I’m so happy to be with you again this month, dear readers. Since we can’t seem to get completely out of this pandemic, I’m concentrating on helping people stay, or at least try to stay positive, until it is gone. Being cooped up tends to have several negative effects on us humans.
Depression from loneliness, a tendency to become a little too self-absorbed, lazy behaviors and sloppiness, even uncleanliness, are negatives that can lead to a loss of feelings of self-worth. These negatives often happen slowly and without people realizing how bad they are becoming. And before they know it, they’re in real trouble.
How many times have we been a little lazy and have run real quickly to the grocery store without fixing ourselves up to look presentable, thinking that no-one will see us and we’ll only be gone a few minutes? Then just as we get into the store we invariably run into someone who really matters to us and here we are looking our worst! Oh, rats!
Before I retired and when I was working, my job as an entertainer depended on my appearance being a major priority for me, which included clean and styled hair, makeup on, clothes well-chosen and neat, nails polished, and wearing my signature perfume. I never left my house not looking up to par, but once I retired and moved to a town where people didn’t recognize me, I started relaxing my rules a little. Even now, occasionally, I slip out real quick to run an errand, but I fight that urge all the time. Here’s why.
If I take the time to fix my hair and make-up when I first get up in the morning and then later decide I need to go somewhere, it takes little effort to dress in something presentable, grab my car keys and go. I find my whole demeanor is different! I have confidence and I am therefore more apt to be happier, friendlier, more helpful and even more inclined to compromise if need be. Read this paragraph again. It’s important!
If I am prepared to meet ANYONE, I will also be putting my best self forward! In fact, one of my readers is from Scotland and he is known as the “Village Kiltie” because he has a whole wardrobe of kilts. Some Scots have abandoned wearing their kilts all the time and wear trousers instead, but my friend prefers the traditional kilt with accoutrements. He believes that “clothes make the man/woman and with a hearty cry I encourage people to dress to impress in spite of the gloomy climate.” In fact, he tells me he always feels the need to wear his Sunday-best kilt to church. I think his attitude makes him a happy and confident person and I think that’s grand.
So, especially since this pandemic has stuck its evil nose in our lives, I have tried very hard to make myself presentable first thing in the morning. I’m not quite awake yet and before I know it, it’s done. That way, no matter what happens during my day, I can face it with my best personal self. I’ve psyched myself into an attitude of confidence, helpfulness, and friendliness and that equals HAPPINESS. How about that!
Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.