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.
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! 🙂
My work schedule recently changed and instead of arriving to the office at 7:30, I now get there at 8. I sleep in an extra 15 minutes and take the time to get ready, put on makeup, straighten my hair, and read my devotional before I get to the office and it has made SUCH a difference! I feel like I work better than I used to.
Blair Lamb says
Hey Bailey! YES, I totally know what you mean. It’s amazing what a few minutes spent getting ready will do, isn’t it?! 🙂
Thanks for this post! I definitely feel the difference when I take the time to get ready 🙂 I started noticing it in college – when I’d have classes, meetings, and especially an exam. Especially on those busy days, taking that extra time for self-care became so so important.
I now work at a place with a pretty relaxed dress code (and flexibility to work from home too). We’re allowed to wear jeans and even workout clothes (which I try to reserve only for lunchtime workouts). It makes the difference when I pair flats, jewelry, and a little bit of makeup with my jeans. Sometimes, especially in the summer when it’s warm enough to wear dresses, I’ll set a little goal to only wear jeans once a week anyway – and dress up a bit more the rest of the days.
Blair Lamb says
I love your goal of only wearing jeans once a week…I may adopt that come Spring! There’s something about being in skirts and dresses that is so feminine and lovely, isn’t there? 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!
You’re so right. I work from home a lot right now and most days I fail to have any kind of structure — I get up at different times, shower whenever, and often forget to eat breakfast. I also fail to make time for exercise and reading. Bad, bad, bad!! I’m going to fix it. Thanks for this post!
Blair Lamb says
I hope you’re able to make some positive changes!! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!
OMG I love this post and adore you for it! I found your page on a Google search for “manuka honey bentonite clay mask” & was inspired to check out your other posts. I love this & am grateful for it because I am a stay at home mom that see to LOVE getting dolled up. It was a ritual. But now I have two kids, a husband, and the blessing & joy of being a domestic goddess. I rarely have to leave the house so I have kind of fallen into this habit of being lazy about y looks. Granted I take care f my skin & have good hygienic habits but y energy s focused more on my house work & kids. I put more effort into getting my 2yr old made up (outfit & hair groomed & styled) than myself. I wash my face & brush my teeth I brush & put up hair in a lazy bun & usually just change into another pair of lounge clothes…cotton shorts/yoga capris/pants & a tee shirt/tank…braless! Ugh. This is now the bane of my existence! Lol. I used to NEVER wear my hair up I hated how it looked & I ended up with headaches & well damaged hair. Now it’s always the same simple bun nothing special but I think if I devoted more time in to trying different ways to wear t up or partially up I would be happy & not look or feel so plain. I’ve been trying to lose weight & get back to a sort of pre-motherhood size that can feel comfortable & confident about so that has contributed greatly to my lazy lounge attire & lack of give a hoot! Tear. Bras are uncomfortable to me now & I almost feel like claustrophobic or confined in them so maybe I need to squire some more wireless comfortable bras sort of like the bra genie style ones.
My point is I now have more motivation (whereas myself & my husband & kids should be plenty) to take our advice & try to get myself back! I know I can pull off a 15 minute makeup session with a little coconut oil spritzing, quick powder brushing & mascara application to go from bleh to beauty. I definitely look & feel better. And my husband always notices! Lol! Shoot even my daughter does & she will keep smiling & aging hi momma! Like I transformed into a Disney princess or something.
So thank you thank you thank you! I need to push aside my insecurities & discomforts & excuses & get reunited with being comfortable in my own skin & feeling polished & accomplished.
You are so right & so wise! Of all the blogs I read & all the things I search for this article so far has to be the Holy Grail of my findings. God bless you for good you’re doing my sharing this inspiration!
Blair Lamb says
Hey Angela!!! YOU ARE SO RIGHT! You are totally worth the time it takes to get yourself ready in the morning, especially since it makes you feel pulled together and beautiful for the rest of the day! You go girl! Way to be a selfless wife and mama…but take some time to love yourself, too! 🙂 Thanks for reading, lady!
Corie M says
Getting dressed everyday is SO important for a woman’s self esteem! Over this past year I’ve really made an effort to put myself together and it’s made such a huge difference in my self-esteem! I owe a lot of that to the Fashion Blog http://www.getyourprettyon.com and the style challenges, because prior to last year I was clueless fashion wise!
Blair Lamb says
So awesome, Corie! I love it! 🙂 It really is a big contributor to feeling my best–and getting stuff done!