In my younger days, I was quite the clothes horse. I didn’t spend a lot of money on clothes – I never really had that kind of budget – but I liked being put together and stylish. I wore earrings every day; my favorites were long and dangly or big, round hoops. I loved wearing makeup that highlighted my eyes, which I always considered my best feature. I was tall, thin and never seemed to gain a pound.
What the heck happened?
Well, many things happened. I no longer teach full-time, where I would have to put together an outfit and look presentable every day. I hang around the house far more often than not. I don’t really have the funds to buy new clothes, much as I would like to. A new pair of jeans is a major expense. Yesterday I bought a pack of white crew socks from the supermarket and it was a big deal.
I got older. My body has changed. My hips are wider, I am no longer the very thin woman I was.
I hardly ever wear makeup. I know I look better with it on, believe me. I often feel that I look rather monotone without makeup. I’m pale, my hair is going gray, my eyebrows aren’t as dark as they were. It all sort of blends together. But wearing makeup takes time and taking it off, especially eye makeup, is a drag. So I avoid it.
I often let my hair dry naturally and sometimes forget to run a brush through it.
I have lots of jewelry and I love jewelry. But I hardly ever wear it. Bracelets, though lovely, move around on my wrist and get in my way. Necklaces? Only occasionally. I look at my jewelry and admire it and I’ll take a few pieces along to Hartford, but will I wear it? Probably only on opening night. Somehow it doesn’t feel quite right when I wear it. It doesn’t feel like me.
I used to wear rings on both hands. Now, I wear my wedding rings and that’s it.
I have to remind myself to wear earrings every once in a while because I’m worried my pierced ears might close up.
On one hand, this is all very freeing. I’ve accepted what I feel comfortable with, whittled down all the stuff I used to do to a bare-bones regimen that seems to suit me.
On the other hand, have I let things slide too much?
I was talking to Don about this yesterday. I got worried that I must be looking rather bland lately: no makeup, sweatshirts and jeans, hair too long, not as thin as I used to be. You know the drill. Should I sport some makeup every day? Should I do this? Should I do that?
Don thinks I look beautiful. He doesn’t seem to be concerned about these things that bother me. He loves me and he sees me through love’s eyes. I’m grateful for that. He will immediately respond that he thinks I look more beautiful than ever. And I think he truly means just that.
When I go to Hartford, I will dutifully put on makeup every day and do my best to look presentable with the basic clothing that I have.
But what is a healthy letting go and what is too much letting go? Do you know what I mean? Do you struggle with this? I love the idea of being true to me, of reaching a level of acceptance that I didn’t have when I was younger and more concerned with looking a certain way. But this can also move into apathy and I don’t want that. I don’t want to be bound to all the crap that we’re bombarded with every day in the media as to what’s beautiful and what’s not. Or spend a ton of money on things to help me look more beautiful as I age. Oh no. I want to age with grace and acceptance.
Not always easy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, my friends.
Egg cups for today:
Left: This is my largest egg cup. These used to come in a set of two, but I only have one. The tops are salt and pepper shakers. The bottom is the egg cup. I really love this egg cup – the paint colors, the look on the egg’s face – it’s really beautiful. It has an Occupied Japan stamp on the bottom, which makes it more valuable than the standard Made in Japan marking.
Right: A pig holding a fork and a spoon, getting ready to dine on an egg. This was made for Tiffany and Co. by Elizabethan Staffordshire, Fine Bone China, England. I love that darn pig. Look at that face!
Both of these egg cups are displayed on a small hanging shelf in the den.