Indifferent to appearance.

Beautiful morning, quiet, serene, peaceful. My next door neighbor is out of town and on Saturday, I rarely hear cars going by. Upon weighing myself, something I rarely do, I saw that I have gained 10 pounds. My pants were feeling tight so I knew I had gained some weight but I didn’t think it was that much. By cutting back on food I lost 4 pounds this week and feel better.

I have always been within the normal weight range for my height, but after fifty, I was at the high end of this range and decided to lose 15 pounds. It took me six months, but was it well worth it. While I eventually gained back 5 pounds, I decided I could live with this.

I’m not very interested in my appearance. While I don’t go around looking grungy, neither do I make the effort to be chic. When I was in college I mostly wore jeans and men’s shirts. I once had a job where a uniform was required and loved not having to decide what I was going to wear to work.

In my last job I had a boss who looked fabulous every day. She was a genius at picking out clothes and accessories. No matter what I wore, I felt dumpy next to her. It’s a mystery to me how some people just seem to know what looks good on them.

I read an article this morning by a woman who had controlling, dictatorial parents and the problems this caused her throughout life. When I lived with my mother, I was not allowed to pick out my own clothes and I think this handicapped me later in life. It is probably when we are young that a preference for certain clothes starts to develop.

When I lived with a roommate two years ago, she made derogatory comments about my hair. It is thin and fine and looks flat if I don’t wash it everyday. A few years ago, I let it grow long again so I can just pull it back in a clip. Trying to style it is impossible. For awhile, I cut it short but everyone said short hair did not suit me.

A woman in her mid-sixties who lives two doors down from me wears loose jumpers that tie at the shoulder. I would look absurd in a jumper, or any other kind of ‘dress’, but this works for her.

Every once in awhile I go on a shopping spree and buy what I think are fashionable clothes, but once in my closet, they stay in my closet. It’s like buying vegetables because I know they are healthy and then letting them rot in the fridge. I now think most of my shoes are ugly, but since I can’t wear high heels, my shoe selection is limited. Since I am almost 5’9” high heels put me at close to 6’, a weird height for a woman.

What is important to me is ‘inside’, my inner life. I envy the freedom monks have to put on the same loose robe everyday and have this be accepted as normal. I drove the same truck for 31 years because it never broke down. The only reason I bought a newer vehicle was because no one wanted to work on it and parts were hard to get.

I see beauty in what is old, aged, discarded. Flowers that wilt and start to decay are just as lovely as when they first bloom. I live in the woods where dead trees intermingle with living trees. New buds are bright green, and then everything turns yellow and brown. Abundance turns into starkness. This is the natural rhythm of the earth, a rhythm that most people are out of synch with.

My own skin is turning brown with age and there is decreased motion in my joints. This is normal, I accept it. If anything starts to hurt, I seek relief, but the natural process of aging doesn’t frighten or repulse me.

I don’t need much and I crave what is simple. I will wear black because it’s easy, everything look good with black.

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4 thoughts on “Indifferent to appearance.

  1. I will be 73 this month. All my life have had fine thin hair with many negative comments made by others. Have worn a wig for many years as I dont have the patience to “fool” with my hair to make it appear what it isn’t– thicker, etc. Our socieity puts a high premium on women who have beautiful thick har.–has always made me feel a little deficient.

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  2. Agree with this, including the car. I’d love to be able to put on a uniform every day. My job usually involves little face to face contact, so I can get away with wearing the same thing a couple times a week. Not sure about mothers being an influence. My mom was a clothes horse. She loved taking me shopping but wasn’t dictatorial about choices; quite the opposite. I just never cared that much about clothes.

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