The photo above shows a section of my screen during a Google search for "wear pink sparkly earrings." I don't have and don't want pink sparkly earrings, but I thought many of you reading the title of this post might assume that's where I was going, and I aim to please. I've had my ears pierced since I was seven-years-old. In the time since then, I've gone through lots of different ear fashion choices, but these days, I alternate between a few pairs of simple, small earrings that are easy to put on and take off. On weekdays, it's rare for me to go without earrings, but during the pandemic lock down, I took advantage of the at-home time to forgo the daily process of glitzing up my ear lobes.
From March until September of 2020, I didn't bother to put on earrings. When the world was scary and unpredictable, and I wasn't leaving my house anyway, I thought I could cut myself a break, in that way and lots of other ways. I wore sweat pants instead of "hard" pants. I allowed myself to select foods like a toddler without parental supervision. I read hundreds of romance novels. I was, in short, gentle on myself.
And when in-person classes resumed in the fall of 2020, and I tried to fancy up the parts of me that were visible, I discovered that my pierced ears had unpierced. I thought that holes I'd had for more than four decades would be healed enough to stay put, but alas, I was wrong. On the first day of classes, I jabbed the earrings through where the holes had been, essentially repiercing my own ears. It wasn't a pain-free process.
This morning, while I was in the shower, I realized what an apt metaphor this whole business with the earrings is for everything else I'm tempted to go easy on myself about. I think it's great to give myself a break, but by definition, a break shouldn't be long. The faster I get back to work, back to taking things seriously, the easier and less painful it is to accomplish my goals. It doesn't take me long to wear earrings every day, and since I do, sliding them on doesn't hurt. I make food choices like an adult most of the time because when I do, I'm taking care of my body so that it will serve me well for a long time. With everything, if I mostly stick to the plan, I can take steps in the direction I want to go without any pain or fuss. It's easier to wear the darn earrings every day.
What actions do you take that are analogous to wearing earrings, things that you do because if you stop doing them, starting up will be painful or difficult? Please share your ideas in the comments.