My life has changed drastically in the past three months. (Even with the italics, that sentence is still a massive understatement.) Not only did I move four hours away (thus saying “see you later” to all of my amazing friends in Austin) and get married–I also quit my job and began to pursue my dream of blogging full-time.
Staying at home and blogging is a completely different lifestyle in almost every way than the life I led prior to moving and marriage. The most dramatic difference is not going into an office everyday, thus allowing me to create my own schedule and routine completely, without scheduled meetings or events of any kind. And because I just moved here a few months ago, I’ve not yet gotten involved in the community, so I don’t have those obligations at this time (though I will in the future).
For the first time in my life, my days are entirely unscheduled, save a once-a-week chiropractic visit and the occasional dentist or vet appointment. The privilege of this is not lost on me; I am so humbled and grateful for this lifestyle. While I am acutely aware that this season does indeed have an expiration date (as all seasons do), I am relishing in its freedom for now. The healing that God has poured over my once-tired and worn-out heart, mind, and soul is incredibly life-altering. Even if my day-to-day were to go back to a 40+ hour workweek tomorrow, I will forever be changed by tasting what life looks like when it is savored, taken on slowly, and lived intentionally and simply. Praise God for the way He cares for our hearts, especially when they’re worn out.
Ohhhhkay…now that I’ve thoroughly gone down that rabbit hole (and given you a little background–which was my initial intention), let me begin writing this post for real. You should have gathered by now that because my life is slow-paced and my schedule is self-dictated, and because I don’t have to be anywhere, I also don’t have to get dressed and ready. I could foreseeably wear a sports bra, baggy t-shirt, and Nike shorts every day of the week if I wanted to. Heck, I could wear pajamas all day, every day. I really never have to do my hair or makeup during the week (unless we’re going out to dinner, which is unusual on weekdays).
But you know what? Regardless of what I have scheduled, I get dressed, do my hair, and apply makeup every day.
With the exception of the rare sick day (in which case I stay in bed all day in sweatpants), I always take the time to get ready. I shower (every other day), blow dry my hair, flat iron or curl it, put on an outfit I feel good in, and do my makeup. I put on jewelry and perfume, and mentally choose which shoes I’ll wear when I leave the house. I never wear shoes when I’m at home! (More on the products I use here and my morning face washing and makeup routine here.)
Even when I plan on taking Charley on an extra-long walk or deep cleaning our home, I still put on cute yoga pants (if there is such a thing) and a racerback tank, brush my hair and put it up neatly, and apply light makeup.
I have never been good at taking care of myself in this way (more on that struggle here)…until now, that is. As the weeks go by, getting fully ready has become such an integral part of my day that it is barely even a second thought. (I’ve also gotten much faster at getting ready in general by doing it daily!) After Riley leaves for work, I take Charley on a short walk, clean up the breakfast dishes, and get dressed and ready.
Surprisingly, I didn’t give getting dressed half the thought that I do now when I worked in an office (and had to look presentable!). Part of that, obviously, is that my responsibilities were much different, and my schedule was roughly 11x fuller than it is now. I had more important things to do than spend time curling my hair when my life was so full. Today, just like before, I have more important things to do than curling my hair…but I still curl my hair.
This is one of the times I wish future me could talk to past me. Take the time to get dressed and ready–you will feel so much better and you will get so much more done.
Even on days when I know that I’ll be at home all day, I get ready. Days when only Riley sees me, it still matters. (Who doesn’t want a wife who looks nice and feels good about herself?) A woman who takes care of herself and looks pulled together feels confident and pulled together. A woman who looks like she has things to get done actually gets things done.
Now, please don’t mistake me–I’m not pushing superficiality. I love Jesus much more than I love curled hair, pretty eye makeup, or fashionable clothing. I believe that it is exponentially more important to have a beautiful heart than a beautiful face. What I’m encouraging is self care.
Feeling comfortable in my skin is important. Feeling confident and polished is as well. When I look frumpy and don’t take any time to pull myself together in the mornings, I don’t feel my best, and I don’t do my best. I’m shyer and more withdrawn in social situations, I feel less motivation to be productive (when I’m wearing PJs, or something close to them, I want to be lounging or sleeping!)…frankly, I’m lazy.
There’s something about dressing like you have something to get done that makes you feel like you should get something done…which makes you get things done! I am significantly more productive since I started getting ready daily because I find that I take myself (and my job!) more seriously.
If you’re a work-from-homer like me (or work somewhere with a relaxed dress policy), then this is for you: there is a time and place for leggings and a top knot. Just yesterday, actually, I wasn’t feeling great but had a lot of errands to run and things to get done around our house. So, I put on a comfortable outfit (that still made me feel good), brushed out my hair and put it in a big bun, applied light makeup, and put on a few pieces of jewelry. Getting ready took me no more than 15 or 20 minutes, but I felt fresh and motivated, and ended up checking almost every item off of my long to-do list!
Getting ready and polished means a different thing to everyone, and that’s important to note. Some women feel their best in heels, dressy skirts, blouses, and lots of jewelry, with big hair and dramatic makeup. For others, leggings and tunics with a simple necklace and a pretty ponytail, along with mascara and lipstick make them feel beautiful. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle: I like simple, classic outfits like jeans and a flowy cotton shirt with a statement necklace and studs, curled hair, and a natural, everyday makeup look (I sometimes post selfies on Instagram if you want more of an idea of my day-to-day look!). Wherever you fall on the spectrum, what’s important is that you feel pulled together, presentable, and beautiful so that you can do whatever you need to do with excellence.
Here’s some advice: if you don’t know how to do your hair or makeup, or choosing a trendy outfit (or even just an outfit that you feel good in) is completely overwhelming to you, start where you are and grow as you go. Personally, I watch hair/makeup tutorials nearly every morning on my iPad for the 30 minutes that I’m getting ready in the bathroom (Kate from The Small Things Blog and Maskara are two favorites)…this not only makes the time pass quickly and is fun/interesting, it’s also a sort-of continued education for style. I’ve already learned so much!
If you’re in the camp that I lived in for years and you don’t take the time to get yourself ready each morning because 1) you don’t make the time for it, or 2) you don’t think it’s that impactful, I would encourage you to give it a try. For one week (just seven days!), wake up, and get fully ready. On the weekends, your looks may be something drastically different from your outfits during the week (or they may be the exact same!). Either way, see if you don’t feel more refreshed and prepared to take on your day. I’d love to hear how your experiment goes.
This is me giving you permission (encouraging you, even!) to spend a little time each morning on yourself–spend some time applying makeup, doing your hair, choosing an outfit you like–get yourself ready for the day. If this seems impossible, take a look at this post, it may help!
I’d love to hear from you: do you get ready each day? Does your decision to get ready impact your day? Fill me in! 🙂