Friday, January 20, 2012

I love me, I love me not

Are you ever hard on yourself? I can be.

Universally, it's too easy to focus on what we see as wrong with ourselves and forget to appreciate what works for us.

Who doesn't like someone else's hair better? The one with baby-fine hair wishes she had the hair of her thick-maned friend who wants the curly locks of another. The pale, fair-skinned girl with see-through, blue-veined skin wishes for the thick, rich, olive-dark skin of her friend who sees herself as sallow and envies the "creamy white complexion" of her friend. The grass is always greener and everyone wants what the other has.

Life can be good. Life can be cruel. Hopefully, our life lessons teach us to accept ourselves for who and what we are. Yes, it can be scary, but certainly, if we're brutally honest, in each one of us we can find "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and not be afraid to laugh along the way.

So what do I love and not love about myself?

I love the wisdom I've gained over time. At 50, I'm definitely in a better place and more confident than I was at 20, 30, or even 40.

I am now wiser, for sure, but I don't love the "old man" gray, wiry hairs popping out here and there in my eyebrows. My Japanese friend's father (who happened to be a barber) had gray, wiry eyebrows, inches thick and extended like birds perched ready for flight on his forehead, that he was so very proud of as a sign of his old age and acquired wisdom. Please, to all that is kind and good in this universe, I pray I never become that wise. I will need to shoot those birds down if I do.

As a seeker of wisdom and truth and one who is always thinking, I love when a great idea just pops into my head for a blog post. The creative process is fun and makes me happy.

I don't love, though, when I'm easily distracted and forget just as quickly what my idea was and it bugs me all night as I try to remember. Quick note to self: Jot a quick note to yourself or you'll lose your mind...and your newfound wisdom.

Yes, with all my wisdom I can be quite the professional and grown-up, and yet, I love when I laugh when I'm not supposed to. I find everything's so much more delicious when it's forbidden, so I really love when I can't stop. I love even more that I'm easily entertained since laughing at purely stupid things is purely the best.

That said, I love my laugh lines. I remember seeing a photo of Olivia Newton John when I was a young girl and noticing deep laugh lines that were remarkable for such a young face. I knew early on that I would someday find those lines on my face each time I looked into the mirror and, at that moment, decided that it's not so bad to display such indelible proof of many smiles and much laughter.

I don't love, though, what I call my "pain" line. Deeper on some days than others, it's the vertical wrinkle between my brows that is the result of every sinus headache, all the squinting on the beach, three natural childbirths, and any serious concern I've shown in my lifetime.

I also don't love that this ditch furrows deeper as I worry it's getting deeper. I can't help but wonder if I can fill it in with some silly putty or even some melted white chocolate. Do you think that would work?

But I love that I'm not vain about wearing glasses. They cover up any dark circles under my eyes, even if they don't hide my pain line. But still I see my glasses as the lesser of two evils, since I'm certain that if I don't wear my glasses, I'll be tempted to squint some more and will deepen the pain line that I don't love so much. You see, I have thought about this.

I don't love, though, that I'm now addicted to said glasses and they leave indents on my nose, so when I want to have a dress-up night without them, I'm now a marked woman. But I get over it.

Well, at least I've grown to love my webbed feet. Yes, I'll admit I have some extra skin I see only when I peek between the second and third toes on both feet. I believe strongly that feet, in general, are ugly, but webbed toes make them even more so. Hey, I'm more comfortable now with my special toes. And I'm proud that two of my three kids got their toe genes from me.

I don't love, though, that this webbed wonder didn't come with special powers to swim the ocean fearlessly. My kids with webbed toes lucked out and got the ocean-swimming gene, but it definitely skipped my generation. Really, that would have been a nice benefit to cancel out these woeful toe atrocities, but regardless, I survive.

Still, I didn't love the cruel gift of toe socks in my Christmas stocking as a teenager. Yes, they were the hot item that year, but, hello, mom, are you kidding? Do you think I can just take a scissors and snip that skin to make the socks fit my feet like a glove? And yes, I was dumb enough to wear them a few painful times before I gave up. Only the webbed toes knows the trouble I've seen.

Yes, I acknowledge that life can't all be perfect, but I love that I have long "piano" fingers and slender hands, as mom and grandmom described them.

I don't, however, love the "age spots" piggybacking on those fingers and hands. My dermatologist set me straight, "Dear, those are not age spots. They are sun damage." Alas, there goes my potential career as a hand model.

But I do love wearing some bling to jazz up those age spots. A nice ring or two always works to shift my focus from the brown blotchy remnants from former tans. Who says diamonds can't be a girl's best friend?

And I love that I'm a blonde from birth. From my own perspective only, I can happily confirm that blondes do have more fun.

Yet I don't love so much now that I need a little help with that and some of my blonde comes from a bottle, but, hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. This girl was born a blonde and will, for certain, dye, I mean, die a blonde.

So I admit that I love that I love some things about myself. I do believe it's healthy to review the positives we can be proud of.

Best of all, I love that I don't take myself so seriously and can laugh at all my imperfections and the tradeoffs that accompany my newfound perspective and wisdom.

And finally I love that I love me for me, being grateful for what I do well and acknowledging things I continue to work on. After all, if I can't love me with all my goodness and imperfections, then how can I love others and expect them to love me back?

I love me, I love me not. Oh, last petal, I love me. And that's okay. How about you? Do you love you?

Until next time, yours in fun and self-confidence no matter what...Therese