Sorry, that’s a lyric from Lykke Li’s “Get Some” and one of my most recent fave songs. But this post is about my arms. My big, fat, juicy, wobbly, strong, embracing, hugging, juggling, pale, freckled, occasionally sunburned or peeling from one, ARMS! While driving the other day, I was sitting at a stop light and felt the sun on my arm. I stroked my left arm from top to bottom and back again, unconsciously, to soothe the heat of the sun from it. This is when I looked down and it felt like I was looking at another person’s arm! It looked dry and sad and had lost it’s previously recognizable elasticity. *Whimper*
I vowed then and there that I would take better care of my arms! I even asked my husband to ask me when he gets home everyday if I’d moisturized my arms. So far he hasn’t asked me once, but I haven’t forgotten yet either, so we’re cool. My left upper arm was/is a bit flaky from a sunburn about two weeks ago. I knew this, lotion-ed it once, and went about my life. Why did I think that was enough? Why have I been ignoring my arms? Ugh!
Some history: Growing up my mother (who I have not seen since I was 16) was probably about the size I am now, give or take. She had large jiggly arms. But she also broke out on her upper arms a lot and would pick at them constantly. I always found this gross/disturbing/embarrassing, depending on my mood or where we were. It was an absent minded thing for her, if I recall. But I remember it and the way she would pull her arm flab towards her so that she could inspect and pick it. I swore to myself that I would never do that, that I would never be like or look like her. I lived much of my life living what I felt was the exact opposite lifestyle as her, only to have puberty kick me in the ass (hips, thighs, etc) and make me look so much like her. Only, my face looks just like my dad. Go figure!
Is this why I’ve neglected my arms so? If I was so passionate about not being anything like her, why let the arms that I rely on so much for every damned thing I do in the world go? Eh, actually, I’m done with the whole “letting it go” bullshit. I ignored these babies and I need to rectify that shit, pronto! And so I moisturize them everyday. I inspect them. I try to think loving and happy thoughts when I do this, too. I try to soothe my arms and let them know that I do care about them. This may sound so silly, but my arms ain’t what they used to be in terms of the skin itself. I would like more strength in my upper arms, but I struggle with keeping with anything I attempt to do to find or achieve that strength.
I preach self-care a lot on this blog. I try my best to practice what I preach, I really do. I am honest about my failings. And this is certainly one of them. I was surprised by this huge gap in my self-care routine. I was shocked at the visible changes in my arms that I’d somehow missed or ignored. I wonder what this means, if anything. Is it just simple neglect or taking them for granted? Or is this something more deeply seated within my subconscious due to the facts above about my mother? I don’t know, dude, I just don’t. But I do know that I willfully choose to change this. As I am staring age 34 down here real soon, I know a bit about skin elasticity and what I’ve got left I wanna take extra good care of. Skin is so important, it keeps your insides, well, in! Ha! But seriously? I want to care for my whole self, all the bits and bobs, and maybe even help someone else discover what they’ve been neglecting, too.
Do you neglect (willfully or not) part of your body? Is there part of you that you purposefully ignore? Not just in looking, but in caring for, too? I would say that in America, a lot of people neglect their feet. They don’t care for them properly. I say this because my BFF P used to work in a shoe store for work shoes (constructions, nurses, etc) and he would tell me horror stories. People just ignore the hell outta their feet, man, and that makes me sad. I hope we can find a way to love our whole selves and not just the parts we prefer. Thanks for reading! <3