I realised something this morning. I am beginning to care less about what people think of me. And I think this is a positive step towards being the person I could be.
Some of you may already think that I don’t care too much about how others view my appearance. After all, a person who rides around with a bright pink waterproof coat and a scarf under her cycle helmet really isn’t the most stylish of people, is she? My feeling on the matter is that I don’t want to be mown down by a bus on the main road after the school run, and I would rather have warm ears than look trendy. I know full well that a few years ago I would have cringed at my 40-year-old self.
As teenagers, I think it is the rules to wince about what our parents wear or do. Part of growing up is detaching from those who have brought us into the world and nurtured us. It is necessary to go through this stage to become adults. I can think of a couple of exceptions to the rule of finding your parents excruciatingly embarrassing, but even those teenagers were humiliated by some aspects of their parents’ lives.
My daughter is 8 ½, and is not yet overly critical of me. I know it is coming. I am reliably informed that by around the middle of Year 6, even the closest girls and their mums get to the sticky patch. They may continue to dance warily around each other, but there will be a degree of separation.
I remember, as a teenager, realising that my Mum had tried really hard in the getting-ready stakes, but had still missed the mark in some ways. To my shame, I think I felt a sense of pity that she just didn’t understand how to dress in today’s world. I am now my mother, and I am sure that my daughter will have the same thoughts and embarrassment about me.
Comfort over style?
I just want to justify something here – it is not totally comfort over style these days. I do make some effort to look reasonable. Honestly. I feel that first impressions are important, so if I know I am meeting someone for the first time, I won’t wear the grey tracksuit bottoms that I have sneaked into my drawers, after my husband managed to get me to throw my trusty ones out a number of years ago. I just care a little less about whether people think I have bought my clothes from the most fashionable or expensive shops. I would rather they cared about what I am like on the inside.
I would rather people be concerned about what I am like inside than my dress sense. There will come a day when I can’t control my appearance, and it may be too late to develop into a nicer person. I hope that if I continue to work on aspects of my personality, I will become happier within, and that this will be seen in my physical body as well as through my actions.
By caring less about how others view us, we don’t need to have a mask on. That means that what is going on on the outside is closer to what we are thinking and feeling on the inside. It makes us more congruent.
What have you stopped caring about?
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