I had an email from a reader the other day that brought tears to my eyes. She said that she was struggling to find her style now that she’s into her sixties and at the crux of the matter she really didn’t think she was worth spending money on anymore, and deep down couldn’t be bothered about how she dressed anyway. She thought the best thing really was to keep wearing the old clothes she had in her wardrobe until they just wore out because no one would notice anyway and the money would be better spent elsewhere – or on her grown up children.
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Self worth is worth it at any age
Now while I’m all for being thrifty and using the existing clothes in your wardrobe if they’re still in good nick and look good on you, I’m not all for giving up on yourself as you get older. What made me so sad about the email I received was that this reader didn’t feel she was worth spending either time or money on which pointed to a distinct lack of self worth.
I think as we get older, caring for ourselves becomes more important because bit by bit other things are taken away from us; our children fly the nest and we become redundant in that sphere, we become less agile and more susceptible to age related disease, we probably do not have 30 or 40 years of rude good health or indefinite earning power to look forward to and like it or not our bodies begin to sag and wrinkles become more evident.
We have what we have, right now and I think it’s so important to make the most of it – although I’m not saying that I don’t succumb to negative thoughts about how I look and about getting older too.
But with Lifestyle Fifty I want to encourage women to look good, feel great and be happy – to age well and to live the good life in whatever way we can. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our families as well to continue to feel worthy about ourselves.
I want to help you overcome the barriers to what you think you can or can’t do and to always believe in yourself. It might take a little time and effort, but it’s worth it.
So today, I’d like to tell you a little story about a 56 year old woman, without a degree, who’s life has been centred around her children who have now left home, who had a dream to start a blog and to her great surprise won a national blog award. But at the time she didn’t know she’d won, and she didn’t think she should go because really it wouldn’t be worth it, she wasn’t worth it, and what was the point of it all anyway – and besides on top of all that she had nothing suitable to wear.
Here’s what happened.
I didn’t decide to attend the Bupa Blog Awards until the very last minute, because I wondered really, what was the point of little old me going all the way from Perth to Sydney in the hope of actually winning an award for which I’d been shortlisted. I was sure I wouldn’t win, and although it would be great to cheer on the other finalists it was a long long way to go and would take a big chunk of time and money.
But my lovely hubby encouraged me to go, telling me I was worth it – and even if I didn’t win he said it would be a great experience.
By the time I had confirmation of my flight and hotel, and I’d sorted out for my son to water our garden, and how my hubby would get home from work if I took the car to the airport, along with other domestic considerations, I had very little time to get organised and I was feeling a little rattled.
The whole escapade was made more tricky by virtue of the fact that I was in Perth for a few days, and not at home in Bunbury – So I only had a few clothes with me – none of which I felt were suitable for a posh Sydney lunch venue.
When push came to shove I had three hours to go get the flaking Shellac nail polish off my nails, buy an outfit and pack.
If Dave thought I was worth it, I wasn’t going to let him down -and good grooming at any age is always worth the effort.
Let’s start with the nails.
Shellac blast off
This was an absolute pre-requisite because let’s face it there’s nothing so slummy as chipped nail varnish, and mine looked disgusting. I couldn’t take off the Shellac with shop bought nail varnish remover because it’s some space age substance that requires soaking off with something nasty …. and then blasting off with a wicked filing machine like a dentist’s drill.
45 minutes. Done and dusted, and looking a darn site more presentable.
Then I took my harassed looking self to Zara because a couple of weeks ago I’d decided that I’d like to buy up the whole shop, so I was sure that I’d find something or one or two things that I liked in there.
To my surprise and distress (okay first world problem here) despite the number of garments I took into the changing room, nothing really fitted right, and nothing looked good on me.
I kept on wondering – who in heaven’s name was that chubby, cellulite riddled old hag looking back at me from the mirror? The Wicked Witch of the North had been at work and substituted her alter ego in place of me, I decided, and then marched out of that store quick smart.
The thought begin to niggle again – What was I thinking going to an awards ceremony which would be full of bright young beautiful women? Where did I fit into all that?
Trotting off to Target
In a last ditch attempt I went to Target. I like Target. I like their styes, I like their prices, and actually I don’t care if I see someone else wearing the same thing as me. I took armfuls of clothes into the changing room and again, nothing looked right.
What was wrong with me?
I decided then that my body shape was horrible, I looked horrible, and maybe after all I was just too old for these lovely young styles and pretty retro frocks that I hankered after.
I decided all this was an omen, and I shouldn’t be going to an awards ceremony at my age anyway. What for?
Oh well, it was nearly 5pm, and the shops would be closing soon.
Then on the way back I passed a store called Jacqui E
Two beautiful dresses in the window lured me in.
A super helpful sales assistant ignored my harrowed appearance, helped me select three outfits which she hung in the changing room, then offfered me some high heeled shoes to try the garments on with (as I was wearing trainers) came back cheerfully with different sizes of dress and shrugs until finally between us we said YESSS, and the jade green figure hugging jersey cross over dress with a jade green cardi was the result.
That she managed to up sell me a matching necklace was pure gold on her part!
But you’ll never guess what. As I was standing on a bridge overlooking Darling Harbour in Sydney after the awards, off walks this woman straight past me, not a care in the world … in the exact same dress!
I couldn’t believe it.
Honestly, some people!
Now what was I saying about Target?
The Moral of the Story
As regular readers know, I was lucky enough to win a Bupa Blog Award and if Dave had not had faith in me and told me I was worth it then I probably would not have flown to Sydney and taken time out to be part of the awards event and I wouldn’t have experienced all the ensuing excitement and celebration of being a winner.
It was worth spending time on finding an up-to-date outfit that suited me because I had to stand up and give a speech. Looking the best I could gave me confidence to stand up and speak in front of everyone – something which scares the you-know-what out of me 😉
You might also like: Bupa Blog Awards the Finalists
Why self worth is important
How you think of yourself, how you talk about yourself, and how you represent yourself in company becomes the reality of who you are. And if you put yourself down, or belittle yourself then you’ll come across as self-effacing and be seen to have low self-esteem. If you put down your talents and achievements it’s self-denial – not humility, but an attempt to play down who you are. Yes, it’s important not to be arrogant and to give of yourself and do good when you can too, but there is a balance and putting yourself last is not always the answer.
So today Lifestylers I’d like to urge you to grab the day by its horns, be proud of yourself, do something for yourself and most of all look after yourself – even if it means spending a little money.
Because, well – you’re worth it.