Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Things I Learned by Getting Dressed

Last week I tried my own little social experiment by participating in Natalie's campaign called Dress in Happiness Daily. I need to get back to it, but this week has been full of sickies at our house so it hasn't been conducive to putting on makeup of any kind. 

Here are five things that I learned by getting dressed every morning. 

I can get things done. 

I hate to admit it, but this principle is true. My goal was to be dressed down to my makeup, hair and shoes by 9:00 every morning. This was sort of a pain, and probably the biggest reason that I'm not still doing it, but it made my early morning hours extremely productive. I had to squeeze a workout in first thing so that my getting ready would be worth it. Once I was ready I quickly changed or folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned up the kitchen and almost (ALMOST) felt "done" for the day that quick. Of course, I wasn't, but it felt that way. 

Feeling pretty is great for my self-esteem.

Shocker, I know! I've admitted before that self-esteem is not my strong suit. I think pretty much all women can admit that at one time or another. But when it's 2:00 in the afternoon and I catch myself in the mirror having not brushed my teeth, washed my face or bothered to pluck my eyebrows in a week or two, I do not feel good. It's a whole lot easier to go down the rabbit hole of feeling less-than when I'm not taking care of myself. It only makes sense, but I hadn't thought about it before. Taking that 30 minutes - an hour every morning really helped me to control those thoughts. 

I do a lot of messy things. 

So once I was dressed for the day, I'd find myself sweating in the garage covered in sawdust or paint. I was typically worried about whatever shirt I was wearing (or scarf) getting paint on it, or collecting excess sawdust. Also, not to mention the sweat factor. This is also one of the deterrents for me in getting dressed by 9 am. BUT also, if I don't get dressed by 9 am, it's most likely not going to happen. I might through on some new clothes right before Jeff gets home as part of my 15 minute refresh, but as far as reaping the benefits of getting dressed, that won't work. So I need to figure out the best way for this to work for me. Maybe if I get organized, my garage day would end up being just one day a week - or an evening after Jeff gets home. Still working on this one in my mind. 

Taking care of myself is setting an example for Charlotte.

For the sake of my daughter, I would never want to put too much emphasis on my appearance. She will (and already does) get enough of that as it is. However, this is not about that. This is a quick I-care-about-myself-too routine that shows her that I feel I'm worth it. That getting dressed for Jeff is worth it. That being ready for the day and all that comes with it is worth it. Yes, there are going to be days that pj's and sweats are the right choice, but the mindset that comes along with those days, for me, is laziness. I noticed how shocked she was when I would come out fully dressed with makeup on in the morning. Typically if I simply change clothes she says "mommy, you look boo-tiful" so getting dressed is a big deal. I don't want her to feel guilty for taking care of herself, just as I don't want to feel guilty for taking care of myself. This is a process of re-training my brain that I will keep having to work on. 

It doesn't take as much time as I thought. 

My biggest hang up with getting ready is the time factor. I would much rather spend my time doing something else; either working, gardening, running errands - even working out.  Especially since I'm a work-at-home-mom, not many people see me (other than my kids... see the item right above this) so it doesn't feel worth it to spend time getting ready. However, it really didn't take that much time. I think the most time it took was 45 minutes and that was when I washed, dried and fixed my hair... most days dry shampoo does it for me. I'm worth 45 minutes, if it makes me feel good about myself, makes me more productive AND sets a healthy example for Charlotte. 

A few closing thoughts on this. Feeling pretty is not a bad thing. We walk this ambiguous line as women that says you need to be pretty but not think you are pretty. What's that about? I believe that God says to be content with what you have, to make the most out of what you are given and that inner beauty is the most important. I can take care of my body, take pride in my appearance AND still be focusing on what's on the inside the most. It's not an either or situation as some people might like to make it out to be. 

If you struggle with getting dressed every day, I encourage you to try this for a week and see what you think...

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