~ Judy Walden
Judy challenges her life-long addiction to vanity.
All of my life I have believed that I had to look good and preferably great
to get any of my wishes met. My charge cards reflected this and every month
I would be faced with a large balance since I was constantly shopping for
clothes to enhance how I looked. I also shopped to ward off any feelings of
dissatisfaction with myself. It was an immediate high and gave me the
confidence that I sorely lacked. But like any addiction, a one time fix is
never enough and then there was the downside of having to pay all the high
interest from my charges. But looking good was a constant and never ending
Forty came and it was time for a little cosmetic work, eyelids
lifted, some collagen in that wrinkle between my eyebrows. I never questioned
how many hours I had to work to pay for all of this. Heck, I never questioned my
Weight was never a problem in my youth but once I hit fifty,
that became a concern and the pounds started coming on. Perhaps realizing that I
could not recapture my good looks of an earlier age caused me anxiety which then
led to eating in order to feel good. Dieting was hard and a new experience.
What am I doing all of this for was a question which suddenly
came to my mind. First, I examined my belief that people will like me more if I
look good. Then I thought about my friends, some of whom are not slim and some
of whom are not pretty. I like them regardless of their appearance and the
thought came to me that maybe their liking me had nothing to do with how I look.
When I hit sixty, I began to become frustrated with all the time
it takes to do my hair. I don't mind make-up as it takes very little time and
effort, but spending a half hour on my hair was work! Just to run out to the
grocery store required all this getting ready, and I didn't like having to do so
much work to run an errand. Wash and wear hair, that was what I needed so off to
the beauty shop for a new short haircut. Initially, I hated it. It wasn't as
pretty. Back again to that need.
So what do I want? I want a hairstyle that I can run a brush
through. A hairstyle that I can shampoo, comb into place and let it dry
naturally without using a blow dryer and a curling iron. What else do I want? I
want to feel okay about myself without having to work so hard at it. When I
asked these questions, I became more at peace with myself.
I am not advocating this for everyone. However, for me, I am
glad to let go of some of the chains of vanity. I still like buying clothes but
I no longer shop with a charge card in hand. I questioned whether I would rather
buy a new outfit or buy some books and go out to eat with a friend. A face lift,
huh unh, I would rather take a vacation. My weight, no, I am not willing to
forego good desserts to be model skinny.
What you see, is what you get.
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