Vows to Myself

Once my ex-husband, Grayheart, decided he was “miserable” with me and left our home after 13 years of being together, I decided I needed to make serious change to my whole self. 


As I reflect back on things I could have done better, I often think about how I let myself go after I had kids. I’ve never been a vain person. I never really cared about being the prettiest or skinniest or most fashionable. I was always the goofy, fun, funny gal. 

But when you are a twenty something year old, it works for you. You don’t have to try to be pretty; you have youth and vigor going for you. When you’re an overweight, graying, cranky, thirty something year old mama… you better think again!

No longer are you considered fresh faced if you go sans make up. Nope. Now you look tired. 

You’re no longer a carefree, rebellious, Sporty Spice type if you wear tanks, cargo shorts and sneakers… Nope again. People then think you are a sloppy, part time trucker and not the sophisticated woman that should be next to your professional man’s side. 

And oohwee! Do not let that white hair show! It was whimsical when I had premature silver strands at the bubbly age of 21. Not even slightly cute when my washed-out-resting-bitch face accompanied roots that made me look like I was part skunk. 

Frankly, I hate the whole dog and pony show because I am very low maintenance. But I’m not a girl that’s naturally pretty without putting effort. So I had to make some changes. Why? Because I needed to look in the mirror and smile back at a person that appeared to care about themself. (I was so disgusted with myself I used to avoid looking in mirrors.) And, let’s be real, who the hell wants to date anyone that looks like someone’s leftovers?!  


So I made myself some vows January 1, 2015:

  • I will not leave the house without earrings, perfume, mascara and lip gloss.
  • I will make better attempts at doing my hair. I shoot for blow drying it weekly. (Which leads me to always having my hair down rather than in a ponytail for Captain.)
  • I will NEVER wear huge Tshirts to bed for my partner. 
  • I will wear either a sexy nightie or nothing to bed with my partner.
  • I will always make an effort to look pretty for my partner. 
  • I will not wear saggy butt jeans. (My sister hated those Old Navy jeans that stretched and sagged after half a day’s wear, lol!)
  • I will exercise at least 4 times a week and keep my weight to something I’m confident and comfortable with.
  • I will always greet my partner with excitement and love when I see  or talk to him on the phone. A smile is the best thing to wear, right?
  • I will keep my nails manicured and feminine.
  • I will always be nicely groomed. I did laser hair removal so gone is the lack of shaving legs or bikini area or underarms! (Whew! What a relief that was! As a Cubana, it was a full time job grooming! Lol!)
  • I will maintain good posture.
  • Finally, I will (try to) sleep more. 

Nothing too crazy here, right?


I am my worst critic. Like, baaaad. I’m not saying this has solved any of my deeper issues but it has helped. Part of feeling good is looking the part. And it has forced me to give myself attention rather than always focusing on everyone else. 

Since I’ve been doing this list, I see the difference in how I carry myself. I am happier and more confident. I’m still a work in progress but now I don’t cringe when I see my reflection. 

Thank you for the awakening, Grayheart. This became my re-birth.

xo

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110 thoughts on “Vows to Myself

  1. Oh you need to tell me more about laser! I heard it’s very painful hence I’m still stuck at the old fashioned ways of waxing, shaving, tweezing! It’s so time consuming.
    I loved your list. Im not high maintenance myself but as a 41 year old woman I would like to look decent lol

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lol! Laser has been a GODSEND for me! While most women post divorce were doing their boobs or Botox, I decided to go with the thing that bothered me the most. So I have been at it for over a year and it has made a world of a difference! I don’t have to shave or worry about hair. Ever. It’s awesome. Shaving and waxing and tweezing is incredibly time consuming and I would get razor bumps like crazy so I never had smooth skin on my thighs or underarms or bikini area. Drove me nuts! It’s not so painful that you can’t tolerate it. Waxing is pretty painful so I think if you can handle that, you can handle laser.

      And thank you… I figured if I wrote it down, I could hold myself to it. I was tired of looking so tired. Not that I’m perfect at it. But now I put more effort. Anything was better than nothing. Lol!

      Liked by 2 people

      • It doesn’t feel good… But the most painful part is your knees, closer “in” your bikini, upper lip and further down shin near ankles. But it goes quickly. A zap covers a bit of area. So it’s not each follicle. And you can numb the area, etc.

        Each person is different so I don’t know how many sessions you’d need. I think it depends on hair type, skin color and hair color. Hormonal areas also take more treatments. I’ve taken 7 treatments to see a very drastic difference that has lasted. But 2 treatments in and you’ll be absolutely thankful you did it when you see how much thinner your hair grows back.
        I’m telling you, when you don’t have to deal with shaving your legs ever again or stressing about the beach or your date or snuggling, you literally jump for joy! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post and am so glad you are taking care of yourself. I find it makes a world of difference. I make sure I get my hair blown out weekly (and am sitting in a salon getting it done now) and always feel good afterwards. Establishing good habits in your thirties makes it easier to take care of yourself in your fifties! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, my friend! There is nothing better than that feeling after you leave the salon! I used to blow dry my hair weekly as well when I was working full time and that was my gift to myself! Lol! Glad you do it! ❤️ And, yes, good habits will carry us far into our years! I see my 84 year old grandmother that always goes out perfumed and nicely groomed and I want to be like that. 🙂

      Like

  3. I’m making small efforts too like not wearing my hair up every.single. day.

    The part about when you are young you look like sporty spice and when older you look like a trucker made me spit out my coffee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lmao! I realized it was bad when my gay brother pulled me aside and verbally shook me when he said I needed to get it together because i looked butch. (Nothing against a manly woman but it’s not what I’m purposely going for! Lol!)

      So I’m not the only one that lives with a permanent ponytail?! I try and keep it down now but I hate the feeling of my hair in my face!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Ouch… Well, I’m sure he does plenty to have weakened her to “tolerate” it. Emotional abuse is a pretty awful form of abuse and it takes a lot of strength and support to get out from under it.

          I certainly accepted far too much inappropriate behavior and beat myself up for a long time after for not making change early on. I suppose you’re only ready to leave when you’re truly ready. That gas lighting technique these narcissists use is quite a bitch!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I know that may have sounded harsh. Ultimately we do have some responsibility in the way people treat us. And I think when we can pinpoint that, without putting most of the blame on someone else, healing starts. I don’t know what gas lighting is, which probably means I don’t know much about how narcissistic people function in Relationships.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Different views is why we do this. Sometimes harsh or stark advice is the only thing that can jolt someone out of a bad situation. That moment when things “click” for you. Healing is always the ultimate goal. 🙂

          I didn’t know gas lighting til I started reading up on it when blogging. It’s a tactic narcissists or cheaters use to basically use your suspicions or words against you to make you feel you’re crazy. Quite fascinating, to be honest.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ohh okay. Lucky I’ve never experienced it. And yeah, ppl call on me for advice in my personal life, I think knowing that I’m gonna say what I REALLY think in what I hope is a balanced way. I sought out advice from different people late last year (not really friends) and NONE of them told me what I wanted to hear. Lol. And I’m better for it. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. If you feel good about yourself, it shows….and you’ve go some good goals.
    I always wear my hair pulled back. It’s so easy and like you, I hate the feeling of hair in my face. My hair grows remarkable fast (although it is getting thinner) and I just hate to “fiddle” with it.
    Hey…I live alone so who really cares what I look like? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I get this! I let myself go a lot after kids…if I’m really honest – low matience went to no matience for me…and that wasn’t a good look at all! It’s definitely good to look in the mirror and like what you see. I’m not the cutie I was in my 20’s but I’m pretty darn great for 37!!!

    So on a curious note-does laser hair removal hurt?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Woohooo! I like hearing that! I’m 36 and I think not bad for what I pictured that age to be! 😉 Kids have a way of wreaking havoc on your body. And then you do everything to make sure they are ok, and there’s nothing left for you at the end. I ran on fumes for so long that I just did not care. Ugh. I’m glad I do now! Lol

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  6. Rock on sister! I completely understand the list I follow most of this although I gave up on wearing mascara in my teens. If you feel good about yourself others notice, and then when meeting other people happens you get to upgrade your eye candy from the previous. It’s beautiful and your baby mamma/daddy gets to sulk, seeing how the hard work paid off. Now I’m off to go price laser hair removal, it will be bikini season before you know it in Indiana!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Growing up, I always felt like I looked young for my age. It’s not as cool as it sounds. What 15 year old wants to look 12? I always thought it would pay off when I’m older and people actually want to look younger. I seemed to have skipped that stage! I’m 37 and people guess my age all over the place. I’ve gotten from, “you’re old enough to have kids?” to, “You’re ONLY 37?”

    I went to a friend’s wedding a few years ago. I thought I would wear the same suit that I was married in. I put on the pants and it was a bit of a stretch to get them buttoned, but I managed. I sat down and the button shot off like a bullet. It was only about 8 years between the two weddings. What happened to me!

    Reading your post though, it reminds me of the crazy double standard. It’s easier and more acceptable for a guy to age. I think that as long as you’re doing these things for you, that’s great. This might be a personal taste, but I see nothing wrong with wearing a huge t shirt to bed.

    As always, great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lmao! Your button story cracked me up! I don’t know but 8 yrs fly by and you don’t even realize how you’ve aged or gained or changed. Crazy!
      I’m awful when it comes to guessing the age of a person! Maybe that’s more what it is with people and you! Lol
      Double standard absolutely. You men age like fine wine and we have to worry like all hell that we don’t look like a washed up doll. 😉 And a big ole Tshirt on me makes me look like SpongeBob Square Pants! Not a good look! Lol! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • We have a big double mirror covering the sliding doors on the closet in the bathroom. Combine that with the fluorescent lights that flatter no one and this is not fine wine that I see getting out of the shower.

        I’m impressed that you’ve stuck with exercising regularly for so long. I’ve started and stopped so many times. I have to figure out some sport or activity that I actually enjoy. I will look for any excuse to break from my routine after about 3-4 weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lmao!

          As far as the working out routine goes, I appreciate the props! However, I will say that I work part time so I have more flexibility than most people plus kid sharing plus a gym that has a great childcare program… I would be totally lame if I didn’t go. So, with 4 kids, working full time and no “break” from your family, I completely understand how it’s practically impossible to get exercise time in. Quite frankly, I’m worried about being able to keep it up when I work full time in the fall. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s how a rationalize it myself. But truthfully, I’m even worse during breaks and vacations. The fact that you’ve been doing it for so long makes it part of your routine. I bet you’ll keep it up well enough this fall.

          I didn’t mention sleep earlier. It’s another area where my self discipline is lacking. When all the kids are finally in bed, I can’t resist staying up a little later and enjoying the quiet. A little later becomes too late very quickly.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh my! Sleep! So funny you say that! That’s the one area I can’t seem to get right! I’m hit or miss here. The silence at the end of the night is glorious and so I stay up waaaay too late. And then regret it in the mornings. 🙄

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm I agree and I don’t agree… 😊 at the same time. Lol. I agree with you that it can help in making us feel better and so on.
    My only little objection is that us women have so much pressure on us already from society. So we need to still have value even when we do not look our best… in short what I am saying is that it is great to look great, as long as it doesn’t become a “pressure” and as long as it doesn’t have to be all the time… just My 2 cents. (Please remember that I do live in a country that is said to be one of the most “equal” between men and women, and so our feminism is quite strong where I live and that influencesbthis comment of course.😉). That said, I am all for everyone’s personal choice, and I am very happy for you that you are doing something that works for you! Hugs. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love alternate opinions so I’m all for it! Actually, yes, I agree with you as well. Your self esteem has to come from within. But I do think it’s a whole package deal. Usually when you feel good outside, it radiates through you. After I had kids and my body changed dramatically and I was with a man that didn’t value me, my self esteem plummeted. I knew I was worthy and good and all kinds of stuff. But I didn’t feel good. Once I lost the husband and started exercising, the rest came naturally and I really do it for me. So I agree with you on all the pressures and understand your point. 🙂

      (Btw, where do you live???) xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You know, I tend to be the type to glam up…but I do it for me, as wearing sexy nighties, or lingerie is for me. I’ve always been that way. So what you do, do it for you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good for you Athena, I am so glad you are seeing the changes within yourself. You are your own worst critic; just like I am mine – but making those changes we see fit do go a long way in our lives and others. Happy day my friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well you most certainly are beautiful (both inside and out). I love this list thing. I’ve always been a list creature. You inspire me to create my own. I don’t think it could be as long as yours, But maybe I can start with like 5 and add too it 🤔hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this list. Nothing to crazy, but yes you are right on about this one…”No longer are you consider fresh faced if you go sans make up. Nope. Now you look washed out. ” I feel that way all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! Ok, you get me! And when you’re a single mom tired and on no sleep because there’s no one to share the responsibility at night with… even worse! I wasn’t a caffeine person but now I’m finding I need it more and more.

      And if I remember correctly, you live in the DMV, right? I remember very well those power women looking professional and well coiffed. I’d look like a joke next to any of them if I had been living there immediately after having kids. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep and NYC and California are the same way. When you’re married you take for granted looking cute when you don’t want to. When you’re single, you can’t go out looking like yesterday’s trash. You have to be put together at all times. A mother’s work is never done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Never done. Ever! Lol

          Miami is such a vain city that it’s not even about looking professional here; it’s about being the sexiest. It’s so obnoxious, it’s vulgar. Make up/contouring, heels, tight clothes, fake boobs, highlights, butt implants… you name it. It’s crazy how people are “on” at all times here!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks, SS. 🙂

      Love body butter! I think that’s a brilliant idea! Good for you! And I remember you posting about your appearance as well. Funny how divorce makes you reflect on so much.

      Like

  13. I love this. Although I try not beat myself up for this and never look at this as being at fault for whatever my husband is, I, too, have let myself go. Not to a crazy extent, but enough to not feel comfortable in my own body. Thanks to the (in)famous infidelity diet I am now back to a decent shape – and although I need a whole lot of make up and stuff to look and feel good about my looks, I am so so so happy to like the girl looking back from the mirror. I’m not doing this for anybody else but me – feeling confident (at least a little) is key in my healing. Now, I’m not saying you can only be confident when you are size 38 and have lush makeup on – not at all, I guess what it comes down to is loving yourself as you are. But where we are, or at least where I am, it does help to love myself just a little more when I know I look attractive. Social pressure? Maybe, but it is what it is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Here’s what I think…
    Your list sounds like a lot of work. BUT it’s work FOR you and if that work makes you feel confident and happy and tended to, go for it!

    That’s what happened in my life. When my son was growing up I homeschooled him and I didn’t care at all about how I looked. I wore no make-up, dressed in old, too big for me clothes and my hair was ALWAYS in a ponytail. The last thing I was thinking about was how I looked.

    Then he grew up and i looked in the mirror about 3 years ago and realized that i was no longer 23. I felt terrible about myself. For the record, my husband never treated me any different through all those years.
    I hadn’t ever been a big make-up wearer so there was a lot to learn and one of my oldest friends who lives across the country helped me with what to buy and how to use it.
    I started doing something with my hair, wearing that make-up (i still go for a pretty low-key look but I feel completely different) and I actually spent money on clothes that fit! GASP!
    Bottom line…I do all of this for ME not so that someone else will like/love me. That’s the key I think. 🙂
    ps…no sexy nighties though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clothes that fit! What a difference it makes! You are not kidding! Everything you listed, I can completely relate to!

      And thank you. Yes, these things are for me which is why I’ve been able to stick almost all of it. They are things that make me feel good and sexy which has the benefit of showing my partner I value myself. Self esteem is important in a relationship, I’d lost mine a while back and I know it played into my happiness. Becoming a mother changes you in ways you don’t understand is possible til you go through it. It’s easy to lose your identity. I’ve now learned the kids are happier seeing me happy. It’s great when their psychologist shares with me their pride in me as a mom. They report me happy and fun and loving. In a weird way, I’ve somehow become better as a parent. You lose things in a divorce but you can add in other ways thankfully!

      ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • By the time my son was 16 I had no freakin idea who i was anymore. My identity was completely wrapped up in being a mom and wife. It honestly took me years to figure out what I actually liked and who I was as a 40 year old instead of a 20 years old! Cause let’s be honest…a 40 year old doing the things a 20 years did would just be silly! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • My friends with kids and I talk about this identity loss when you become a mother. It’s almost impossible for it not to happen. So much depending on us! So, yes, it’s a re-evaluation of who we are and what we like now that we are adults and are actually able to decide on things for ourselves! Can you imagine empty nest syndrome?! Ay yi yi!

          Liked by 1 person

        • No I can’t. I’ve been a stay home and then homeschooling mom all of my sons life. Now he’s in college, but still lives at home. I can’t fathom him leaving. 😦 Plus now he’s so easy. It’s like having a roommate I adore. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  15. This is great advice at any stage of life …. Love yourself, look after yourself, tend to yourself. These seemingly selfish actions are fact the most giving things you can do because a happy self is a self that has more to give back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Shout It Out Loud!
  17. Hi, saw your name on Lyn’sRealCooking, and thought, “Hmmm, I need to go visit her.”
    My 3rd divorce was final on my bd this year. Happy birthday to me?!
    Congratulations on beginning to love yourself!!
    And the laser hair removal must be such a huge relief!
    Be proud of who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting!

      “There is other scientific evidence supporting the researchers’ conclusion. Studies have found, for example, that children’s wellbeing often increases when their parents divorce after a lot of conflict.” Wonderful to hear research supporting this!

      Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  18. Great list.
    I’m pretty low maintenance myself, but as a single mom I’m making more of an effort to do nice things for myself. It’s an ego boost and feeling good for one’s own self creates good vibes all around.
    Happy for you! ☺ 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

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