There was a time in my life when I considered it a luxury to stand in front of a mirror for more than five minutes to get ready for my day. I had a handful of young children running around the house back then, and there was so much to do. And I didn’t feel pretty.
Back then, I felt that it would be a luxury – an unnecessary one at that – to take more than five minutes in front of a mirror because neither I nor my body nor my face were worth it.
No one would have known I felt that way from looking at me. (At least I don’t think so.) In many ways I didn’t really even realize it myself. That is to say, I never voiced it to myself. Never put it into words. But I knew. And you and I both know that there is almost as much a taboo against admitting that it matters – being pretty, that is – as there is the social and cultural pressure to be so. Nevertheless, when you get right down to it – to the bones of it – it was never about the outside anyway.
Ten-thousand words go here.
So anyway, today I spent nearly ten minutes in front of the mirror getting ready for the day. Twice as long as I ever did back then. I mean, on a regular day – not on a date night or holiday or the day your daughter gets married kind of day. Of course I spent more time then: it was expected. What I mean here is, just a day. Like today. A getting up in the morning sort of day. You know the ones, right? Where you do just enough to get yourself together so that you can pass at work, or if you run into somebody you know in the grocery store you don’t feel the urge to huddle behind a seasonal produce display. Just a day.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a young mother, it seems like most days were “just a day” days. My kids are older now and things are a lot different, but I remember, and I totally get not taking that time when you have little kids. Everything and everyone is more important than you, right? When you have little ones, you don’t own your time. Sometimes you can’t even pee. I mean, people who’ve never had little kids at home don’t understand the luxury of peeing alone. I think I can remember every single time I ever peed alone when I was a young mother.
I wish someone had told me back then – Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Make Happiness a priority. In short, Treat yourself like someone you love. It took me so long to learn it on my own. And the learning hurt so much.
Let’s get back to that mirror, and me in it. Because it’s a Big Deal. You see, now – for the first time in my life – I can look in a mirror and love the person who’s looking back at me. For the first time. I don’t know about you, but I think that right there is a miracle. A certifiable miracle. For the first time in my life I know the soul behind the face in the mirror is kind, and generous, and talented, and loving – and worthy of ten minutes in the mirror. And infinitely more.
So are you.