Girl, Wash Your Face
So I didn’t totally want to read this book. I felt judged by the title. So at the risk of being embarrassed, here it is. I am terrible at washing my face before bed. Like REALLY terrible. I know I should and it feels good when I do it, but I barely ever do it. So that title made me feel yelled at. It pointed out something I knew I should be doing, but didn’t bother to take the time to do. Judged.
But on the recommend of A LOT of people, I cracked the spine and read it. I am glad I did.
Here are my big 3 takes:
I live in chaos. 3 kids. A billet turned kid. A husband. 2 full-time working parents. 1 hour commute each day. Hockey. Homework. Piano. Gymnastics. Baseball. It adds up to crazy. But a good crazy. Like I wouldn’t want to do without a single one of those things. And within all that chaos, I meal plan like nobody’s business. I make cake pops for birthday parties. I pack snacks for the rink. I bake muffins. I take pictures and make photo albums. I turn video footage into monthly videos. I grow a giant garden (as far as city standards go). I can pickles, fruit, salsa, and spaghetti sauce. But you know what, within that chaos I don’t plan elaborate birthday parties with cool cakes and themes; sometimes those rink snacks are fishy crackers and fruit snacks rather than fruit and muffins; I forget to get my son read his French books every night or study for spelling; the kids rarely cooperating to get in the van, I almost always turn into the Hulk, and we still consistently arrive late to the rink; me forgetting about swimming registration or a birthday party RSVP. You likely live in chaos too. It may look similar to mine or completely different, but it is still a whole lot of crazy. With all this going on the author suggests embracing the chaos. Take a breath. Find some humor. Cut yourself some slack. And find a tribe of people who get it. Embrace the chaos.
Amidst my chaos I have to make choices. Sometimes that choice is finishing making a lesson plan rather than running at lunch. Other times I am tired and choose to play on my phone rather than bake a batch of muffins. These may seem like miniscule things, but ultimately what they are is broken promises to myself. Hollis reminded me that I hate it when people constantly break promises and that I find it infuriating when other people don’t follow through. The thing is I let myself break promises with myself on a daily basis. This feels like crap. I don’t want to paraphrase the whole chapter, but what it boils down to is the more promises we break with ourselves the easier it is to break more. Hollis suggests picking something easy like having a water drinking goal. Keep the promise for a month. So that’s where I’m starting.
Lastly, I am going to create my own mantra and set a goal. I am going to use my mantra when I feel overwhelmed, sad, or like giving up. For now mine is going to be: You are enough. Embrace the chaos. This too shall pass. I found the goal a bit harder to come up with. Hollis talks a lot about following your dreams and it made me feel like my goal had to be big. I don’t have any unfulfilled dreams. I actually felt a bit bad about this at first. Like I should be doing something like Hollis and shooting for the stars. But, the truth is, my truth is, my goal doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be mine. So here it is: my goal is to get my lower body healthy. I have been really sad the last 2 weeks because my knee and groin are hurting. I have even been thinking I may have to give up running forever, that my body is getting too old to run. The truth is that my body has never failed me before and I would be doing it a disservice to give up on running without doing the hard work it may take to get back to doing it. I may never run again, but I can’t possibly know that right now without doing some investigation and work. I have booked a physio appointment for Monday, so it has begun.
There are some things I didn’t love about the book. The first I eluded to in the last paragraph. Hollis talked a lot about building her business and following her dreams and I found it hard to connect to that piece. She also referenced her faith a lot. I am currently having an internal battle with Christianity, so I found it hard to read that she prayed on something and then made a decision based on that prayer, for example. This is Hollis’s story and her faith defines her story. I just can’t relate to that part, I guess. That being said the book was a super easy read. Hollis talks about things that are hard and that don’t always paint her in the best light. She is authentic and speaks the truth. I found that piece very admirable. And a good reminder for myself to not be afraid to speak my truth.