Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Unintentionally a Spectacle

Photo Found Here


Disclaimer:  I am both frugal and modest, and I’m learning that sometimes in attempt to live out one of these ideals, I sacrifice the other.


You know those articles titled something like, “You probably have a Serious Mental Health Issue if you Wear Pajamas All Day”? When those pop into my Facebook feed, I close the window. Immediately.


Because, while I make no attempt to hide the fact that I DO have issues, I’m happiest while wearing my pajamas.


However, a few months ago, I looked in the mirror and my pajama-clad self looked back at me and I finally saw what Matt had been telling me he’d been seeing for months- a lot of skin. The yoga-type pants I had purchased during college (and had continued to wear to sleep for over fifteen years), possessed the appearance of sheer pantyhose. Cheap sheer pantyhose. [You know, like the kind you purchase when the only store you can find is a dollar store and you end up buying four pairs, because you can’t get into the first three pairs without destroying them.] What had begun as a practical attempt to purchase one item I could both covertly wear to class and to sleep, had fifteen years later ended in me being inappropriate in front all the neighborhood high school and college boys (and their parents)!


You may be wondering why I didn’t just believe Matt in the first place. I would have if I had understood his meaning. Matt and I have been married for over a decade, but occasionally he uses his Southern manners and I miss his meaning altogether.


For instance, “It may be time to toss those pants,” was interpreted by me as, “Those pants are no longer attractive,” NOT, “You’re basically naked and you taking the trash out wearing those things is giving the neighborhood kids nightmares. We might have to pay for their therapy.”


Embarrassed, I decided that while I did not think wearing pajamas all day was a sign of depression for me, I HAD hit a new low.


Sometimes I want to laugh out loud when people ask me what I’m currently doing for self-care or about when I get “Me Time.” It’s not that I find these things unimportant. It’s just that I went from having one to having four children in about eighteen months time. Each of these children has very specific needs. Many of their individual needs contrast what their siblings need (and what their parents need). My life is basically a song and dance that results in our family not imploding. [Succeeding beyond “not imploding” isn’t something I’ve had a moment to consider yet.]


What I was realizing through the pants incident is if I wanted to treat others the way I treat myself, I could basically punch others in the face. If I wanted to treat others the way I wanted to be treated, I’d have to take a weekend off to figure out how I wanted to be treated. I was too exhausted to even know.


As if Matt could read my thoughts, he provided me with a weekend away. It was a monumental gift given the intense needs in our house and I didn’t take it lightly.


During that weekend, I came up with a pants plan that didn’t stress me out because plans that stress me out only add to the problem. The plan was simple:  I asked my family to purchase nice pajama pants for me as a birthday gift. I even gave specific direction:  Read the reviews. Make sure they’re cotton. Make sure they’re preshrunk.


The sheer pants quickly revealed more than my legs. Because of the sheer pants, I realized I needed to ask for help. So, I asked for pants AND time for myself for my birthday, and my amazing husband found a way to make both happen.


I guess the lesson I’m learning is that if I want to better know how I should treat others, first I need to get space to know how I want to be treated. [tweet this]

And while neglecting my family is not okay, neither is being naked in front of the neighbors.

30 comments :

  1. This was soooo well written, spot-on, funny and at the same time very real. It's hard to ask for help and I think it's because we sometimes don't even know what we need. It's called losing perspective and operating in survival mode. Thank you for this very thoughtful post. Im trying to find ways to ask for help before I start acting resentful, frustrated, unkind and looking unkept.

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    1. You are so right. When we lose perspective, we forget to ask for help. Hope you get some reliable breaks. I'm trying to work on it because I truly believe those breaks will help me keep perspective.

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  2. Laughing sooooooo hard in complete empathy. :D. Substitute 'sheer pants' for 'pants that maybepossiblyprobablydidn't fit pre-twins but definitely don't now, you wide-hipped idiot' and this is my life.

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    1. You crack me up and I was thinking about you as I was writing this post. You're juggling more than I am, so I can only imagine! I can't relate to your specific pants problem, because I only wear leggings these days. Don't worry, I wear them with dresses/tunics. This is not me admitting to another scandal.

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  3. Nicole, your grace and wit know no bounds. And you made me laugh and smile for the first time today. I have been walking around in clothes with holes in them for YEARS. Almost my entire underwear drawer had holes in them. Why did I hang on to these holey clothes? The reason I told myself was that I couldn't afford to buy new ones, and there is a lot of truth to that statement. I am in fact exceedingly poor. But there was another reason lying under my poverty that only recently was I able to admit to myself: I didn't feel like I deserved nice things. But then I met my boyfriend. Now there was someone in my life who would see all my holey underwear and shabby clothes on a regular basis. He loved me despite my poor wardrobe, but he made me feel like I am worthy of nice things. So I went shopping for some underwear for the first time in close to a decade. Turns out underwear is pretty cheap, so I replaced all of it with really cute stuff. And I feel so good every day knowing that I am walking around with nice underwear, even though the only people who ever see it are myself and my boyfriend. It boosted my confidence to be able to go through my closet and get rid of all my holey clothes, too. Four bags of them to be exact. I haven't replaced much of them yet. I'm buying things I really like, that I can afford, piece by piece, because I deserve it.

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    1. I hope you laugh more tomorrow, Randi! It's late in the day. So glad you are learning to treasure yourself. You ARE worthy. And you're right, underwear aren't that expensive. I need to remind myself of that. Soon.

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  4. I could hear and feel your energy and emotion in your post because your use of words so perfectly reveals how you are feeling in this season of life. I want to thank you for being my saving grace 12 years ago when Teddy was so sick, Mike and Harry were having their own developmental challenges. I could have never made it through those years without your physical help, emotional support and spiritual coaching. So, please let me be that for you. I have moved through that most exhausting and challenging season and in a far, far stronger place. Please let me help you. Whether its a listening ear, watching the boys so Matt and you can have a night out, or helping you to fold laundry. I am here for you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer! When things are difficult, I often think of your family twelve years ago. Then I think of Teddy's recent school video and I cannot believe how different life must seem for you now. So happy you're in a less exhausting place. Our laundry is gross, and I'm always humbled when anyone offers to help with it (four boys!). I do think time together would be amazing! Thanks for this thoughtful note.

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  5. Oh my gosh THANK YOU for this incredible post, and the encouragement I need to throw away my own "thinning" yogas that are my favorites. Time to hit the second hand shop for some new duds!!

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    1. You DEFINITELY need to treat yourself! Actually, the pants in question may still be hiding in my drawer. Sadly, my laundry pile, donation pile, and garbage pile look similar. Time to change that. Enjoy your shopping!

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  6. Self care is critical. I;m glad you took the time for it. Thanks for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Your post has been pinned.
    Cheers,
    Jennifer

    Http://awellstyledlife.com

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  7. This is such an important lesson. For that one commandment to work, "love your neighbor as yourself" we first need to lover ourselves and treat ourselves well. I don't always get that.

    I DO get threadbare clothes, as I have some myself. What a good metaphor here for self-care. Glad your husband nudged you toward it.

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    1. It's true. Without the nudge, I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to take the first step. And everyone would have paid for that.

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  8. Love this post! Great way to encourage us.

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  9. Oh my goodness, that was so rich! I am now going to use the term Pants plan in my terminology. So rich. I love you so much dear. You know, I recall you wearing comfy bottoms, but I had no idea it was covert. You inspired me to lose weight and wear comfortable pants. That could possibly become my new Pants plan. When is your birthday dearest? I need to know.

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    1. What??? I encouraged you to lose weight? That was also unintentional. I haven't seen you for awhile, but in all of my memories you are always the perfect size. I DO hope you enjoy some comfy pants AND I hope you routinely check the sheerness of them. Love you!

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  10. Self-care is so important and often we just neglect ourselves. I love that you have this realization and took action. Good for you!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for connecting, Jennifer. Great to meet you! Hope you also are enjoying a lovely weekend.

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  11. fantastic post, I smiled through it. Self care is like a foreign language to me but I am working on it a little at a time. I love pajama days. Although my hubby is the frugal one. I buy pajamas often ( once a or twice a year) I think I could easily be convinced to wear pajamas all day every day ( wink). Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature tomorrow xo

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Katherine and for connecting. Now that I have nice pajamas, I think I can get used to it. I'm honored to be featured tomorrow and I'll be sure to stop by. Best!

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  12. Self-care is so incredibly important. I love this post and your delivery of such an important message! Thanks for sharing it with us at 100 Happy Days. :)
    I'm choosing to feature this post this week on Thursday's linkup, so please stop by to grab your "I've been spotlighted" button if you'd like.
    Thanks for the giggle and speaking real truth - it was much needed this morning.

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    1. Hi Alison, Thank you for connecting and for choosing to feature this post for Thursday's link up. What an honor! Glad you could giggle reading this. This makes me smile an reminds me why I write. I'll be sure to stop by on Thursday.

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  13. The fact that you didn't see your need highlights how much need of some self care you must be. Your humour is amazing despite all of that. I'm glad you got a little recharge time. Xx

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    1. Thanks! Laughter is so healing for our family.

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  14. Thank you for sharing! And just so you know, I am rarely out of my PJs either! I loathe the days I must get dressed as an adult and do adult things in adult places. I really really really want to curl up in a blanket fort and color in my non-adult coloring books!

    BTW, I am just hopping over from Totally Terrific Tuesday to say your blog is awesome! :)

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    1. Thanks, Robin! I just got my first adult coloring book and I haven't started coloring yet because I need to invest in quality colored pencils (something weird that I care about). Love the blanket fort idea!

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  15. As I read this post, it made me think of the post I shared of treating yourself like a toddler. We grow up and care for others and then we forget to care for ourselves. Taking a few minutes each day for yourself is not selfish - it's necessary. Also, what we wear, even at home, is important.

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    1. Thanks, Sheryl! This week I caught up on some DIY projects that had me wearing paint clothes for hours each day, BUT I proudly showered and changed before school pick-up. Baby steps.

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