The Older I Get . . . .

The older I get, the less I apparently care .... about all sorts of things! Some things are, of course, always worth caring about, but I find that list gets shorter and shorter as the years go by.

In particular, in recent years, I've found myself caring less and less about what people think about how I look. These days, if I look in the mirror and feel reasonably happy with what I see, and I feel comfortable and not self-conscious with what I'm wearing, then I'm good to go. I actively avoid reading or listening to advice on how to dress and how to look and how to 'make the most of myself'. The fashion industry has never had much to say about people with my BMI anyway!

So, yes, I wear leggings out of the house. Sometimes I go out and about in my crocs (with, as a friend once said jokingly, handy holes so your dignity can leak out!) because they are comfy and don't make my poor flat feet hurt. I don't wear make-up except on very special occasions because it makes my face feel weird and itchy. I don't enjoy going to the hairdresser so I let it grow longer and longer for months and months and then have inches chopped off in one fell swoop.

If other people don't like what I'm wearing, or don't think it looks good then, really, I'm fine with that. I wasn't dressing to please them. I was dressing to please myself. I have heard it said many times that fat people should not wear leggings. I strongly advise people who think that to be true to themselves: if they ever get fat, they should definitely not wear leggings. As for me, well I have no such opinion, and leggings are comfy.

But the thing is, I know lots of people who dress and present themselves very differently from me, who wear make-up daily, who arrange their hair in beautiful styles, who wouldn't be seen dead in leggings. Do I think they are doing it wrong? Do I think their values are skewed or their priorities are out of kilter? Absolutely not! If they look in the mirror in the morning and feel reasonably happy with what they see, and feel comfortable and not self-conscious with what they're wearing, then they're good to go.

Funnily enough, these days I actively avoid reading or hearing most of the advice on how to parent too, with a very few notable exceptions. I've had quite a few children through my home now and I've noticed something: they're all different. And so the way I parent them is different. Some babies nurse to sleep; some don't. Some sleep through the night; some don't. Some wake up full of smiles; some wake up mid-meltdown. I have long since stopped believing that I have any special formula for anything.

The thing is, I know lots of people who parent quite differently from me, whose ideas on nutrition, playtime, screen-time, education, sleep training (or not), discipline, and a whole host of other things are different to mine. Do I think they are doing it wrong? Absolutely not! They are different to me. Their children are different to mine. We are parenting for our children and our families, not for anyone else. Parenting can be hard work and the last thing parents need is to feel judged. I've experienced the judgement of strangers who don't understand our circumstances too many times.

I'm too old for all of that.

Comments

  1. Totally agree. Since leaving my "suit"career I couldnt care less. I wear make-up once a week if I'm lucky but I know I'm happier than I was before. I enjoy being at home for my 10 year old when she comes home from school. She is happier that I'm at home too. I sometimes look at the young suited girls with their hair done & make-up on & think I really don't miss it!

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    1. I'm very grateful never to have had a 'suit' career! I think I would definitely feel uncomfortable in a suit :)

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