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I’ve been exercising some extra self-care for the past few weeks. After a physical reaction, I’ve been going extra easy on myself. In addition to resting and eating very clean, I’ve taken a break from makeup and coloring my hair. I just don’t think my body needs any unnecessary chemicals right now. And I’m going to be honest – it’s really hard to see those gray roots grow in and just leave them there. It’s a challenge to leave my pretty makeup bag closed. I’ve always been one who dressed up when I want and dressed down when I felt like it. Temporarily losing the option to glam it up has left me feeling a little bereft.

Digging deep, I’ve been trying to understand why this is such a struggle for me. And here’s what it is – I don’t feel pretty. And even crazier, I feel guilty for not trying to look pretty. Despite my husband’s genuine protests that he prefers me in his old t-shirts and yoga pants, I kind of feel like I’m letting him down with day after day after endless day of slouchy casual wear.

Because there are no coincidences, this quote from Erin McKean wandered across my Facebook feed this week:

“You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”

I don’t owe anyone pretty. You don’t owe anyone pretty. We don’t owe anyone feminine or elegant or appropriate. Despite Donald Trump’s recent assertions, women DO shout sometimes. And that’s a good thing. So, I’m expanding my self-care to encompass a fuller embracing of everything that makes me who I am as a woman, as a wife, as a person. I’m taking this opportunity to more fully explore all that I am.

(As always, I share from my personal life to inspire insights and start a conversation. I encourage everyone to resist the urge to be my cheerleader {I know, I love you too!!} and focus instead on what this brings up for YOU about your own life and experience.)

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