Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Getting Dressed Experiment

So I was reading a book on the disciplines of the beautiful woman.  It was a funny little read because it was written in the 1970's.  Anne, the author, recommends things like "creaming your hands" before bed.  We call it putting on lotion.  She encourages you to plan your shampoos so you don't end up at the grocery store in your hair curlers.  As you can see, the book was filled with sound advice.

I'm joking around about it, but it really did get my wheels turning on practicing some new routines in the beauty department.  I can say this with certainty.  It is easy to get frumpy fast when you are at home with nowhere to go.  Every once in awhile I fall off the fashion wagon and when I fall I fall hard.

A couple weeks ago I knew I had fallen off the wagon again.  It was the day that all we had on the agenda was a trip inside the bank for some business.  I sure as heck wasn't about to shower and put on make-up just to go to the bank.  While I was perusing my closet for something to wear, I landed on a bleach stained pair of non-maternity velour pants paired with my Banana Republic yard sale sweatshirt that is so worn it is getting a hole in it.  I know.  I know.  It is worse than you imagined.  And yes my rear is about 3 sizes too big to be wearing non-maternity pants and yes the front rolled down under my belly like an accordion window shade.  I'm telling you, it was bad.  For some reason I threw on a silver stud earring to complete the look.  As if that was going to salvage the outfit.

You will be proud to know that I in recovery.  Today I am on Day 16 of getting up and getting showered and dressed with clothes, shoes, jewelry and make-up.  I have allowed myself 2 pajama days in this run and today I am still in my gown because...well...it is cloudy and I felt like it.  My hair and make-up are fixed though!  My mom stopped by for a surprise visit but I think me in my dragonfly gown surprised her even more.  Lesson:  Being dressed allows for drop in visitors!

So another part of the experiment included being ready by 8am each morning.  Yeah.  About that.  I don't know what I was smoking.  Ya'll, I'm just not a morning person.  I'm having to take this experiment in bite size pieces so for now, that has landed with getting presentable the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning.  Shower, face, hair, clothes, jewelry, shoes. 

The first morning I came out of my room all dressed I created a disturbance.  The menfolk of the house were all piled on the couch peacefully reading.

But when they saw me dressed and ready for the day?




Oy.  It was so funny.

Here is what I have learned from my experiment of getting dressed each day.  Some of my finds annoyed me.  I suspected they'd be true but hoped I was wrong.

  • Being ready for the day gave me more energy.  So frustrating to me for some reason.  I want to have energy without getting ready for the day dadgumit.  Is that too much to ask?  It did make me feel much more productive to be dressed and ready. 

  • Shower first.  It was surprisingly easy to make this transition.  The minute I get up, I am getting in the shower.  If you wear make-up, put it on when you get out.  If not, moisturize your face, fix your hair and get your clothes on.  This is my biggest daily battle {the putting on real clothes part}.  Gosh.  I love my pajamas so much.  I always want to get ready and then put my pajamas back on.  Before my experiment, I had my Bible reading time first thing in the morning but then I never wanted to take the time to get ready after.  Switching the order of shower and reading has made ALL the difference in the world for me.  Who wants to get ready?  No one!  That is why it is best to get it over with first thing.  Plus, Anne suggested that maybe God gets tired of facing all those millions of hair rollers and old robes each morning.  {insert chuckle here}

  • Make the bed.  This is where you really start feeling good about where things are heading.  You are up, dressed, ready, your bed is made and you are off to a great start.
After I make my bed, I get my coffee and let the boys know we are one hour away from starting school.  This is their time to finish their playing and prepare for school and it is my time to spend with Jesus. 

I ditched the alarm clock for  now.  There is a place somewhere between discipline and grace and that is where I want to live.  There are sacrifices to staying home but there are also some great benefits.  Freedom in your routines is one of them.

I also discovered that I'm not so much concerned with a schedule as I am with establishing strong routines.  A schedule, in my mind, is structured with the clock.  If you get off schedule you are behind.  A routine is a flow of the day.  It creates a rhythm.  Both a schedule and a routine do something great for children.  They create expectation.

So there you have it.  My experiment I've been working on.  She is getting up and getting ready for the day and it is making her more productive. 

My next mission in the beauty department is thinking through my clothes and personal style.  This one will be a few months in the making but for now I'm people watching to think about what looks I like the best.

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