A Box Becomes an Hourglass

20 years ago, I was climbing the corporate ladder in my well-tailored business suit and killer high heeled pumps. I left the workplace to go home and raise my children, one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Being home full-time, my once strong conviction for always looking my best began to be overtaken by my logic of “why bother getting out of these pajamas”. This ultra-comfort and ease attitude began to creep into my fashion sense, even when I left the house.

 

The years went by. I hated seeing pictures of myself.  The photos were rude and unkind.  I was in denial but the photos told the truth.  Finally, I began to wake up.  I walked across the room and caught an image of a woman in the full-length mirror. Who is that? I looked at my clothes hanging nearby. I had accumulated a collection of over-sized sweaters, men’s t shirts, baggy shapeless jeans and a few pairs of unattractive sensible shoes.  Thankfully, my husband had been placed under a blissful spell and hadn’t even noticed that his once sexy wife had gone away. Maybe he thought that she was on a business trip or had gone to visit her Mother. Maybe he thought that tent woman was my temporary replacement. You know, like the show where the wives trade places.  I realized that I needed to make some changes.

 

Now, I may want to look my best but I don’t love spending tons of time to get there.  I have come to realize that it takes exactly, and by exactly, I mean exactly the same time and effort to get dressed, even if I choose well-fitting garments.  My closet doesn’t contain a lot of clothes but the clothes I now have, I absolutely adore and if I don’t adore it, I don’t buy it.  I now buy t shirts that are made for women and they are sized for my body.  I find blouses and sweaters that come in at the smallest part of my waist. I try on jeans until I find one that actually hugs my female curves.  I have dresses to wear for those special occasions that arise and I have always loved high heels, so I began wearing them again.  Presto – with these minor changes, I instantly looked like I came to play the game of life, not just watch from the sidelines and even more important – I felt like I could play and win.

 

The real confirmation came one evening when I was attending a weekly meeting where I volunteered for a community service organization. One of the volunteers asked “why are you so dressed up?” Are you imagining that I had pulled out one of my business suits and a pair of pumps? No, I was wearing a well-fitting sweater and jeans with boots. That’s it! Oh yes, I had showered, dried my hair and put mascara and lip gloss on too.

 

I want to encourage you – if you are looking as though you have given up and are just sitting on the sidelines, invest in you and put a little effort in and give yourself the gift of confidence. Your smiling self will feel fantastic.  Confidence allows you to reach out to other human beings.  Reach out and be a blessing to someone – there is no better feeling.

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