Honestly, blogging has not really crossed my mind over the last few weeks. Between crazy work deadlines and beautiful spring weather (i.e. yanking out all the yard muck accumulated over the winter and endless bike rides with a new training-wheeled 3-year-old and his friends), time has vanished into thin air. I’ve had my Silhouette maxed out on cutting…over the course of two days it ran for no less than 16 hours and went through three blades. Although I did figure out that a little scotch tape on the back of my nicked mat will give it at least 30 more cutting assignments to conquer. Good to know.
With spring comes the time to clean out my closet. I do this a couple times a year and have no problem generously tossing things that I need to move on from but this year it’s different. Last week was the two-year mark of when pancreatitis struck the Hall family. It’s taken this long to get back on track. Throughout the course of the last two years my body has been through the ringer. I went from gaining 60 pounds of water the first week to being fed through a tube in my arm for months and turning into a human skeleton. I am finally back to a “normal” weight for me but after multiple surgeries I still have a strange little belly that won’t be taken care of until I decide to do a full tummy tuck in the future. Since I’m not ready for anyone to go digging around my tummy for a while, this will have to wait.
In the meantime, the way that I have gained my weight back is different than I used to gain weight. It’s landed in different places that it did before. Needless to say, I’m totally confused about how to deal with my new body, lumps and bumps and all. I have a happy life but if I can make something in it a little more beautiful, I will. Right now, that something is my new body.
So, I decided to call in a specialist. Tressa is a local personal stylist who, after a lengthy questionnaire, all kinds of measurements, endless rummaging through my closet and a few tears on my part, empowered me with tools for dressing my new body in a way that helped me look my best. It’s been like What Not to Wear but better because she is also a realist – she let me keep my Athleta pants but just helped me figure out how to make them look a little more put together. Let’s face it. I’m a mom. I work from home. I’m not going to dress like I’m going to the office when I’m sitting at my computer or chasing after a little one all day. That’s my reality. But can I at least look a little better while doing those things? Yes.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on this project. Learning. Marking up my Personal Style Solutions book with all of the things that work “great” for me so that I know exactly where the pockets should land on a shirt or what types of fabric are best for my body. Hence the closet-purging. Piles were sent to the thrift store or to other people that would look better in them than on me.
And it was freeing. I am now replacing things step by step with items that work. Work for me. I’m figuring out places I can shop (thank you Boden) to be most successful and how to analyze clothes before I even try them on. My closet is now full of colors I didn’t realize were best for me and being a color girl, I love it. Since I hate shopping and going to the mall overwhelms me, I have ordered entire stores online (free shipping and returns are a must), tried them on at home and sent three-fourths of it back. But I feel confident with the things that make the cut. Come on. This is cute. And it actually looks really good on me – Ocean and French Blue now live in my closet.
Once I receive a couple more packages this week I will be setting up another appointment with Tressa to go over what I think I should keep and get a second opinion on my choices and altering needs. But really I just want to show off some stuff and let her know that I’ve learned something. I’ve always been a teacher-pleaser that way.
Do I love my strange-shaped belly? No. But it’s who I am and at least I don’t dread trying to dress it now. I love myself and my life, bumps and all. This is just one way that I can empower myself to make my “place,” my new body, beautiful. I’m embracing the lovely, colorful, comfortable journey.
Happy closet cleaning – you’ll thank me once you get the job done.