I wear makeup daily, try to wrestle my weight down a pound or two and fluff and spray my hair into place. I keep my clothing at least somewhat current. I mother, teach and wife. I work and sometimes housekeep. I pay bills, maintain relationships and actively try to live a positive life.
Unless I am at the lake. Notice that frumpy woman in a lounge chair with a book? She has left the bed unmade and dishes on the coffee table. She hasn’t answered a phone in days. She hasn’t solved anyone’s problems. Her hair and skin are lacking product. What on earth is she wearing? A cotton lounger that resembles a worn out t-shirt? And she is barefoot. Yup, she is hardcore frumping it up. That woman is me. I am loving life.
It is a glorious thing to free yourself of expectation. We worry too much. What if someone sees me? What will that person think of me? The real question should be who cares? It is nice to think of ourselves putting our best foot forward. It’s also good to take pride in our appearance, but we need to remember that looks are a very shallow indicator of our person.
Somewhere along the way women seem to lose perspective. We feel it is our responsibility to maintain a polished appearance whenever possible. Maybe it’s age creeping up on me but I am less inclined to worry about how I look. I worry about who I want to be. I worry about what I want to accomplish. If you are not oohing and ahhhing, if you are put off by my lack of polish, oh well. My concern is to be at peace with myself, to feel at one with the world and the people I value within it. And you wouldn’t guess it by the number of times I have purchased and applied it, but mascara is irrelevant.
My authentic self loves to feel the sun on her skin and wind in her hair. She may not look great in a bathing suit but she sure does love the water. She loves to laugh and eat good food, enjoy the stars and warm up with a crackling campfire. She frolics and plays games, reads and writes. She thinks a lot. She admits that shopping is her guilty pleasure and Christmas by far her favorite holiday. She is ageless. She feels relaxed and happy which ironically also makes her feel prettier. The lake is one of her happy places, but all of her best locations include her husband, children, relatives and friends. She is grateful and loves her life. At the lake she is simply herself and she is free.
Free makes me happy. I will return to day to day expectations. I will present a professional appearance when I go to work. I will problem solve once more and pay the bills. But hidden deep down in the heart of myself remains a still quiet place where the lake girl lives. She peeks out more and more these days, caring less about expectation and more about contentment. I like her. She knows what does and doesn’t matter, and what real living means.