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Meenu was looking at an elegantly dressed woman, with clean, fragrant, tied up hair and just a smidgeon of foundation with coordinated eye shadow and her favorite shade of eye liner. The danglers were just the perfect color and shape, accentuating her jawline. The face seemed to have lost the original glow but she was still looking very beautiful. Meenu was admiring the woman like she had not seen her so up close for a long time.
Suddenly as if coming out of trance, Meenu realized she was looking at her own reflection in the mirror, when her six year old Ishaan and three year old Reet came running to her. Ishaan while trying to save the watercolor bottle from Reet, accidentally spilled it over Meenu’s new saree.
She was furious and before she could utter a word to stop the whole thing, Reet fell off the bed while trying to catch hold of Ishaan. Meenu rushed to pick her up and pacified her, trying to get the situation under control. Ishaan stopped running around noticing what damage he had caused. Reet took some time to calm down but in the process she pulled down Meenu’s hairdo and while cuddling her mom and caressing her cheek, Reet happened to put some color on Meenu’s cheek too. Meenu looked at herself in the mirror again and tears rolled down her cheek.
It was her friend’s wedding and after a long time she had actually taken time out to dress elaborately and she was happy looking at herself. But her happiness was short-lived.
She took the kids out of the room and put them in their daddy’s care and went back to the dressing table in her bedroom. Looking at her reflection in the mirror again, she started sobbing uncontrollably.
It was then she realized how much she had been neglecting herself and her appearance for the past few years, especially after the birth of her kids. She hardly found time for herself from her chores .During weekdays mornings were extremely busy. She used to juggle between tasks trying to get the kids ready for school, packing lunch boxes, and preparing breakfast, dropping them off at bus stop on time for school and rushing back to finish chores. Evenings passed getting homework done, dinner time and putting them off to sleep. Weekends were jam packed too, sometimes family outings, kids’ playdates, guests and other errands to run .She thought over and realized that in this whole process she had actually totally ignored her health and appearance too.
She realized that after a long time today she had actually taken time out for herself and she was sad that she neglected being her for so long. Previously she was very particular, disciplined and meticulous about her appearance and her own routine. Be it taking care of her hair or skin or physical fitness or anything.
Meenu was blessed with lovely tresses and taking care of them was her favorite part. It meant oiling her hair regularly, combing them gently and frequently, never hot drying them and always shampooing with mild shampoos followed by a conditioner. Having a hair spa treatment once a while. Eating protein rich food for good hair quality. She remembered her childhood days when her mother used to oil her hair and gently massage them. Meenu was doing the same with her kids but she had neglected herself.
Earlier she took good care of her skin too. Washing the face with lukewarm water was her favorite ritual. Moisturizing the body immediately after bath. Using sunblock without fail in summers. Going for a nice facial sometime and making use of some homemade face packs too. Now she was moisturizing her babies but she hardly did it for herself.
All this was a long gone thing now. She hardly cared how she looked these days. She was not shabbily dressed or with untidy hair but it was nothing close to what she used to be before.
She used to look perfect then. She was always well and appropriately dressed, hair neatly tied and the kajal highlighted her doe-shaped eyes well. Sometimes applying her favorite shade of lipstick lifted her spirits. But in the last few years everything had changed. It was not that she did not have time but she had prioritized everything else over her own self.
Now she decided to do something about it immediately. It was not a matter of looking good externally or being perfectly dressed all the time. It was more of feeling good from within. A neat and tidy appearance would take her a long way. Meenu knew that she would be extremely happy and comfortable by being the way she used to be earlier. She loved it that way.
She now decided to share her kids’ meticulous skin and hair care routine. She decided to take time out for herself amongst all the chores. So now when she oiled her daughter’s hair every day after bath, Meenu oiled her own hair regularly. When Meenu applied moisturizing cream to her kids, she applied her favorite cream to herself too. Every time Meenu combed her daughter’s hair, she took care of her hair too. She stayed hydrated and put that habit in her kids too. It was working both ways. Whenever she drank water, she gave some to both her kids if they were around and vice versa. She stopped skipping her breakfast and added fresh fruits and salads to her diet too. The gradual change was helping her and the entire family too.
She started taking some time out setting her own physical routine. It was neglected till now for some reason or the other. Now when she dropped her son at the skating ring or his tennis coaching, she took to the gym and on other days enjoyed zumba lessons with her daughter too. She was slowly getting her own self on track. She made it a point to be neatly dressed at all times even when at home. After this welcome change, she herself started feeling good from within and confident like before. With a little more time management and of course support from family she had now slowly started re-discovering her lost self.
Meenu had noticed that within few months of carefully following her regime, her skin looked well and her hair was just the way she used to love. She was feeling healthy and fit with lots of positive energy in herself. She felt rejuvenated.
Meenu was looking at herself in the mirror when she overheard the conversation between Reet and Ishaan, “Mommy looks good these days” said Ishaan. Reet nodded in agreement and added, “She is happy all the time too, I love that.”Meenu was happy about the change and also about being herself again. She was looking good and feeling good. She did all this for herself. She cared how she looked not for others but for herself. She taught her kids the importance of feeling good about yourself, being comfortable about yourself and being disciplined about your health. A fit body carries a happy soul and emanates positive energy. Meenu was happy .She was happy to be herself she celebrated herself :)