Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Hour May 25, 2012

I know.  I know.

I haven't done happy hour in forever.  Pardon me.  Abject, pleading apologies. 

I am not good at maintaining consistent plans.  But I do try!

Anyhow...I was inspired by a blog post I read yesterday, written by the brilliant Sally McGraw over at Already Pretty.  She wrote up a brilliant piece on why body image matters.  It struck a nerve in me.  As a woman.  As a school counselor.  As a mother.  As a sister.  As a friend.  My journey with my own body image has been one of many stops.  From childhood where I simply adored what my body could do, was fascinated with each freckle, bump and wrinkle. Into adolescence where each thing that my body did was cause for embarrassment and angst.  Stopping off in early adulthood while I loathed my curves and wished for a washboard-flat tummy.  Tumbling into parenthood where I began to appreciate what this body could do.  Now I am pretty happy with this body that carries me through life.  I feel fortunate that it works.  It propels me forward each morning.  It provides those that I love with a soft place to land.  It gives fantastic hugs.  And while it isn't a body I find often in magazine spreads or on the pages of catalogues, I'm okay with that.  I really feel good about each curve, wrinkle and dimple I've earned.

Yet I have girlfriends who are stunningly beautiful and hate on their bodies on a regular basis.  As much as my teenaged students do.  It breaks my heart to hear so many lovely ladies not seeing their own beauty.  I wish I could give these girls and women the gift that I have discovered-that of a positive body image.  It isn't to say that I walk around feeling stunning all the time.  I have my days I feel blah.  Or that I know my jeans feel a bit tight and I need to get the diet in check.  But that does not drive my self worth.  Or how I talk about myself.  And I refuse to allow how I feel about my body to get in the way of me enjoying a week at the beach or a day at the pool.  I have already spent too many years shying away from summertime to waste more sunshine and fun. 

So, here is my happy hour shout-out to the ladies of the world...enjoy this unofficial kick-off weekend of summer.  Be proud of who and what you are.  Embrace every dimpled elbow, wrinkled forehead, freckled nose, and extra pound that makes you the unique beauty that you are.  I am planning to spend this weekend doing things that I love with those that I love.  Hair color/cuts for the family tomorrow.  We love getting to see Dee and lauging our butts off while we are there! Graduation for our respective schools on Sunday.  I love nothing more than taking our son to see my students graduate.  It is important for him to see what this means to families, I believe.  Then relaxing on Monday at home, just the three of us, enjoying some early summer treats.  Bring on the summer, the sundresses, the bathing suits, the shorts, and the tank tops.  I do not fear you!

Readers, share with us a little about what makes you happy about your own self-image.  And if you struggle with this idea, what do you think your best feature is? We all start somewhere, right?!