Spring has sprung. The amuse-bouche of warm weather we’ve had in the last little while made me get a jump on my spring cleaning. Now I’m not just referring to dusting, vacuuming or mopping – rather the acquisition and purging of wardrobe, the home projects that we’re now ready to take on, or the much needed manis, pedis, highlights and root repair! But now that my speed train has just about pulled into the 40s station, should I be doing more?
While I crossed off many of these “more traditional” spring cleaning items off my list throughout the week, an unexpected turn of events over the weekend left me thinking, perhaps I need to abandon the traditional, go more modern, enter the “seemingly” mainstream and engage in a different type of help.
In other words, maybe it’s time to consider some extreme spring cleaning…
The circadian clock or rhythm governs our 24-hour biological cycle: sleeping, wakefulness, alertness and all sorts of other biological functions (that need not be mentioned). Related, I believe, is the seasonal rhythm or cycle that we experience: more babies are born in the spring and summer, blues that we feel due to the lack of daylight in the winter, and the need for revitalization once we’re out of “winter hibernation” – the “self-spring-clean” to get ready for summer.
In my 20s, I would use this time of year to shop ‘til I dropped: new wardrobe, new accessories, a quick visit to a spa with some friends, a trip to the hair salon together with an extreme diet of nothing but steamed rice and air-popped popcorn, a DVD exercise program and voila, a glamorous reinvention – spring cleaning complete. But two 47 pound pregnancies later (NO, that was NOT a typo, YES I most certainly DID gain EXACTLY 47 pounds with EACH child), along with the passage of most of my 30s (OK, virtually all of my 30s…) and things are not so straightforward…they’re mostly just heading downward. And while the circadian rhythm can be derailed with a late night TV indulgence, the passage of time cannot.
Just this past weekend while socializing with other mommies at not one, but two kids’ birthday parties (again, proof that more babies are born in the spring), it seemed I wasn’t the only mommy thinking about more drastic measures. We spoke of a number of things – like the mommy makeover that comes following a pregnancy (lift, tuck, etc.). From the simple act of abandoning low-rise jeans – for these do nothing to contain the muffin top – to the seemingly more complex decision to visit a clinic for an injection or two, I can’t help but think that while I hadn’t noticed (or wasn’t looking) these more intense measures at “self-spring-cleaning” seem to have entered the mainstream. Am I behind the curve? Should I be considering these more drastic measures at self-reinvention (or for that matter, self-preservation)? Do I even dare?
It seems quite unfair that with age comes wisdom but the price you pay is in the looks department. I wonder, if somewhere in the universe, there existed a great big control room with a lit panel that let you push whatever button you wanted, like, “Looks and brains stop at age 25” would I push it?
Whether it’s while plucking my eyebrows or washing my face, I can’t help but notice that a light pull of my cheeks up to my ears seems to erase the past decade. Or a smoothing of my forehead makes all those “worry lines” or “thinking lines” go away. I look young, I look refreshed, I look at ease. I curse my wayward ways that led me down the George Hamilton path of perpetual tans! And I remember how my mother would tell me in my late teens and 20s to stop furrowing my brows together so tightly because one day, those lines would stay, and to eat more vegetables so that my body would gain more nourishment and ward off illness and old age.
Still, the passage of time does not discriminate. Whether I had heeded her warnings or not, those lines would still be here and I recall… I used to furrow my brows together because I wanted to appear pensive and because somehow, they took my mind on a journey of knowledge. I worried because I wondered if I would be a good mother to the children I’d someday bring into this world. And I indulged because with all the hard work and effort I put into obtaining my degrees and my career achievements, it was important to taste those fruits of my labour.
So while I don’t have the answer today as to whether I will one day undergo a more extreme spring clean and go through with a poke or a slice, for now, I’m content that at least in my own eyes, I can still rock it (albeit with a little extra bit of work!) And although my face crinkles just that little bit more than it used to when I smile, nothing in the world will keep me from smiling (not even a few extra laugh lines!!)