not getting dressed in the morning (or afternoon). It seriously never crossed my mind and now that it has I feel a heap of steaming responsible on my grody sweatshirted shoulders.
It's interesting because Ben is not this way. He gets dressed every day even when he doesn't have school or work (however, that is rare). And he has never really understood my love for sweats and yoga pants. Even if I'm wearing real, actual clothes, when I get home I will change into yoga pants. That has more to do with comfort than anything else for me. I'm a highly sensory person and things cutting into my skin or rubbing me the wrong way drive me bonkers. But there are clothes out there that are comfy and suitable for wearing in public. Maternity clothes are one and luckily I'm pregnant! Dresses/skirts are also nice to wear. What I'm saying is, I can make an effort. I can get up, get dressed and get ready throughout the day, instead of resigning to a day of sweats right off the bat. Who cares if it takes me all day to apply mascara to both eyes? If I did it, I know I'd feel good and that makes it worth it.