When You Can't Go Back to Who You Were

...but you really, really want to.

My sister and nephew are coming into town on Wednesday, and I can't wait to see them. I'm very close to my eldest sister, and it's like having a best friend-sister-god mom (she's my godmother too) rolled into one. We like so many of the same things that planning a few adventures during their visit is easy. Hiking, picnicking, canoeing, antiquing, a trip to the local Civil War museum, some time to photograph the wildlife and play with the kitties...it's my vacation as well as hers.

The hike that we're planning for later this week, weather permitting, is to the summit of Cold Mountain. I've hiked it once before and it's strenuous but not too strenuous. There are a few rock scrambles near the end, but no heavy brush to wade through.

I've said from the first that I planned to wear skirts all the time except when horseback riding, exercising, or gardening. I've kept that promise since late April. I still don't have a pair of jeans without holes in them, so I went to Wal-Mart this weekend to shop for jeans.

Guess what? They still don't have my size in stock of the particular brand that fits best.

I've looked every week since June for my size, and every Sunday, when I do my shopping after Mass, they do not have my size. They have almost every other size...but not the one I need.

I decided to try on some old pairs of shorts I have to see if they fit. I've lost 12 pounds out of the 60 I hope to lose, so perhaps they would fit. They did! I could zip them up easily. But I hated the way I looked in them, and worse, they made me feel so self conscious that I took them off and put on an easy-care denim skirt instead.

It's like I can't go back to who I was. I can't wear pants casually anymore except for the purposes I originally outlined. Yesterday when I came home from church, I changed into jeans and mowed the lawn. Then I cleaned two bathrooms in the house, cleaned the upstairs, and vacuumed while I ran two loads of laundry. Then while my husband mopped the floors upstairs I canned a batch of green beans and made supper.  That's heavy work, dirty work, sweaty work.  Jeans were made for days like this.

Today, it didn't feel right. I felt like a stuffed sausage in them even though I didn't really look like a stuffed sausage. Worse, I felt...undressed. Naked. The only change in my outfit was to swap the shorts for the mid-calf denim work skirt. I kept on the plain old Wal-Mart t shirt and the sneakers I had on, because they will be comfortable for cleaning later on when I am walking all around the house.  The shorts had to go.

What will I wear hiking? Maybe my ripped jeans, or maybe the denim skirt. I'm not sure yet. I just don't know. I think I will pray for some discernment.

It just feels weird not being able to go back to who I was...a shorts and pants wearing gal....when I started this adventure back in April, skirts felt uncomfortable. By May, they felt better, and by June, they felt natural. Today? Pants and shorts feel so unladylike I don't think I can wear them.


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