It's been awhile...a long while. Despite several mediocre spurts of inspiration, I haven't found the time or the desire in a good long while to sit down and blog. I miss it. I'm also very much relieved that my meal ticket doesn't come by means of acting on writing inspirations or else I'd epitomize the starving artist. What I missed most is having something I really WANTED to write about.
This is also the first time I've blogged at home. In the past, it has been a 30 minute respite from the workday, a lunch hour of time spent looking up creative wedding expressions or discussing my talented co-workers. I was sitting on the couch watching old Fringe episodes with Jason and browsing through this month's Real Simple when I stumbled upon an article that made me immediately walk upstairs and sit down at the computer to write.
The article is titled "what makes me feel beautiful." Just like that, in all lower case letters. Something about the avoidance of capital letters is peaceful to me. Strange, I know. The first piece is written by Anne Roiphe, an older author who has a book titled "Epilogue: A Memoir" being released next month. While acknowledging that inner beauty is insufficient at changing physical appearance and no amount of love will bring back the body of your youth, she recalls a time just a week before her husband's sudden passing where on a seemingly ordinary morning, he turned to her before walking out the door for work and told her how happy of a man she had made him. I smiled as I read about her asking him to repeat himself, just so she could hear it again. The number of times I have pulled the "what did you say?" line just to feel the wave of happiness wash over me for another couple seconds after hearing Jason say something especially thoughtful are too many to count. Something I will quickly fess up to and make no promises to curb in the future.
They had been married 39 years. She mentions the trials and tribulations that inevitably come with marriage - noting financial mistakes, fishing trips, second-guessing decisions, and graduations. Her relationship is so refreshingly human and normal and obviously filled with love. Her husband's six words, "You have made me very happy," made her feel beautiful despite any physical imperfection she may have had in her 80 plus years of life. They will continue to make her feel beautiful despite him no longer being with her. The weight of which is too powerful for me to even be able to comprehend right now.
She writes, "I don't believe that positive thinking improves your skin tone or that loving or being loved changes the shape of your nose or restores the thickness and color of hair, but I do know that there is a way of being beautiful, even as age takes its toll, that has something to do with the spirit filling with joy, something to do with the union with another human being, with the sense of having done well at something enormously important, like making happy a man who has made you happy often enough."
Tomorrow marks exactly 2.5 months until my wedding day, and I hope that in 39 years, 2 months and 2 weeks, I too know just how to feels to have succeeded in making an amazing man happy, and it can be a beauty potion I can keep with me for the rest of my life.
In the meantime, what makes me feel beautiful now is an odd mix: a hard, sweaty workout, a pair of killer heels, a good hair day and that smile Jason gets on his face when I walk downstairs on an ordinary day to go somewhere insignificant that says more than his words ever could. When I'm laughing with my niece, my best friends or my sister, when Jason and I are sharing an inside joke or I'm getting poked fun at by my mom - when I'm laughing with the people I love most, it's then, hands down, that I feel the most beautiful. And that laughter sure is an effective beauty potion, even on the ugliest of days.