Thursday, January 24, 2013

When you need to get your sparkle back

We ladies were born to sparkle.  
Now, I know some of us here in the stoic Northeast may not want to sparkle with, um, actual sparkles (although I do - I'm a Louisiana transplant, ok?).

Chronic pain is a bugger when it comes to sparkle.  When I wake up feeling like I'm 306 years old and I swear I could hear my joints creaking audibly for at least 2 hours every morning, I feel frump-tastic and not the least bit sparkly.  And that isn't cool.

I think I had a semi-midlife-crisis last year.
Usually it manifested itself in repetitious (and probably very annoying) conversations with my hairstylist about whether I should go blonde again or stay red.
I felt sparkly inside when I was blonde.
And I want that back. 

The input I received on the matter boiled down to this:
My husband thinks the red is foxy.  
End of discussion.
He should have foxy.
If I wake him at 3am snot-crying about my aching back, it's the least I can do, right?
(As a disclaimer, he ultimately grew so tired -- I am assuming, because he would never say such a thing out loud.... he's far too savvy for that kind of rookie mistake -- of the conversation that he actually said, "Do whatever you want, babe," but he had been on the record previously (um, numerously) stating his red hair preference. He probably arrived at the conclusion that a blonde wife who was NOT asking daily about hair color would, perhaps, be foxier than a foxy redhead who was asking the same thing over. And over.)

{Side note: I am noticing a startling number of grey hairs - heaven help me - so I may be having to hi-light down the road to make the most of my own "natural" hi-lights, if you will.  I blame my children for the grey.  100%}

What I have realized now that I am the ripe old age of 34 for precisely 7 days now: 
I can still sparkle.

Pain be darned, I will sparkle. 

So here's what I've come up with for myself.
If you miss some sparkle, maybe this will jump-start you on your own list of ideas.

{This is NOT a deep, spiritually profound approach to life-altering meaningfulness. 
It's just about sparkle... the small things that make us smile... little pops of energy... infusing some fun here and there so we feel less crappy and more like ourselves.}

What makes me sparkle:

* Spray tan (it must be noted that moderation is in order, because this is not "Jerseylicious," it's real life. But for real, I feel a smidge more toned with a layer of spray tan AND it won't cause wrinkles.)

* Coffee dates with girlfriends. (This is a must.  Like breathing air.)

* Mascara that has the little fibers that stick onto the end of my lashes so they are actually long-ish 

* Bubble baths while watching chick flicks on the iPad

* Decorating my whole Christmas tree with hot pink, glitter and peacocks (it actually works...)

* Shamelessly reading fashion and decorating magazines just because 

* Finding some hip pieces of clothing (that don't make me look like I think I'm 20... very important distinction, ladies) and rocking some trends, just because it is F.U.N. 

* Weight Watchers (for real, if pain is making me feel like my body is beyond my control, taking charge of something like pant size is super-sparkly-feeling)

* Date night with my hottie

* Perfume

* Looking through my closet and putting together outfits I've never made before

* Taking a break from Pinterest, because what on earth is more depressing than looking at 763 projects I supposedly think I will do and will never. ever. on. the. face. of. the. earth. attempt. 

* Scrolling through Pinterest (we women are full of contradictions)

* Allowing "because it's fun" to be a valid reason to do something

* Sitting with my dad at the beach, next to books we never open because we're too busy talking

* Keeping my nails polished 

* Steaming hot coffee and a great book

* Remembering the stuff I loved to do alone and with my hubby before we had so darn many kids and trying to squeeze a few of those things into our schedule again.  (I actually, literally, FORGOT what I think is fun for a while.  No joke.  I could not come up with a single thing that wasn't parenting-related. That's so not ok.)

* Pedis and lunches with my daughter.  Laughing with her 'til we almost can't breathe and have tears in our eyes. 

* Trying on shoes 

* Wearing high heels, even if I'm just going to Target (how I missed heels while my littlest one had to be carried everywhere!)

* Carving out time, space and quiet to "create stuff"

There are other things I've been mulling over about living with pain, but I wanted to start our conversation about something light and fun like sparkling.  I hope that's ok with you.

Chronic pain can dull the shine you feel like you have, and I think one way of living through that stuff, is to reclaim the vibrant, joyful, playful part of ourselves.  

After a few years (I'm a slow learner sometimes) of living with this stuff, I'm finally realizing that
I can choose to sparkle through anything.  

What makes you sparkle, friend?


  1. Doing my hair (because I really like my hair done). Of course seeing as it seems as though I never leave the home lately (go figure what with two 2 year olds and subzero temps living in the middle of nowhere)it hasn't been happening much. That and a fun piece of jewelry. Getting my hair done. Starbucks. Pinterest. Target. Dinner out with my hubby. Visiting with friends. Time sitting at Jesus' feet... especially the times I don't "will" to, but I do it... and He meets me and blessed me... yeah that makes me sparkly... in fact I pray it makes me "sparkle" like a light in the midst of our crooked and perverse generation.

    1. I'm with you on this list, 100%. Especially the Jesus part! Nothing sparkles more than a heart that's spent time in his presence. Thanks for sharing your list. It's sparkle-tastic!