I don’t make resolutions for the new year. December is so full of celebrations and commitments, and I find the idea of sitting down to think through the ways I need to improve myself and make the world a better place overwhelming. I’m a change-as-it-strikes-me-anytime-during-the-year kind of gal. When I can help someone or donate my time and resources somewhere, I do it. As for my personal development, I take stock often. So as I am writing this, with 2013 coming to a close, I’m not focusing on who I will be in 2014. Instead, I’m celebrating on a few key changes I made this past year.
I’m 38 years old, and my relationship with personal vanity has shifted. Too far away from my 25 year old self, I have been working on figuring out how much I’m willing to fight the person I am aging into. I’ve decided to let go. This is not to say I am letting myself go. I still care quite a bit about being healthy, fit, and attractive. However, I decided to go with the flow on a few things.
First, I stopped coloring my hair. I have long, dark brown hair that requires an increasingly demanding salon schedule to keep it that way. Getting my hair dyed is expensive and time consuming, and it stresses me out.
I told my husband I was thinking of letting my hair gray naturally. He was supportive. Then I pointed out that he has some grays peeking through, and he responded, “Yeah! I’m going to look like Sean Connery.” So my husband grays and feels like James Bond. Why can’t women feel that awesome about gray hair?
I haven’t colored it since. And you know what? It’s been a relief. I love not worrying about it. I realized how much mental space managing my hair was taking up.
Second, I stopped taking acne medication. Over the years, I have had increasingly problematic skin. I have tried many strategies, but the only thing that really helped was taking a pill that wasn’t even for acne. The “safe” side effect is that it clears up skin. I took it for a little while, but it freaked me out. I don’t like taking cold medicine, let alone some prescription for an ailment that I don’t have. When my doctor told me I just had to make sure not to eat too many bananas because of potassium complications, I quit. I don’t have the mental reserves to manage banana fears on top of everything else in my life. I did use some high-end, topical cream for a while, but my insurance changed, and I got to see the true price tag of that tiny tube. It was shocking. Could I afford it? Maybe. But I asked myself if I would be willing to pay that kind of money for the rest of my life. The answer is no. I’ll live with my bad skin and put that cash to much better use.
Lastly, I started a no-pants initiative with my wardrobe. It’s not kinky. It’s just that I have put on some weight over the past year and am never comfortable in pants. I don’t like how they feel or look, and I found myself thinking about my pants way too much.
On the other hand, I love wearing skirts, tunics and tights. So I thought – why am I not just wearing what I love every day? Seriously? Why would I keep putting on clothes that I don’t particularly like?
While I do still wear pants, you’ll more often see me in skirts. The bonus is people think I’m dressier now, even though a tunic is kind of just a socially acceptable mumu. I get lots of compliments on my clothes, which has pretty much NEVER happened before in my life. But I think what it really comes down to is that I am walking around with a lot more confidence. I like what I am wearing and feel comfortable, and it probably comes across.
I don’t know what 2014 will hold for me. Since I have these emotional points of personal appearance and aging under control (for the time being), I can use all that extra energy for the truly meaningful stuff….family, love, health, charity, education. But for now, I’m taken a big mental break to let my salt and pepper hair down and enjoy the holidays in my favorite new knit tunic.
End Note: Author is fully supportive of others’ decisions to make resolutions, dye their hair, take medication for cosmetic purposes, and wear pants. Do what makes you feel good. Cheers!
Do you make resolutions for the new year? How do you decide what changes are right for you?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tara B. of Washington (State), USA.
Photo credit to the author.