“I brought you a lipstick…so you can look good and feel better while you get better,” Ami told me when she visited me in the hospital. It was my first day out of cardiac intensive care, and Ami arrived with a gift bag and get well wishes.
That was a key step in my decision to become an independent consultant with Mary Kay 10 weeks after my heart attack. Experts say not to make major decisions for six months after a life crisis. Yet another rule I’m breaking…but I see many steps God put in my path that led me here.
- I used Mary Kay in high school and liked the skin care line. But over time, I opted for other skin care choices.
- Most major decisions in my life happen after I feel God’s prompting me to do them. A year ago, God told me I had spent a lifetime promoting other people and causes, and the time was coming when I would sell a product. So for the past year, I’ve looked at different products. I asked God to show me what he wanted me to sell and when.
- Last summer, I met Ami, and I knew we would become friends the first time we laughed together. As she talked about taking care of her family and reaching out to others, I felt a kindred spirit I wanted to know better.
- Last fall, a friend sent me a thank you gift from Ami….a gift bag of Mary Kay skin care products. The moment I used them, I realized they were much better quality than the bargain basement products I bought – sometimes….after taking care of everything and every one else.
- Then, in December, Ami invited me to a skin care class. It was my first Mary Kay event I had attended in 30 years. The products had updated, and I had forgotten just how good they made my skin feel. When I got home that night, I told Richard I thought I had found the product I wanted to sell.
Then, the next evening I got sick with a kidney stone. Five days after that, I survived my heart attack and emergency surgery.
Upon my release from the hospital, my family began completely changing our lifestyle. With the help of a dietitian friend and my daughter who was home on spring break, we reinvented our diet.
That gift of skin care came into play with my recovery, as well as that lipstick. As a wife and mom and volunteer, for decades, I’ve put other people and projects ahead of taking care of myself. It’s no one else’s fault…I made the choices to eat more and exercise less. Leaving the hospital with a fist full of prescriptions and a folder full of dietary recommendations to help me lower my cholesterol, lower my blood pressure, and lose just over 50 pounds is a daunting prospect.
What I didn’t expect was the role that good skin care products would play in my recovery. I’ve had decades to develop a mental habit of putting myself so far to the back of the line that it was neglect.
I have since learned that taking care of myself not only feels good but is imperative to recovery. I can choose to make these lifestyle changes a form of suffering and a drudge, from which I’m likely to fall of the wagon.
Or I can choose to make taking care of myself something fun, that I can enjoy. The more weight I lose (almost at 20 pounds now!), and the more I get used to exercise, the more energy I have. And with that renewed energy and brighter outlook, I can be a better, more loving wife, mother, and friend.
Each morning, my reminder to stay on the fitness bandwagon begins with that lipstick that Ami gave me in the hospital. Except now I’ll not just wear it but share my story with others.
It is possible to change a lifetime of habits and make better choices to take care of yourself. In my case, that starts with lipstick and just keeps going.