Archive for the ‘Self Esteem’ Category

Red Toe Nails

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

I’m guilty. As a new mom, I’ve let myself go a bit. It’s been 3 months since I’ve had a decent haircut, my wardrobe is getting a bit worn and I rarely bother with make-up. That said, there is one part of my pretty routine I haven’t given up…my red toe nails. There is something about having painted toe nails that makes me feel good. Few people actually see my toes. It’s not something I do to appeal to others. It’s all about me.

The funny thing is, before I started painting my nails, I really hated my toes. Not that my toes are more disgusting than the average Joe’s. They are an awkward part of our anatomy to look at and find beauty. The splash of red made all of the difference. What I once viewed as ugly is now my favorite attribute.

Perhaps it’s silly, but my ten red friends often bring a smile to my face. I love watching them rise from my bath water only to be draped in white suds. When I was healing from my c-section, it cheered me up to see them peeking out of the bottom of the sheet line. I laugh when my 7 month old daughter squeals and grabs for mommy’s pretty piggies. How silly something so simple can make me feel good. It’s great to discover little things you can do or surround yourself with to bring a quick smile when you need one. It’s refreshing to know the things in our life that seem ugly may be a slight alteration away from beautiful.

Garlic Breath

Friday, November 17th, 2006

My husband taught me to love garlic. Before we got married, I despised the stuff. Of course, I was buying it minced in a jar and thought that was the best garlic could be. Steve showed me the light. He introduced me to fresh cloves of ecstasy. Now I cook with it all of the time. I’m not quite the fan my mother in law is, who would probably choose a clove warmed in a microwave over a piece of candy. I’m gaining on her though.

Now that I’ve made garlic a regular part of my world, I often wonder if my breath is being kind to others. The trouble with garlic eaters is we have no idea how much evidence of our indulgence is hanging around after the fact. I worry I might have a garlic debris field radiating from me like the dust zone pulsing off of my favorite Peanut, Pigpen. Such a shame something so tasty and so good for you has such unpleasant consequences. It’s pretty well accepted eating garlic has many benefits. Funny how garlic breath is greeted with jeers instead of back pats for choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Garlic lovers of the world can find comfort in the fact they are not alone. Often people who choose to do what is good are faced with the unpleasant. With exercise comes sweat. With frugality comes less fun. In the end, we must do what is right and good for us in the long run and find a way to accept we may not always be able to please others.

Soap Operas

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

It’s 1:30 in the afternoon. I’m stuck watching network television so I can keep on top of any tornado warnings or watches we may have today as some nasty storms roll through. “Days of Our Lives” is on NBC. I haven’t seen that show in 15 years. Considering it has been so long, how is it I seem to know exactly what is going on in the program? The same couples are still going through the dramas of whether or not their love will last. The villains are up to their usual conniving ways. With the exception of one actress with a bad dye job and another who clearly has some extra collagen in her lips, most look pretty much the same as they did all of those years ago.

Seeing these characters take on the same old things makes me really hope my life does not turn out like a soap opera. I can’t imagine reliving the same challenges for 15 years and never once learning how to prevent them. Perhaps it’s all of that weird music playing in the background that distracts them from logical thinking. It also seems sad to me that an outsider could pop in after all that time and find not much has changed. How boring and redundant.

Don’t get me wrong. If I get some rare disease with no known cure, it would be great if my husband’s kiss could bring me back from the brink of death. Or, if I’m unlucky enough to fall out of a plane, it would be wonderful to survive unscathed, only to be rescued by Smokey Robinson. Yep, Smokey is more than welcome to comfort me with cocoa while singing a tune or two. Aside from that, I’m aiming for a life where I learn from my obstacles, have new experiences to decorate each year and refrain from sleeping with my sister’s ex-boyfriend who is unknowingly my half brother.

Pan Envy

Monday, November 6th, 2006

My absolute favorite thing to cook with is the 10″ Teflon coated frying pan I picked up at a discount store years ago. I believe it was a whopping $8.99. Not exactly state of the art, but budget friendly for a relatively new college grad. My pan and I have been together for about 12 years now. I’d confess it’s one of my longest lasting friendships, but that’s a sob story for another blog.

Back to my pan. A lot has happened to it since our first meeting. His shiny silver bottom is now brown and dingy. The Teflon is decorated with burner ring marks and a few shallow scratches. The handle wiggles a bit, but shows no signs of letting go just yet. All of these imperfections make me love it all the more. They are battle scars of our time together. At our best, we were a sizzling success. At our worst, charred remains of our good intentions were on an express flight to the Hefty bag.

To be honest, my pan isn’t the only thing to have changed in the past decade. My bottom isn’t what it used to be either. My brown hair is now streaked with silver. I have shallow (okay deep) scratches in what used to be the nice flat surface of my face. This is where the pan envy comes in to the equation. All of these marks of time do little to add to my appeal. I don’t look at these scuffs with the same warmth as the blemishes on my pan. Why is that? Why do I feel I have to look brand new after 12 years? My pan is getting hotter and hotter. Me, not so much.

Is it possible I could take a lesson from kitchen gear? Ah, to be able to look at my life’s markings as a sign of a adventure and accomplishment. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to revel in the stories behind the stains and the scars instead throwing money and effort into covering them up? Restoring my pan is completely out of the question. It wouldn’t be special to me anymore. It would just look like every other pan hanging on the hook at Target. Who wants that?