The Shape(wear) of My Life

Today as I was getting ready to head out, I was casually browsing an online shopping site and came across a lengthy ad for women’s shapewear. The kind that looks super painful to put on, but when you finally get into it, all the bumps, lumps, and cellulite humps are smoothed out and seem to disappear under clothing. I remember buying one of these undergarments years ago when I wanted to fit into a dress that was just a smidge smaller than me. It worked and I fit into the dress, but I distinctly remember noticing a little bulge of skin and fat, just at the edge of the slimming material. You see, in physics, matter never really goes away, it just gets displaced. And as is the case with these shapewear pieces, the same is true. You can neatly bundle up your belly or boobs but inevitably it’s gonna pop out somewhere else.

I’ve used this analogy for a while, to describe my own life. I imagine that my life is a bumpy body that needs containment, and my own self discipline, focus, and intention is that almighty shapewear undergarment. My daily life is nothing unusual. I’m married with 3 daughters who I homeschool, 2 cats, a part time job as a nurse, a side business, laundry, dishes, my fitness regimen and somewhere I try to fit in some alone time. It is hectic. Some days I have it all together. Yes, my life’s “shapewear” is doing it’s job. Life is smooth. But sometimes, I feel like no matter how much self discipline and focus I have, something gets neglected or forgotten; sometimes the laundry goes undone for days, kids’ homeschool is left for another day or I ignore my business altogether. Those days are when I feel overwhelmed and ultimately defeated. That’s when I really notice that bulge.

Going back to the day that I wore the dress with my shapewear. Even though there was a slight bulge and I was not fully contained, I was okay with it. I went about my day and paid no attention to it. I’m sure no one else cared or even noticed it. I was just grateful to have experienced the day and for the chance to wear such a beautiful dress.  Just like life, we can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes all aspects of my life will be well organized and smooth but when things aren’t perfect, I’m learning to be okay with it. I’m grateful for all the chaos and clarity that comes with this life. Each day is a new day to put on a new shapewear and see how it can work for me. So the next time you see an ad like this, think about your life and what you’re trying to fit in or smooth out. If it fits, great! If not, try again tomorrow.

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