Not a Day Over 34

It’s my birthday. Like many women my age, I lingered in the bathroom mirror just a little longer today. I wrinkled my nose and furrowed my brow while carefully inspecting all the lines that time has given me. As usual, the unconscious, unspoken berating of myself began without me even knowing it. I’ve been doing it for 30 years, it’s a hard habit to break.

I also hardly wear makeup and that didn’t really help the situation. I find that most days its a waste of my time to fix myself up because the only places I go are to the grocery store, the park, Starbucks (and if I’m lucky) to work out. On most days, I look like this:

It seems like a bit of a contradiction for someone who has spent a lot of money and years being vain. I had liposuction when I was 25. My body has always been my biggest issue and the moment I had the means, I went for it. I spent a couple of years working out everyday and no matter what I did, I couldn’t make my hips impossibly narrow. Surgery seemed like a good idea. It was painful and expensive and the benefits were only temporary. Two years later when I stopped working out as much, and instead, just plain worked, the only reminders of my liposuction were tiny little scars.

Two years ago I paid several hundred dollars for Botox and the lash-lengthening medication, Latisse. Again, the Botox was only temporary and after nine months of impossibly long lashes, my eyes wouldn’t stop itching. I had to stop using Latisse and soon my lashes went back to their natural length. Honestly, I could do without the lashes, but I really liked the Botox. I know I would do it regularly if I could afford it and the effects lasted longer than four to six months. The frugal gal in me just can’t justify the expense and also… things are just different now. I guess I’M different now.

You see, I have this little girl and she watches me all day long. In the last couple months her vocabulary has exploded and everday I’m astonished when I hear my words come out of her mouth. I see her imitating me right down to the way I drink my coffee and when I think about the way I silently hate myself, I feel ashamed.

Yes, I berated myself a little this morning, but more importanly, I stopped. Because then I remembered something that has taken me 34 years to figure out; my thoughts have power and what I think, I become. So instead of continuing the self-loathing in my head, I closed my eyes and said all the things to myself that I say to my daughter on a daily basis. I told myself that I was a good girl. I thanked myself for being respectful. I reminded myself that I was smart and most importantly, that I was loved to the moon and back. Then, I went and put on some makeup because I’m not crazy and I know that sometimes you gotta love yourself from the outside, in.

And while I was doing that I was reminded AGAIN, why it’s so important that I continue to love myself everyday in ALL ways.

Because she is watching me so closely.

And she deserves to see a role model that loves herself in all ways, with or without makeup, wrinkles, bulges and all.

14 thoughts on “Not a Day Over 34

  1. Wow, I’m sitting here in tears. I’ve never read your blog before, but really needed this right now. I turned 39 yesterday, and was doing exactly what you described (only not the good part after the looking in the mirror part). I have 5 kids, the oldest is 10. With 3 daughters, this really hit home for me. Thank you, thank you!! Here’s to making a change for the better.

  2. I wandered here from Lindsey’s blog and I’m sooo glad that I did! This is a really powerful post. “and most importantly, that I was loved to the moon & back.” I can’t remember the last time that I told myself that – I actually doubt that I ever have. I’ve spent a lot of meditation time recently sending light & love to people in my life. It hasn’t occurred to me to send a little to myself. THANK YOU!

  3. Really enjoyed your blog post! I too am a mother (of 5), aspiring writer/blogger…and have come to the realization that what I say and do really impacts, not only my kids, but others around me. I look forward to reading more here…if you are interested in another blog on marriage/family/parenting please see my site at Look forward to returning here;o)

  4. I’m a ponytail-and-no-makeup kind of girl on most days, too. I’ve always been pretty useless with a mascara wand and a curling iron though. Maybe my daughter will teach me some things one day! =>

  5. I grew up with a mom who always verbalized how ugly she thought she was. And she was and still is beautiful. But I remember when I was little feeling a burden to have to tell her that she wasn’t ugly. And I grew up very critical of myself because of it. YOU are beautiful. And smart. And a wonderful mom. Remind yourself of that every day. I know it’s hard, especially on hard days but it’s so important. And seeing your daughter look at a confident you will not be temporary. It will last forever. Glad I found you!

  6. This is outstanding. LOVE your honesty.
    And although I have never done the little extras you so honestly admit to, I have obsessed over my body and my looks for my whole life. Still working on it.
    And I admit that I am grateful I have two boys instead of the girl I always wanted, because of my fear that I would be “contagious.”

  7. Oh indeed. She deserves that role model and you deserve to feel good down deep, where it counts. I hope you come to realize that you are beautiful just as is. Of course I say this JUST AFTER emailing my sister about the 15+ pounds that I just can’t shake. We all have our wishes, sure, and things we can work toward. But in the end, we are just WE — no matter what we look like. And WE are pretty damn amazing. (Just my two cents!)

  8. Gorgeous. I have three daughters and am keenly aware of how they are imprinting now. I am getting a little better at balancing self-respect (finding 15 minutes to shoer and put on a bra should be manageable) and living up ever so slightly to their desire to see me get a little fancied up from time to time.

    • If I were not such a big chested gal, I would SO go bra-less. Oh the abandon you must feel. One swift movement w/o a bra and someone is getting hurt. My girls need support or they get unruly.

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