It's a rainy day in Baltimore, and the walk to work this morning made me thankful I have some heavy duty rain boots and a new ebay bracelet to cheer me up today. I am taking the advice of the blog post I recommended in yesterday's post 10 Ways to a More Charmed Life, and wearing bright lipgloss as today's antidote to the drowned rat effect.
I remember a time in my life when being glamorous felt not only unattainable, but like the wrong thing to do, an inappropriate waste of energy, in a time when a 5 dollar vodka soda was a major expense, and being seen as an intelligent academic singer was more the image I was going for.
Now, I've realized I don't care if people think that being fixed up and looking good equals being dumb, I care that when I look at myself in the mirror as I'm practicing every day, I see a person who looks like she cares. A person who could walk confidently into a rehearsal be proud of her appearance. I care so much less what other people think of me than what I used to, but spend more time on myself, because I care about me. What a concept.
Caring about me has made me a better friend, a better singer, a much more alluring wife, a better decision maker about food, about clothes (aka, they actually look good on ME, not the people in the magazine),read more and better books, all of the above. When I say I care about myself, I guess I don't mean I am taking myself seriously, per se, but I think it means I expect the best from me. I hold myself to a high standard, and try not to let myself get away with silly stuff that is going to feel good in the moment but feel bad later. I am working on making time with friends a priority, which is tougher now than it used to be, because time with a person's husband is a big priority too. I fail myself a lot. I regularly say un-cute things, and eat too much of the really good stuff, and behave in a ridiculous way. But I am working on making those slip-ups fewer.
If I spent all day long doing exactly what I secretly want to do (not a secret any more, hello internet), I would be eating Martin's kettle-cooked potato chips by the industrial size bag, dreaming up new ways to eat more cheese and pasta (preferably together), watching Bravo, looking at Pinterest, and going on the odd shopping trip or voice lesson/coaching, and maybe doing some craft projects. Add to that signing contracts to sing Mimi at the Met and getting a pedicure and you've pretty much described my dream day. I am a lot more of a homebody than you may think. But part of that whole thing with having a good life is, I think, making an effort, which to me means: not letting myself down, not living in a way that would make me regret that I hadn't pushed myself a little.
Last night, I met Stu for a drink after work, and spent a good deal of time complaining about how hungry I am all the time because of this darn calorie counting. But I felt really proud of myself later for not giving into the allure of the truffle fries. It sure sucked when the ladies at the next table were brought plates of piping hot fries piled high, but it felt good when I entered my numbers at the end of the night and didn't have regrets. And soon, my stomach will shrink to normal size and I won't be as hungry. That's the wonderful thing about stomachs.
I love in the blog post I linked above how she mentions buying flowers. I bought some tulips the other day for like 4 dollars, and the amount of pleasure they have given me looking at them on my dining room table every day has been incredible. It makes me wonder why I don't just make a habit of it. In fact, maybe I will. Every day in life IS a special day, special enough to deserve flowers. I used to only buy flowers when we were having company, now I've vowed to buy them because I like them for me.
But if you came for dinner, I would get the extra-special flowers.
Have a charming day.