I have always loved watching makeover shows on TV and will even pause and rewind to see the amazing transformations over and over again. The results are often shocking. How different someone can look with just a new haircut and the right pair of jeans. Watching tired housewives and over-worked moms go from ratty and war-torn to flirty and fabulous in the blink of an eye makes for good TV, but what happens afterward? Do they continue to bleach their hair blonde and wear stockings and high heels instead of tube socks and Birkenstocks? Do they then leave their husbands (who are usually shown sitting in the audience with their jaws in their laps) and follow their dreams of opening a boutique or working on Wall Street? Or, do things return to normal and they are left with just the memory of their potential. I have been given the opportunity to find out first-hand what happens next after winning a “Mom Makeover” from Colorado Parent Magazine. While my outward transformation may not be as dramatic as those on TV, what happened on the inside was something I never expected.
I wrote my entry for the contest an hour before the midnight deadline: in 100 words or less, why I deserve a “Mom Makeover.” Even though it’s quite characteristic of me to push myself up until the last minute, I honestly had had a very busy week including my daughter’s 2nd birthday party the day before. But, I never miss a deadline, and I wasn’t going to miss this one either. Something told me this could be just what I needed to get me over the hump — the hump of depression that had plagued me since my husband became ill exactly one year before. We had just learned that after 18 years of service, Danny would not be able to return to reserve duty as an aircrew member with the Air Force for five years, and was possibly going to be made to retire. We knew that he couldn’t go back to work as a pilot for Frontier Airlines for another year either. I needed to go back to work. I was angry at the injustice of it all and unprepared to leave my daughter. There was an uncanny timeliness to everything that compelled me to enter. Since then, I have often referred to it as a “God-thing.”
From the day I got the call that I had won, I could feel God smiling at me, telling me it’s all going to be okay, and here is a sign that I’m here. Danny and I were both choked up by the news because to us, it wasn’t just a contest, winning represented a change of luck. It felt like we had both won. I had no idea how much of an impact a makeover could have on my life, beginning and ending with “my stuff.”
Everyone has stuff; stuff in their attic, stuff in their closet, stuff in their head. Cleaning out and organizing that stuff allows room to function; at home and in life. The first part of my prize arrived in the form of a cute, little fireball named Liz Canavan of Alchemy of Order. Liz appeared at my door one day unexpectedly because we had gotten the dates mixed up for our first meeting. She had driven such a long way and was so excited and full of enthusiasm that I could never have turned her away. Liz got to see me and my house in our typical state of disarray. Probably a good thing because she could better evaluate where I needed the most help without me trying to hide my issues. To my amazement, Liz put together a team of organizers to clean out the clutter in my laundry/utility room, kitchen and office/playroom all in just four hours! It was actually a fun afternoon made more fun by the fact that this is actually what these women love to do. It is their passion and it showed. When they were done, I felt as if a huge burden had been lifted from me. Danny and I were so inspired, we finished several other incomplete projects around our house that day and in the days that followed. Liz removed the “stuff” from my house and also from my head that was clouding my focus on the larger task at hand: finding a job.
Getting past “my stuff” became the next hurdle, and that’s where motherhood and career guru, Gretchen Reid of Motherhood Transitions, came in. In addition to re-working my resume, Gretchen helped me to identify the negative talk in my head that can block possible positive events from occurring. I was allowing my own “mom-guilt” about no longer being a full-time mom for my daughter and my fear of a jobless economy among other things, steer me into a self-perpetuating anger and frustration at my situation. She also helped me to see what is possible from this experience instead of dwelling on what was supposed to be. Together we assessed my professional strengths and she opened my eyes to new possibilities in a career path. A career that I had so much as thrown by the wasteside was beginning to be revived and I was suddenly excited about it again. I have since become a fervent student of social media marketing and am working towards the goal of combining my writing, design, advertising and marketing skills with the new media to offer a complete marketing solution to clients.
Finally, it was time for the fun part: my day of pampering. And what fun it was! I spent the day at Aspen Grove, much of the time accompanied by the Assistant Editor of CO Parent, Courtney McDonough who was a delight to be with and an even more engaging lunch date! We began at the elegant Avalon Salon and Spa where my hairstylist, René discussed different hair styles and color with me and helped me to decide upon one that would best suit my lifestyle. We went with something subtle and easy to maintain. I know, drama would’ve been more fun, but I decided to leave the drama out of this part of my life! René did an excellent job at delivering exactly what I needed. After that, I spent an hour with Erin who gave me a great day look in makeup as well as tips and techniques for applying my own. All said and done — fabulous! Off to Ann Taylor where Julie and Denise helped me to decide the best look and fit for me from so many beautiful options, it was tough to narrow it down. I really had them running. I wanted to try everything! I absolutely love my new outfit which, as of this writing, I’m still saving for my first interview. I may have to break down and wear it on what has become, a very infrequent date night. We’ll see which happens first. Are you reading this, Danny? By the time “the new me” was headed home, I was realizing how way overdue it was for me to feel this good about myself again. The “stuff” that tells me to put myself last and that appearance no longer matters was being busted up. While I definitely still wrestle with this, and more days than not look like I’ve just rolled out of bed at four in the afternoon, it has been mentally noted. I am an emerging butterfly fighting my way out of my chrysalis.
So, can a makeover change the course of your life? If not changed, it has at least reset the coordinates of mine to waters unknown. I’m only just beginning my journey and there’s a new captain in charge.
Have you considered giving yourself a makeover? Or, have you had a makeover of a different kind that has changed you?