Ideal Woman vs. Ideal Me

I’ve been thinking lately (uh-oh!), and I’m beginning to realize that there is a huge difference between my concept of an ideal woman, and the actual best version of me.  Here is a comparison – Ideal Woman is who I believe I’m supposed to be, and Ideal Me is what I imagine myself doing while still feeling true to myself and being happy.

Ideal Woman: Drinks tea every morning

Ideal Me: Limits coffee to once or twice a week, in a fun cappucino mug, to savor the whole  experience.  I will NEVER enjoy tea.  I might learn to deal with it, but I will never see it as indulgent or relaxing.

Ideal Woman: Jogs and does yoga or Pilates at least 5 days a week

Ideal Me: Starts up rollerblading again.  Climbs on the slide and the couch with her kids.  Hoists herself up on every counter she can get away with.  Balances on curbs.  Sees the world as a big jungle gym where she can constantly challenge herself just to answer the question “can I?” or to make herself laugh.  I will NEVER exercise regularly for prolonged periods of time.  I am not an athlete in my identity, I do not enjoy training toward a goal, and I could not possibly feel like a happy, fulfilled person while knowing I have to get up every morning and lace up my running shoes.

Ideal Woman: Strictly vegan, eats lots of leafy greens, fresh fruit, and nuts.

Ideal Me: Tries to save dairy for special occasions, since she’s allergic.  Eats fruit pretty frequently, and nuts on occasion.  While I believe that my body would be its healthiest and most energetic if I was vegan, I will NEVER be able to deny myself all dairy products without self-pity.  And self-pity is not something I want to choose to live with all my life.  Realistically, that means that a happy, fulfilled me cannot be vegan.

Ideal Woman: Up before six every morning, takes in the sunrise, exercises, meditates, writes in her journal, etc.

Ideal Me:  Gets dressed and applies her makeup within an hour of waking up every morning, regardless of what’s happening that day.  I will NEVER be a morning person.  Not only is it not in my nature, but I love sleeping in and associate it with leisure, so forcing myself to get up freaking early every morning would again bring self-pity into my life.  Even if I developed the habit of getting up before six and my body adjusted to it, I could not sleep in on an occasional weekend or stay up late some night without messing up my body’s sleep cycles.  I would always feel contrained.

So those are the ones that I have recognized so far, although I’m sure there are more.  What unrealistic or unfair expectations do you tend to hold yourself to?  Is there an ideal model that you aspire to be like?

P.S.  I dyed my hair red yesterday.  With henna.  It’s redder than it looks in this picture.  It’s blotchy, and Dan thinks it’s all wrong for my skin tone, but I love it.  I can’t even tell you how much I love it, or why, for that matter….

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2 Responses

  1. You know, I never thought of it that way – “I can’t do X without living a life of self pity.” It’s so true! There are some disciplines that are worthwhile, but for the most part it’s better to be reasonable within our attainable goals. 🙂

    I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re posting regularly again!!!

  2. An ideal woman would have a husband who always rejoicesin the change of hair color or style….a realistic woman is pleased that he noticed that the color has morphed…knowing that sometimes he may not see or like the difference (at least here on the cliff).

    A realistic woman is maturing, enjoying, relaxing and realizing that individuality is VERY important to all of us 🙂

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