Shifting Self-Care

Photo: My amaryllis has decided to bloom and it is just gorgeous. I never understood the forced bulb thing until now. It is bringing me so much joy, especially during these March snows, which are just the worst.


Daylights savings, Lent, March on the calendar (even if it’s snowing outside)… my brain is flipping over to a springtime mindset. I’ve casually looked through my favorite clothing websites to see what the spring fashions are (I scowled at most of it. I don’t love stripes or florals. I don’t know what I was looking for, but I didn’t find it). This morning, after coffee but before wake-up time, I had a hard-stop moment when I thought about the coming season:

Coats are going to go away. And leggings. Oh God, I won’t be able to hide myself in my clothes. I’m going to have to look. At myself. Shit.

The hairy legs and unpainted toes. The skin I’ve cared about, but still covered for all the scars and spots uneven tone. My graying temples will be more visible when my hair is up. The silver is scraggly and unruly, unwilling to join with the rest of my locs in an orderly fashion.  I’ve been trying to get on the elliptical with regularity,  but my steady diet of stout beer and rice/pasta/noodles is about to catch up with me. Curves? I’ve got lumps.

My gorgeous wool peacoat, which is structural and feminine, cuts a nice silhouette for me. It adds straightness to lumpy areas, covers stuff that I don’t want seen. It looks good with everything, lending some power and grace to my wardrobe. It’s the best part of winter for me. You know that piece of clothing that you put on and you just know you look good? That’s my coat. I walk taller and more powerfully when I’m wearing it.  Sweaters provides heft in a nice way. One assumes “oh, she’s wearing a bulky sweater” rather than “I’m going to get her an orange theory membership for mother’s day.”

I wanted, in that moment,  for winter to last forever. We’ll most to Canada! No need for summer! It was this moment of abject contempt for myself from head to toe. I don’t know where it came from, I didn’t know I had it in me.

As the shower went on, I calmed down. The season is changing. I know how to dress my body in flattering ways. The silver in my hair is lending gravitas, and that’s not a bad thing. Toes can be painted (a pedicure is severely needed, though. Money I don’t want to spend, but a necessity nonetheless). Skin can get lotions and potions. Unwanted hair can be removed.

And even from just writing that paragraph, I’m exhausted!

I wrote an article about this sometime last summer when it was time to face the bathing suit and remember that this is the body I’m in. I love myself and therefore I love the body I’m in. I can do things to this body to make me love it more, if I choose, but because I want to for reasons that matter, not because of anything else. That involves the shape of it, the styling of it, the glow of it. This body, my body, is a product of my imagination and intention.

Impending spring is a call to action, a reminder that self-care shifts during the warm-weather months. Instead of warm blankets, hot tea and a book, it’ll be razor blades and pretty colors and clips for the hair. I suppose I’m chafing at the exterior focus (who introvert wants to think about the external?), but the exterior actually does matter. And that’s ok.

Of all the things to think about on a Monday, I’m wondering what your shifting self-care looks like this season, Dear Reader. What fashions are you looking forward to wearing? Where do you shop (I need some ideas), and what is your color? How will you reflect your imagination and intention this season? This is an important time of transition. Let’s transform together, hm? I’d love some company.

Until Wednesday, take care.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Trish says:

    Question: what do they do at a pedicure (other than a better job with the nail polish) that makes it necessary/wanted? I’ve never had one and I’m curious.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      They soak your feet, give you a massage, and scrub off the dead skin. Very good specialty stuff for that. 🙂 And yes, better job on the polish. I always get it all over the place. Not. Coordinated. At. All.

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