Seriously, and please bear with me.
First, I’ll start with my TMI share: I’ve been endowed with Raquel Welch curves since I was 12. In a world that was more flat than curvy, this proved no advantage and only brought unwanted attention from strangers. And sometimes people I knew, like the time at my best friend’s bridal shower when her future mother-in-law asked me my cup size and couldn’t stop talking about my chest. (She felt she’d found a kindred spirit in me, someone who knew what she’d lived through as a woman with a large chest.) It was weird, especially at a time when we barely acknowledged our feminine bodies. Perhaps needless to say, I was never into lingerie.
That’s not to say I didn’t try to find or didn’t want sexy lingerie. I didn’t know about great advice blogs like The Lingerie Addict, so I was on my own. Victoria’s Secret bras were more padding than bra (and I really didn’t need more padding). In other brands, most large cup bras left ample empty space at the nipple while my breasts spilled out the sides. My back is small, so under large cup under wires poked my arms. I even went to a local well-known bra shop owned by a local Ukrainian woman. Armed with her tape measure and thick accent, she specialized in bodies like mine. The protocol was simple: You stand there, naked from the waist up, and she came in, measured and moved, then went out and found the bra for you. They always looked formidable: Big, sturdy and white, with maybe a teeny tiny ribbon at the cleavage, the only decorative feature. Picture what you think a Soviet-era babushka might wear, and it’s probably pretty close to that. You’d pay your $65 or more, and often left wearing your new ugly-but-effective industrial support mechanism.
The truth is, I never found anything I loved to wear or made me feel great, so I ignored my essential wardrobe support system and made do with what I had.
A couple years ago, I’d finally had enough. I hated my undergarments and dreaded putting them on each morning. I couldn’t wait to take them off each evening. Come the weekend, I’d do what I could to get away with being braless or in my pajamas for as long as I could. But it wasn’t always like this, so in a spontaneous fit of frustration, I decided to ambush my underwear drawer and start over. Several hours of research online (trying to find the recommended replacement of my favorite bra that was no longer available), and a sizable amount of money later, I’d ordered 24 different styles of undergarments.
Ugh. I returned all but two bras and remembered why I hated shopping for lingerie. Determined (because necessity), I kept at it because I needed new underwear, too. And finally found the perfect panties, which I then bought in bulk in different colors. And now, every morning as I ponder my wardrobe for the day, I am absolutely delighted about the prospect of wearing my undergarments. Seriously, two years later, every day I still think, “This was a great decision.”
Yes, I start my day grateful for underwear. Let that sink in for a moment: Underwear.
The big decisions we need to make are purposefully deliberate and expected. We ponder, research, consider, and agonize over them. And when we finally make our decisions, we may or may not get the desired results, but the drama always starts in the decision-making. It’s that contract we’re considering, the house we might by, the person we’d like to hire, the product we might manufacture.
So it was a moment of epiphany for me when I realized that there have been a few times that I’ve made a decision that didn’t seem such a huge deal at the time, but that ended up being among the best decisions I’ve made. They’ve often brought me the greatest satisfaction (not to mention fewer wedgies).
The best part, though, is that the most satisfying decisions have often been the result of minor but consistently annoying things that, at a certain breaking point, I’ve decided to do something about. Not all have had the long-standing impact that new underwear had on me, but they’re still great. It could be as simple as moving the trash can closer to my desk, or unsubscribing from a bunch of email lists. Maybe it’s installing hooks, or finally calling the shredding company to pick up old paper files. Now I look for the annoying nags and consider whether I can quickly effect a change. You might be surprised at how often this works.
Taking the time to treat yourself with little victories, especially when you have too much to do, gives you another, unexpected benefit, too. It helps you to keep going, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just one little task—sewing the hole in the sweatshirt, collecting the trash, hanging those hooks, filing papers—gives you a win, which then opens up possibilities for you.
Don’t underestimate the power of small decisions and little wins. You’ll feel like the psychic baggage of that annoyance had been holding you down, and now you can move forward. You’ll know that it was worth it when you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner, or like me, you realize that you made a great decision because that’s what keeps popping into your head. The measure of satisfaction you’ll feel is noteworthy.
So if you’ll excuse me, I need to download my iPhone videos. I’m tired of being told all the time that I’ve run out of room on iCloud and that I need upgrade storage again for yet another fee.