Dear Adventure-Seeking Friends,
Today’s Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone, 07.2019 is not what I had originally planned for this post. You might remember that one of the items on my 2019 Summer Bucket List was to get a custom temporary tattoo. I began working on bringing this project to fruition early in July. Googled online temporary tattoo shops and discovered Momentary Ink. Appreciated their clever shop name so decided to place an order with them. Was hoping to receive my custom designed tattoo in time to wear it to see my girls in Ft. Worth.
But it has been 16 days since I placed my order and 14 days since I last heard from them. While just thinking about a temporary, or any other kind of tattoo, is a big stretch for me, wearing one is waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. In fact, I get butterflies just thinking about applying it and wearing it out in public. Where do I put it? What will people think about this 61 year-old mimi getting a tattoo?
Since I haven’t received my temp tat, I am tabling this activity until next month’s Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone. And for this month, I had to pull something out of my…hat.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone 07.2019
Around my 43 birthday, I found myself sadly divorced from my daughters’ step-father. It was a very difficult time emotionally and financially for my daughters and me. We were all 3 fairly crushed by the decision of my girls’ ‘daily dad’ and my husband of 10 years to move out. I was stunned by the thought of potentially being alone for the rest of my life. Maybe as a reaction to another failed marriage, impending divorce, and another birthday, I decided to get my belly button pierced.
Not sure where the idea came from. I think I was probably feeling numb, almost dead inside. May have thought I wouldn’t experience any pain from the piercing as I was already in so much pain already. Or maybe I wanted to feel young again. Might have been I just needed to do something a little unexpected to feel alive. Whatever the case, I picked a day, went to Renegade Tattoos and had my belly button pierced, selecting a simple green single stone for my first naval ring.
I didn’t tell my then teen-aged daughters immediately. In fact, before I could find the ‘right time’ to tell them about my piercing, Brennyn and Lauren discovered it on their own. The shirt I was wearing at the time rose up just a little too high when I was stretching to get something out of the kitchen cabinets. And there it was. They were both a little shocked. Lauren, probably most of all. Because Brennyn wanted to have hers pierced, too!
Buying More Belly Button Bling
I began buying more belly button bling. My second piece was the iridescent ball and aqua crystal cube pictured below.
Because my pierced ears had stretched badly about 10 years before, I was unable to wear pierced earrings of any weight for long. In fact, I had almost completely switched to clip-ons when I did wear earrings. Buying naval rings became my new jewelry option. Of course, being a newly single mom with teenage daughters, no one was going to be seeing my ‘jewels’. But that was ok, because this was something I was doing for me.
And naval rings are inexpensive, so I was able to treat myself to a new piece now and then without forgoing electricity or water for the month. What a responsible parent, eh?
I really enjoyed the boost wearing my belly button bling gave me. It was like wearing pretty panties. Or a lacy new bra.
Menopause Burst My Bubble
When I met PC, I had was at the peak of my navel ring-wearing days. Not sure he knew what to think that first summer we were together, and I wore it with my 2 piece bathing suit. He is the son of a conservative Baptist preacher, after all.
Within 18 months of our meeting, though, I began having lots of menstrual issues that resulted in a partial hysterectomy. And a decline into peri-menopause and then menopause. Until that time, my stomach and abdomen had always been surprisingly toned for a middle-aged mama. Now, I’d begun putting on weight in my middle where I had never really had problems before. My waist started disappearing into my hips. My once hour-glass figure was a full 90 minutes. Wearing my belly button bling began to hurt. The jewelry rubbed sometimes against the waist of my jeans. Menopause burst my bubble. I removed my naval ring and stored them all in my jewelry box.
Every once in a while, I would try one on. Maybe wear it for a day or two. But that would be the extent of it as the irritation and pain always returned.
This spring, though, when PC and I started Weight Watchers again, we also began working to tone various areas of our bodies. We have 4 work-out routines we rotate through.
- Yoga/abs/cardio/lunges/arm machines;
- Yoga/abs/cardio/rowing machine/leg machines;
- Yoga/abs/cardio/squats & lunges/chest & back machines;
- Yoga/cardio/stair master/ab machines.
So that makes for an ab workout at least 4 times a week, in one format or another. Crunches, sit-ups and ab workouts on weight machines.
My waist is returning and my grandma-paunch is beginning to tone up. So guess what? I have dusted off my belly button bling and begun wearing them again.
Doing so has brought back that feeling of being alive, and a little risky (or risque?). PC is still not terribly thrilled about it but that’s okay. Because I am doing this for me! He is noticing the results of my ab work, though, and that makes me feel good, too. And it’s kind of crazy, now I am not sure if I am wearing the belly button bling because of the results of the ab work outs or doing the ab work outs because I want to wear the belly button bling. Whatever the case, it’s working. Not a six-pack yet, but…
This week, I have been in Ft. Worth visiting Brennyn and Cady. Lauren and Lucia joined me a few days into my visit. We have swam at the kids’ community pool several times and spent the day at a water park. I was jumping off into the pool with Cady and we were going under water together when she noticed my belly button bling. For a second, I felt embarrassed and kind of silly. I am a grandmother twice over and 61 years old.
When Cady asked me if I had a belly button ‘earring’, pretty sure I blushed. Then she was quick to add how much she liked it. And Brennyn spoke up to say that she still wears her naval rings but went on to explain it was something Cady would have to wait to do when she got older. Ha! Like Mimi, like mommy, like grandbaby.
Is there something you’ve done to make you feel just a little more alive? I think if I were to go back over each of my Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone activities, that would be a common thread among them. Whatever I have done has made me feel more alive. Has stretched and challenged me. And look! I’ve lived to tell about it!
Home tomorrow. Will be sad to say goodbye to Brennyn and Cady. Just hate not knowing when we will be together again. We are talking Christmas, hoping Christmas. And that gives me something to look forward to.
Thank you for stopping by today. I have been unable to do much blog reading or writing while I’ve been away but will be catching up this weekend again. Seems I say that a lot! Need to stay my butt home for awhile now. Enjoy your weekend. Try something outside YOUR comfort zone.
Hugs and kisses,