In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp. Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.
1. Taking care of yourself is sexy.
The older I get, the more truth I find in the addage, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” And, mama can’t be happy if she is sick, tired, or sad. I find in my own family that my attitude affects everyone. Last year, around this time, I felt like I was mired in a mess of myself and tired of making excuses for putting off taking care of Lane.
- I had not taken time to exercise because I already had working-mother-guilt about leaving Thor in daycare, and I couldn’t stand the thought of him being in someone else’s care for even five minutes more than was absolutely necessary. This was an excellent excuse to avoid the gym!
- I had neglected my eating habits because I didn’t have time to shop, prepare, or cook decently. This was an excellent reason to order pizza!
- I had completely ignored my emotional self because I was trying to be a soldier. This was an excellent reason to…uh…blog?
A friend’s divorce (that mirrored my parents’) pushed me over the edge. I was reliving the same hurt I had experienced with my parents’ nasty split, and old splinters from that broken heart were working their way into the present. It jolted me and forced me to really take stock of what I had, and what I needed to have in order to get me through the next fifty years of my life.
Breaking points don’t have to be bad. You remember Glow Sticks? The only way to get anything good out of them is to break the capsule inside, release the chemical compound that catalyzes illumination, then shake like crazy. The potential to glow is in the stick the whole time, but until you crack the hard shell surrounding the hydrogen peroxide and let it out into the phenyl oxalate ester and fluorescent dye (thanks, Bill Nye, Science Guy!), activating the potential, you’ve just got a whole lot of nothing at all.
I think a lot about glow sticks when I’m having a rough patch. How will I shake up what’s been broken, so that instead of being bitter, I can be brighter? Sounds corny, doesn’t it? Rave on!
Last year, I quit making excuses for not taking care of myself.
I got into therapy, joined Weight Watchers, started working the menus I had through my membership to JulieAnneRhodes.com, and I hit the gym. I worked on healing my heart, my health, and the circumference of my hips. I swam laps. I did yoga. I substituted apples for Doritos. I went for long walks with my family. I changed jobs. I made changes in relationships. I learned to say no to other people, and yes to myself without guilt. And I like to think I am brighter for it. I know I’m happier. I know I’m healthier.
Following is a list I can highly recommend for sexy, sexy self-improvement. Some of it is local to me (in Dallas/Fort Worth), but it’s a starting place of what to look for if you’re outside the area. Take care of you, Boo. No one else is going to do it for you, but everyone around you will benefit when you get started.