As much as I’m in the business of body confidence, and steadfastly believe in the mood altering powers of great lingerie; looking after myself – and my lingerie – quickly fell off my priority list when my business took a turn earlier this year.
Not an unexpected turn – in fact an opportunity arose to seize a change I’d been planning for a year. But that doesn’t mean the journey over the past 6 months has been easy.
In March, I started Odyssey on an exciting new trajectory. I was, quite literally, full of the joys of Spring. I had successfully shed a crazy amount of stress, and as a result my new energy was attracting more clients and more opportunity to do what I truly love without ever having to break to deal with staff drama. I was working entirely as a solo-preneur in my beautiful boutique; an environment I felt totally inspired and happy in. Sales rocketed and I was thrilled to have really got into my groove.
The changes I’d made to my business were free-ing, but I knew it would temporarily apply some financial strain.
Having fallen so deeply in love with Odyssey all over again, I was willing to do anything to keep-up with the daily to-do’s and making ends meet. I plunged myself completely into work. Paddling furiously to keep our heads above water. I worked late and said yes to everything; I listened to endless podcasts to ‘maximise’ my commutes; I enrolled in courses and committed time to training; I wrote emails and prepared content; and I bent time to meet all the obligations on my to-do list.
On my day off I brain-stormed more strategies, more ideas to move things forward, more ways I could reach my ideal clients and show more women the amazing powers of confidence great lingerie can instill.
I skipped meals and work-outs and time with friends; skipped paying myself so I could pay the bills; and without beauty services on tap, skipped waxes and mani/pedi’s and the little things that held me together. And without enough hours in the day, of course, I skipped hand-washing my lingerie and threw it in the machine time and again.
Because that’s what time pressed women do. We cut corners.
On Saturday morning, as I dressed for work, my bra strapped snapped. Clean broke in two. I knew it was going to happen. Every time I fished it from the flashing jaws of the washing machine I could see it was more frayed & flimsy looking.
Staying at a friend’s I didn’t have another one handy to switch in to. And – isn’t it always the way – I was sold out of my size at the boutique. So I spent the day wearing a bra that left me feeling like an imposter in my own business. Not the successful & stylish lingerie expert I strive to be.
As the day came to a close and I prepared my to-do list for the following week, I caught a glance of my reflection. I looked exhausted. Disheveled in fact. My nails were uneven and unpolished, my fuzzy legs were itchy, and – needless to say – my bra was unbearable.
In the bid to push my business forward I had clearly pushed myself to the back of the queue when it came to maintenance. I felt like crap and my to-do list was smothering me. Shouldn’t I be feeling inspired, empowered and in control?
I lay on the floor and cried. I’d worked so hard and all I could see was that Odyssey might come crashing down around me, burying my self-respect and confidence beneath it.
Then the framed quote my dad gave me for my birthday in May caught my attention. In embossed gold foil it read “She believed she could, so she did.”
Like the ‘get-your-shit-together’ slap to the face a good friend would’ve given me, the quote pulled me out of my puddle of misery. Letting Odyssey slip beneath the next wave, never to take another breathe would be easy. But I’m stronger than that. Even when I am wearing the crappiest lingerie.
Pulling out my to-do list and promptly struck off a dozen projects that just weren’t bringing me joy, happiness or success. I blocked a day in my diary to do no work. I had to be at work, granted, but I wouldn’t commit to any task other than seeing clients. I booked myself a thorough waxing, and a mani/pedi – already reveling in the colours I’d choose. And most importantly I called one of my favorite suppliers and ordered two new lingerie sets in my sizes.
I write this ahead of the lingerie sets arriving, and ahead of my [very] intensive grooming session. But knowing in a few days I’ll be feeling like my best self again is giving me so much pleasure.
It’s safe to say, as I celebrate Odyssey’s 7th birthday this month, 6 months on from launching myself into the latest leg of my journey, I have learned to practice what I preach: to look after my lingerie and it will, quite literally, look after me.
“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head
Eight tips for looking after your lingerie, and yourself, properly:
- Hand-wash your lingerie in luke warm water; lather up with a dash of mild detergent then drip dry.
- Take lingerie in the shower with you. Keep a bottle of mild detergent in there; they usually come in pretty bottles like my favourite, Soak. Lather, rinse – or don’t, with Soak you don’t have to – and drip dry over the shower rail.
- Wearing lingerie that’s in good condition and fits properly will make a greater impact on how you feel and carry yourself than any other single item of clothing I can think of. Not only will it keep you comfortable physically, but it will do its job so well you can forget about it and set about saving the world.
- Make time for yourself frequently. Put time in your diary for doing precisely nothing. Whether in your world ‘nothing’ is sipping a double espresso or glass of champagne, checking into a spa, or stealing time for a meal with a friend. Just do it! ‘You Time’ is entirely essential to recharging your batteries and rewarding all your hard work.
- When life feels like it’s shot to shit, it’s the universes way of saying you’re out of control and need to stand still a minute. Stopping is an action.
- Get your ass away from your desk, get outside and take deep breathes. Fresh air is the best tonic for brain fog.
- Write down all the things you’re working on and highlight the two or three projects that really bring you joy, happiness and success. Ditch everything else. Those ‘I’m sorry – it’s not you’ emails and phone calls won’t be easy but, like pulling off a band-aid, it’ll only sting for a minute and you’ll be so much happier once it’s done.
- Dress for success. Wear your finest lingerie and your favorite perfume and find a way to bring out your best you every day. No one else can do it for you.
If you liked this you might also love this episode of Marie TV. https://www.marieforleo.com/2017/08/downtime/
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