You know it’s time to do your laundry when you’re left with only Christmas-themed boy briefs you’ve had stashed for oh, I don’t know, ten years, that you never can seem to throw away. Or when your pile of laundry is competing with the height of your dresser. And you’ve worn the same dress more than a few times, though it’s 90-degree weather and every single possible inch of your body sweats in ways you didn’t know it could.
You know it’s time to actually get some sort of tan for the summer when you’re my friend M, who while on a day date with a cute, preppy, tattooed bachelor of an unknown age, you hold your arms out like a bird to attempt to get some color. Oh, and he calls you out on it and you blush sheepishly. Or when it’s mid-July and your legs glow in the sunshine, instead of glistening.
You know it’s time to actually stick to your exercise schedule when you try on pajama pants that were once super-baggy on you, but now are a little snug. Or when you see yourself in a mirror with four panes and think, “Oh, I just look larger because I’m in between the sections” and then discover, that no, that’s no exaggeration, that’s reality. Or when you weigh yourself at multiple places and even if you subtract five pounds off for water weight, clothes and bloating – you’re still a little heavier than what you’d like to be.
You know it’s time to go to the grocery store when you’re sitting around on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, hungry and busily working on a tight deadline, and you gotta’ find something easy to make. And so, you settle on some Brooklyn lager, brownies from two weeks ago, and fresh broccoli steamed with butter. Along with a bag of Sensible Proportions that quickly loses its senses. Or you start drinking out of the orange juice container in your undies because it’s too hot to dress and too much effort to wash a dish in the air conditioner-less kitchen.
Or is at these times that you learn the most important lesson of all? Self-acceptance.
That laundry can wait when there are career-advancing things to do or free happy hours that don’t break your bank and allow you to make memories you won’t forget. That while a healthy glow looks lovely on our 20-something bodies, at 50, we’ll be thankful for pale skin that wrinkles less and looks younger. That an extra five pounds never turned away a man before and if it did, then he wasn’t a man we wanted to be around to begin with. That crazy food concoctions sometimes turn into interesting conversations and giggles that make the strangeness less strange.
Because I may not be the most dedicated laundry lady, the cleanest, the smallest, the most beautiful, or the best chef – but I’m me. And if I want to eat broccoli and brownies with a side of beer, then, you know what? I will.
Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful that in the shadow of everything that’s wrong, there is always something that’s right.