This summer is being most instructive. As a Diva, I try to remain open to new experiences and pleasures, so I’m making a concerted effort to try new things when the opportunity presents itself and I’m learning that once you open yourself up to that, all sorts of new experiences cross your path!
However, a month-plus of near-constant travel takes a certain toll. I was faced with the inescapable truth that I needed to make some changes to my everyday lifestyle. The last several years have been peppered with some challenges and difficulties and I take my comfort all too often in food (and I don’t mean carrot sticks, my lovelies!). Between Covid, emotional upheaval, medications to treat some chronic health issues, hormonal changes that are simply a part of life, unhealthy levels of sturm und drang, and far too much comfort eating, I no longer liked what I saw in the mirror and I most definitely was not feeling comfortable in my own skin.
Clearly, changes needed to be made.
This brings me to the subject of this posting. As you know, I firmly believe that our society’s reliance on Puritanical ideas is — well, let’s be kind and say “not a good thing.” I am a believer in the Stillwater sect’s adage that “life is meant to be enjoyed, not saddled with.” Unfortunately, too many people seem to believe that to be worthwhile, things must be difficult.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself – and no one else can give this to you, dear Diva – is the gift of gentle learning. For me, this has been a most difficult lesson, so please let me clear some of the brush away from the path for you.
Coming of age as I did in the 1980s, I look back with mild horror at how rough we were on ourselves. We cleaned our skin with SeaBreeze and ground-up apricot pits and told ourselves the burning “means it’s working!” (Honestly, Miss Piggy had a better cleansing routine than most of us did!) We baked ourselves under tanning lamps like we were convenience store hot dogs and spritzed our hair with Sun In and Aqua Net. We subsisted on chemical-almost-food like Tab and frozen “diet dinners” and wondered why were were too hungry to concentrate. And we exercised in Day-Glo spandex with ridiculous devices instead of simply going for a walk. Therefore, it’s not too surprising that, even today, we seem to prefer harsh to gentle, although we’d never treat a good friend the way we treat ourselves.
So stop it.
I need to make a number of lifestyle changes in quite a few areas and I live a busy, demanding life. I am turning my back on the “quick fix” here and I encourage you to do the same thing, no matter what your goals may be. Here are the changes I’m making right now. As I incorporate these, I plan to add others.
- Start each day with a glass of water. Carbonated, tap, warm, cool – however you like it.
- Wash your face – and don’t use anything harsh enough to rip up floor wax!
- Dry yourself gently – don’t scrub like you’re rushing through a three-minute Navy shower.
- Liberally apply sunscreen when you’re going outside – or when you’re staying inside.
- Store rosewater in the fridge for when you come inside – and spritz liberally!
- Find a stretching routine and use it every day.
- Do something generous for someone else every day and – whatever you do – don’t call attention to it.
- Eat one more fruit and/or vegetable a day.
- Make time every day to sit and ponder the wonder that is your life.
- Do not spurn the good things that come your way, be that noticing a hummingbird at a feeder or trying strawberries with Chantilly cream.
Again, there are no good, quick fixes. To transform my life from gray to glitter has taken years and making these changes that I’m contemplating truly stick is not going to be the work of a weekend or a month. That’s just fine – good things take time. And it’s a good day to begin.
Scatter joy, Divas!