So I’m not sure if I have a cold, a sinus infection, or some supernaturally-green combination of the three, but this something I’ve got has rendered me completely exhausted lately. I think it is sort of a sad irony that people say you need “beauty sleep,” because I’ve seen myself after just waking up and my reflection is anything but refreshed. Especially this past week, with a packed-plugged mind and unattractive mouth-breathing status … let’s just say I wake up more beast than beauty. I especially love the way one side of my head feels heavier than the other, because all of the stuffed-up-stuffiness has inherently slid to one side of my brain when I sleep on my side. The pillow creases are another delightful reminder that I’ve slept hard, as is the one-eye-fully-open, the other half-shut from allergy swelling. So cute. This morning, I might have been branded half ogre, half Medusa, my semi-dreads rolled as I tossed my head repeatedly side-to-side for better breathability.
Easter morning, you want to feel your “Sunday best,” but as I crawled toward the shower, I had to remind myself of what the Swedish botanist Linnaeus once said, “Nature does not proceed by leaps.” It was obvious there would be no miraculous transformations through my wishing alone, so … in the order of forced steps toward presentability, I began, because that’s just what mommies do.
Step One: Husband (too productively for my congested-state) cheerily goes to run the dog while he kindly suggests I shower first (like I said, Sleeping “Beauty” didn’t show up today, and I kinda think he knew it).
Step Two: Take longer than necessary in the shower, spacing out and becoming a saturated raisin.
Step Three: Realizing that even with great conditioner, it was going to be a “hair up” kind of day (Medusa having amped up her tangled game regardless of my efforts).
Step Four: Abandon ship on my own appearance in order to get the kids dressed and looking lovely. (What happened to their hard-sleep faces? They bounced back, of course, because they have perfect baby skin! Grrr.)
Step Five: Choosing flats over the better-matching-heels because, well … they were flats!
Step Six: Coming to terms that no amount of foundation was going to “lift” those ginormous bags under my eyes. (Maybe a bit more mascara would hide them? … Maybe not.)
Step Seven: Rolled up to Starbucks with sunglasses on to caffeine-boost my attitude, because yes, I had one at this point.
The French author Francois de la Rochfoucaula (who I would listen to just for the severity of such an important-sounding name) once said that, “When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” And it’s true. Even that delicious dose of a latte did little to quell my self-deprecating attitude. It was only when I “got over myself” that I was able to enjoy the day, even with my groggy head and the slightly disheveled-Bohemian look I was rocking. My ninety-two year old grandmother still thought I was beautiful, and told me at least three times. My children had as much delight searching for haphazardly-thrown eggs as if I had placed each one with care in the yard. And, I was able to small-talk and catch up with relatives, none of whom, miraculously, mentioned my current haggard state.
The truth is, sometimes, life doesn’t care that it’s a holiday. Even though I might “feel” like a creature from the sleep-deprived lagoon, you better believe I slapped on sunshine smiles for my little egg-hunters. I hid my yawns and applied a few mid-day reapplications of blush to keep that inner-zombie at bay. Because, no matter what day of the year, no matter what you’re fighting off … that’s just what mommies do.