As I pour my morning coffee, I think about how my daily routine has changed during this challenging time. Gone is the daily ritual of getting dressed for work. It is that simplistic automatic habit whose value had escaped me—until now. I wasn’t aware or felt grateful for having this time to transition my thoughts from cozy, safe sanctuary to armoring myself inside and out making ready to do battle with the onslaught of fulfilling my day’s responsibilities.
I miss that transition time between activities whereby I could reset my thinking about what’s next on the agenda. I long for that vital space of time giving me the freedom to regroup and restore energy between the different activities going on in my life.
Since becoming home bound, when I’m part of a Zoom meeting or conference, I dress as if I were really going to the meeting in person. Off comes the yoga pants, although I could leave them on and no one would know. Taking a shower, fixing my hair, getting dressed and putting on my makeup puts me in the frame of mind to focus on my purpose for being there. It gives me the time and space to make the transition. I’m feeling great even if it’s only to sit in front of a computer screen.
I have fun with it—especially when it comes to what I choose to wear. I call it ZOOM DRESS UP. (I need a sense of humor during these trying times as I walk into the closet and begin talking to myself).
It generally goes like this: “I think I’ll wear this dress. I get so many compliments. This is my old standby when I can’t decide. Why should I care what others think about how I look in this dress? I do care about how others perceive me. Why do I still dress to impress? I don’t even really like this one. I don’t like the color. I’m not wearing it.
Oh, here’s this red one. I paid an exorbitant price for it, and I look like a lump of potatoes in it. I can’t believe I listened to that sales lady. I should have taken Liz along with me, she always tells me the truth. I didn’t know that I needed spanx. She should have told me that I needed spanx. I can’t believe I’m this old and don’t own spanx. Who doesn’t own one of those babies? Boy, the woman who invented them is laughing all the way to the bank.”
Oh, this one in the back of the closet—I forgot about you. I think I’ll wear you. Meredith was with me when I bought it to wear when I gave that presentation. Gee, how long ago was that? I’m aware of how you move on my body when I walk. You way you swish around my legs always add a spring to my step. You are still lookin’ good and stylish too. You are my choice because when I look at you and then feel you on my skin, I think of the memories we made together.”
And so, when I play Zoom Dress Up, I feel an appreciation for the old normal trying to keep it alive somehow—giving me the time to regroup, set my intention, and anticipate what I will share and enjoy at the next meeting.