It never hurts to take stock of the things that’ve made a difference and influenced your life in positive ways. Here’s my list, in no particular order. Can’t wait to read yours.
(Oh, and because this is MBB, feel free to mix in both beauty related and non-beauty related things!)
9 Things That Made a Difference
1. More sleep
When I was in high school and college, I would pride myself on being able to whirl through my days on five or six hours of sleep, but when I hit my mid-20s, and it happened almost suddenly in fact, I started waking up cranky and feeling groggy all the time.
I figured out the problem after I went to bed early one night, hours before my usual bedtime. The next morning I felt like a new girl, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I could have been a superhero with all of the energy coursing through my veins.
Crap! I’d been sleep deprived for almost a decade.
My sweet spot seems to be about eight hours of sleep, and when I’m able to get it, not only do I mentally and physically function better, but I see the difference in the mirror. My dark circles look less dark and scary, and I don’t break out as much.
Now, every so often, I go through bouts of insomnia (so annoying), but I really try to get as much sleep as I can. Going to bed early at least once a week helps.
2. Getting a pet
Rather, allowing myself to be adopted by a cat. Tabs turned out to be one of the happiest accidents of my adult life. I always had pets growing up, but when I left home for college and moved in with roommates, furry companions weren’t allowed. And then five years ago Tabs
entered my life hired me as his assistant, and now I laugh and love so much more with him in my life. ‘Nuff said.
3. Exercising regularly
I wasn’t athletic as a kid and barely ever exercised through high school and early college. Then, during my junior year, while I was going through a bad breakup, a friend invited me to her kickboxing class. I was filled with anger at the time, and when she said, “You can beat the living crap out of a heavy bag,” I said, “When do we leave?”
It was a great emotional release. Needless to say, I started going on a regular basis and soon added jogging, and then a membership to a gym. Within a few months, I was over the breakup, sleeping better at night and was a full dress size smaller.
Over the years, I’ve gone through phases where I haven’t exercised at all, but I always feel better when I resume. Nowadays, I mostly exercise on a treadmill, which I try to do at least four times a week.
4. Taking risks
Some things aren’t worth the risk, but other things are. Six years ago (gosh, has it been that long?), I left a steady corporate job in the legal field (I was a legal assistant) to make a run at writing full time.
I wrestled with the decision for years. I didn’t want to make a horrible mistake, and the corporate job was secure. I knew I’d miss the pay (damn those golden handcuffs), but I was also very unhappy and totally uninspired. I felt that if I stayed there for purely financial reasons, I’d grow more and more bitter over time.
So I resigned (scary!). First, I landed a gig working at a literary agency, where I started freelancing for magazines on the side.
Looking back now, I only wish I’d done it sooner. Taking that leap was one of the best decisions of my life because it led to Makeup and Beauty Blog, and it introduced me to you.
5. Learning to love my hair
It took some growing up and several bad haircuts, but now I love my wavy hair. It’s part of my identity, and now I can’t imagine NOT being a curly girl.
Gurl, it’s amazing what a little tweezing can do (and filling)! You can’t beat a pair of well-groomed brows. I definitely feel more polished and put together when mine are in good shape.
7. Discovering the Shu Uemura Lash Curler
Remember how I freaked out a few months ago when I lost my Shu Uemura lash curler? I was crushed! I’m sure I could manage without it, but I hope I never have to. It’s been one of those life-changing beauty products for me. Curled lashes appear to open up my eyes, and I swear they even make me feel less tired, which is great because I could use all the help I can get. The Shu always delivers a perfect curl without pinching.
8. Not sweating the small stuff
If left to my own devices, I’d focus like a laser beam on every little irritant. I admire gals who don’t let the little things get under their skin because it’s something I’ve had to work on most of my life.
I learned a great trick from a good friend of mine years ago that I turn to a lot. Whenever something gets to me, I ask myself, “Will this still bother me in a month?” To be honest, sometimes I have to push that out to a year, LOL! But it usually works.
9. Last, but certainly not least, finding El Hub
Meeting and marrying a supportive and loving partner has been the icing on the cake. He’s cute, funny as all hell and understands my weird sense of humor. I wish I had some kick-ass dating advice, but I don’t. I would just say that when you meet someone who lifts you up when you’re down and truly laughs at your jokes — even the lame ones! — hold on, and don’t let go.
What are some of the things that have made a difference in your life? Please share in the comments. Also, you don’t have to list nine things. Nine is just my lucky number.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,