This picture was taken about a year ago before my hair started throwing it's temper tantrums.
I was looking at my hair in the mirror this morning. It is not pleasing to me. I washed it with such high expectations. I truly wanted to look fabulous today and I guess I thought that if I’d lather, rinse, and condition with an attitude of, “My hair is going to look fabulous today,” I thought it would.
It’s kind of limp and dull looking. It’s curly in back, straight in front. It looks like it’s throwing some kind of temper tantrum so I decided to treat it like I did the kids when they threw tantrums.
It’s not a tantrum if no one acknowledges it.
While thinking about my hair, I got thinking about beauty and being beautiful.
Being beautiful is still important to me as a middle-aged woman but it definitely has changed from when I was 15. The desperation has left, the frantic need to get it just right has disappeared. Back then it was about fitting into some perceived beauty prescription and looking like everyone else. I wanted so badly to get it right and when I didn't fit the mold, I got angry, and felt like the world was going to end because my hair was too curly, my glasses were too thick, my braces were too noticeable, and my headgear was completely and utterly ridiculous.
Clearly, I didn't fit the mold.
Now I want beauty for myself. I want beauty because it’s beautiful. I can’t say my ideas of what is beautiful are not dictated by fashion magazines, some of them are, but I hope more of my notions of beauty come from deep within. Over the years it has become more of a spiritual pursuit than a physical one. These days I'm going for confidence, calm, and peace. I want to reflect patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, control, joy and of course I want to do it while I’m sporting a super cute skirt and a pair of kickin’ boots.
I’m in pursuit of the ability to laugh at myself, and the understanding that fashion faux pas are not the end of all things. There will be times when I have something stuck between my teeth or carry on a conversation with someone I don’t know well with my fly wide open. I hope for the sake of others that I remember to brush my teeth most mornings, but if I forget, I’m going to smile to myself and shrug it off.
Exercise is definitely part of my beauty equation. It feels good to move, to take care of this body, this clay vessel that houses me, all that I am, all that He is in me. It also feels like one area of my life that I have a small hand in controlling. My hair might wig out, I may have been up in the night for a drink of water in an attempt to put out the fiery inferno that ignites in my belly and shoots out my ears, my children might make plans that clash with mine, but at the gym, it’s my show. What do I feel like doing? What can I push myself to do? What do I need to do for my body? Does it need pushed, or does it need a bit of a break?
I like knowing. I like knowing what works for me, knowing what my body needs, knowing what suits me, and being confident to pursue it even if it is not what other women are doing, or wearing, or eating. I don’t always get it right. I might push when I need to rest, I might grumble and complain about how stiff and sore I am, I might eat a piece of dark chocolate cheesecake at 9pm and have a headache the next day, but I’m better at it today than I was a year ago.
Don’t you think there’s some beauty in that?
I may have hormone, wigged-out hair. My fly is probably open and I might have a piece of lunch lodged between my front teeth but, and this is kind of hard to say, I think I’m rockin’ it today.