Two nights ago I took Jacen for a haircut. It was a two hour wait, and the stylist looked absolutely burned out. As she cut Jacen’s hair, she thanked me for calling ahead and making an appointment. She practically had tears in her eyes when she told us how busy they had been, and how she hadn’t had a chance to eat or even sit down. My heart went out to her.
Then last night I walked my children through Target so they could pick out a gift for their dad. In the health and beauty section a woman stood in front of the hair color, on her phone, sobbing. She ran her fingers through her hair, and crying into the phone she explained that she could not get an appointment for her hair and she would not be seen on Christmas with her roots showing. She was overwhelmed by all of the choices, and asking her friend what color and brand she should buy. My heart went out to her.
My husband and I have not celebrated one single holiday in the last seven years that didn’t include a major meltdown. I’m always weighed down with my own anxieties and low self worth. I wake up earlier and earlier each year, planning to fix my roots and slather on elaborate makeup. I’ll wear fancy shoes that kill my feet, and change a million times before settling on an uncomfortable, over the top outfit. Once we get to our holiday destination, I’ll feel overdressed and out of place, not to mention uncomfortable.
This is exactly what came to mind as I watched the poor woman sob, and the hairdresser hold back tears.
Truth be told, I’ve been working on this topic in therapy for the last 6 weeks. I have an undying, almost obsessive desire for my in-laws to love me. It ends up that I go over the top trying to look my best and dazzle them. Working through my issues I’ve come to terms with the fact that I want them to love me for me, and dressing up crazy isn’t going to help. If anything, it makes me look ridiculous.
My own goal for this Christmas is to keep the makeup in the closet, and get some use out of my favorite Christmas sweaters and leggings. I am a great mother. I am smart, I am fun, and if you listen closely I can be quite funny.
I’m not trying to dazzle anyone. I’m trying to be myself. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had my therapist this time of year, to put my appearance into perspective and take some of that holiday stress off. I wish so badly that I could bestow this insight on my sobbing friend in the hair color aisle.
I just want to remind my readers- you are beautiful. More importantly, you are beautiful on the inside. Christmas is not about the way you look. It’s about the love you shower your family with. It’s about being present in the moment, the laughs, the memories.
Christmas will pass before you know it. Resolutions will kick in, and all my ladies will be trying to change their bodies. Please, please, please know: I respect any health journey. I support it, but you are so much more than a body. You are a soul, you are a mind. You are a family member, a friend, a coworker, a friendly face.
I hope you’re able to relax this holiday season, and enjoy being yourself. You are beautiful, and that’s the least important thing about you.
With healthy hearts,
Kate and the Kids.