About 2 years ago, I gave up wearing jeans and tennis shoes for one month. It might sound like a strange thing to give up but you see, I have this love affair with tennis shoes. It all started when I was pregnant. I was deathly afraid of varicose veins, so I slipped into tennis shoes the moment I had a baby bump and never looked back.
Now, I will trade in my tennis shoes for flip-flops in the summer or the occasional Birkenstock, but I never fail to go back to my favorite Nike’s when the weather cools down.
But 2 years ago, I realized I had a problem. By wearing only tennis shoes, it meant I was wearing mostly jeans as well. And by wearing mostly jeans, it usually meant I was pairing it with fleece or sweatshirts. Not very classy for work or going out to dinner. And to be honest, it made me feel a bit frumpy.
I put my tennis shoes in the closet, only to be worn if I was exercising, and I put my jeans in the drawer. I pulled out dresses, sweaters and pants. Over the course of the month, I noticed a few things. For one, I had to actually take a moment and think about what I was going to wear each day. I took care in my appearance and that felt good. I also found I exercised more. With the stipulation of tennis shoes only when exercising, I was suddenly going for walks or taking Stella for hikes.
It was a good month, and I continued it for quite sometime after that. But somehow, I fell back into my old routine. The nice clothes got shoved to the back of the closet and my tennis shoes are now by the front door waiting for me every morning.
Last night, when putting Stella to bed, we started chatting about bad habits and things to give up for Lent. “Remember when you gave up tennis shoes and jeans for a month? I liked that.”
I fell silent. I never realized, Stella cared about my appearance.
“Oh?” I said. “I am surprised you remember that, you were so little then.”
“I like when you dress nice and take care of yourself Mommy.”
That struck a chord.
It’s time for another month without tennis shoes and jeans. It’s time to set a good example and take care of myself. Looks like I know what I will be doing this February, and making the habit more permanent this time.