Either I am very comfortable or I don’t really care.
I suppose I have a decent figure (above average height and fairly in shape, in fact, downright thin in recent months, the effects of running behind a toddler). I have very short hair, which I maintain with no great style. I am adamant about not wanting to grow my hair, because its easier to maintain this way, and at some level I like the way I look like this. I do have body hair which I dont particularly try to hide. In fact, I dont even do regular threading for facial hair, which I get, as a result of some hormone issues.
Like I said in the beginning, I don’t have the energy to motivate myself to make extra efforts to look good. Most of the clothes I wear are baggy and shapeless, because I cant be bothered to wear fitting clothes, which I need to keep altering every time I lose or gain weight.
Yet, paradoxically, despite my avowed lack of interest in my looks, its in small details relating to routines of dressing up that I see a proxy indicator of how much time I am giving to myself. I have shared before about how becoming a mother with a preparation time of less than one week really threw me off balance, and made me lose my sense of self. It was in my grooming that it was most obvious. I was never perfectly groomed, and now I even did not seem to brush my hair regularly. Worse, if my husband used to take time off from parenting responsibilities to focus on grooming, I would get irritated, wondering why is he so focused on himself, while I care nothing about how I look. As I struggled to cope and gradually grew comfortable with the role of a mother, there we little changes in behavior which suggested I had reasserted control over my life.
The first, more than three months after my daughter arrived, I started wearing a watch again. I dont know why I stopped. I am terribly attached to my watch, but somehow, while coping with a child, I almost never seemed to remember to wear it. I was always stuck trying to figure out the time, but the watch was never there. THen one day, I consciously decided to wear it. That act had an internal symbolism for me, which I find it hard to explain. From that day on, I always try to ensure that I have the watch on. I have ruined a few watches, because I forget to take it off while bathing the child. But thats ok. The watch stays, because it is an integral part of me.
The second, this winter, I decided, I will not tolerate dry skin on my face. I bought some aloe vera gel, which I wanted to use twice daily. For more than one month now, I have stuck to it. I do it, no matter what office, household or mothering responsibilities I have. And it makes me feel good. The result of this activity is not for everyone to see, only I can see/feel the difference it makes. And it makes me feel good, not because my skin is better, but because I proved to myself that no matter how much your role demands, no matter how much you are drowned in different responsibilities, you can always find time to do small things which matter only to you.