Monday, November 19, 2018

Truth In Marketing

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **

Hello sweet friends! This morning I was trying to take some photos of my hair for our  new online shop.  I wanted some nice pictures of what our products can do.

It seemed simple enough- I planned it all last night as I was falling asleep. I'd wake up, get ready, do my hair and make up extra nice. Take some pictures, runs the errands, then homeschool Noah, take him to his tutors, stop at my Mom's to borrow holiday props for new shop photos, write a blog post, answer the customer service questions, make dinner, pick Noah back up and try to find time to walk on the treadmill. Oh, and water the indoor plants, and get to the grocery store for Thanksgiving prep, and walk the dog,  and get my teen to write thank you notes for his birthday gifts.

All was going ok this morning, at least through the hair and make up. I went downstairs to attempt to take some reasonably usable photos of the front and back of my hair. When I got there though, I noticed that there were dishes in the sink that needed to be cleaned up, and the droopy plants that required my immediate watering attention. Then, as I was just about to start taking pictures, the dog started barking to go outside (AGAIN!) and I had to stand in the cold, repeating to her over and over: "DON'T YOU DARE DIG IN THAT MUD AGAIN JOSIE!"
Josie has had precisely 1,783 baths in the past two weeks, after squirrels dug up our small backyard patch of grass to hide their seeds. She figured out if you dig up the grass, not only can you find the seeds, but that it's fun and you can make HUGE mud piles with all of the dirt and melting snow. We're not thrilled with this new development.

Back inside and now running late, I was determined to get at least a few good photos. I held up my phone, tried to find the best lighting in our kitchen, and smiled. A doughy, old, tired me stared back on the screen. My chipmunk cheeks were in full bloom. The hollow, tired looking under-eyes, that I always hoped I would not inherit, were ever so slightly more pronounced than the blog photos of yesteryear. These past four years of homeschooling have been wonderful, but can sort of run you ragged. I used to spend my daytime getting things done, including exercising and primping and making healthy foodie foods and smiling for the blog! Now my time is split between parenting full-time, homeschooling, running a household and starting a business. This morning, getting those pictures was just so much harder than it was before and I was feeling it. I was acutely aware that I am a 40-something year old woman who is beginning to age and really began to question if I was enough. Enough of everything I needed to be to juggle all of these balls in the air.

I was near tears as picture after picture just looked "off." Especially when I went back and compared them to the blog photos that I took just four and five years ago. What has happened to me? I've lost my sparkle. I don't have what it takes to do all of this! I know very well that this is all relative, and that WE ARE OUR OWN WORST CRITICS, but I felt defeated.

Instead of beating myself up anymore though, I decided to stop taking pictures for now, maybe I could get better ones later and I really needed to get going on my errands. I hopped into my car, pulled out, and proceeded to almost bump into THE GIANT DUMP TRUCK BLOCKING 2/3 OF THE FOOT OF OUR DRIVEWAY.  I got two houses down, when I realized that our street was completely blocked by heavy machinery. I was NOT going on errands right now.

By the way, did I ever mention to you that they tore down (except for two walls) a big, old pretty church from the 1920's, directly across the street from our house? Now they're building a four-story office building there. Each morning we wake up to another hairline crack in our ceilings from all or the jackhammering. Which might explain........WHY I'M SLIGHTLY ON EDGE!!!!

I digress.....

As I was coming back inside, it dawned on me that this is what all of this gray hair thing is about - being the true you, and being ok with it! Whether we stop coloring our hair for health reasons, or to get away from the chemicals, to save on time or the cost of dying our hair, it all essentially comes back around to self- acceptance and embracing who we really are.

Even more so I realized, this is why we created the By The Way, Your Hair Looks Fabulous! line of products.  (I promise you, this blog post is not just an advert.) I wanted hair care that would represent a true reality, not a glossy, Instagram filtered version of a "perfect life.
I was frustrated that I couldn't find naturally derived shampoos, conditioners and styling products that I COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD! I was bummed that there wasn't a brand on the shelf that totally understood my crazy, gray fly-aways, the texture of my hair and just why my silvers needed help with shine.

We've toiled away for years now to create an authentic product to love. I've been spreading the message that the true you is great! But it hit me today, for some reason, I haven't been valuing my authentic self even closely as much as the products- Chipmunk cheeks, tired eyes, dropping the balls and all. I've forgotten to love myself too!

I might have had a momentary freakout this morning. A woe-is-me moment. It's ok though, that's also being human, being real. I know more than anything, that life is BIG and AMAZING and there's much too much to explore rather than to be stuck inside, pining away for perfection.

So here I am! The real life me. The not professionally perfect, polished backgrounds, but the best I can do in this moment. If there is one thing you could do for me Silver Sisters and friends, it's to stop today, take a deep breath and remind yourself.........

Love you guys!
Until next time.



Anonymous said...

Hi,my dear. It almost broke my heart to read your post today. I totally know this situation, being aware all of a sudden that ageing arrived, finally. Although we tried to be brave and be our true selves we are shocked by realising that now we starting to fade. But don't give up, ageing is better than having to die at young age. It's our way and we have to go every little step. And there will be another day when you will discover a new smile on your face, on a day when you are not exhausted as of today! Pictures are not the real life! You do so well every day by caring for your son and husband! AND build a business!! Smile and glow will come back in another, more mature way, Youth will be gone some day, but inner youth lies in the eyes and in the heart! I send you my best wishes, all over the Atlantic sea! Your "I be been at this point" friend Anita.

Lauren said...


*tears, sniffle, tears* ..... SMILE!

Such a touching comment. Thank you for taking the time to write and tell me that. Thank you so very much. I loved your line about discoing a new smile one day. That is such a true statement and one I will always remember. :)

Your words really effected me for the good! Thank you my Silver Sister from across the sea!

With Lots of Love,


katie Emery said...

Lauren, I totally understand where you are coming from - running a business and being a Mom (especially a homeschooling Mom) is tough, even without the added stress you're describing. Those types of days are enough to make one want to jump back into bed and pull the covers back over your head. I hope you can get a nice long rest soon - you deserve it!

On a side note, even without makeup and being stressed out, you look gorgeous! Hope tomorrow is an easier day.


Outrageous wonderful said...

You are amazing, thank you for sharing that and posting the real, beautiful pictures of your self. You have made me cry in a good way. Thank you and I bet you look back in a year or two and wonder why you rejected them in the first place, we are our harshest critics, thank you for saying no to that and encouraging us to do the same. Happy tuesday Lauren

Lauren said...

Katie, such a sweet comment. Thank you so much, you made me smile. Also, YES! It's so tempting to stay in bed and sleep in a bit, especially because we don't have to be out the door early. They'll be more time for pulling the covers over my head later. :) LOL

Thanks again and much love to you for all of your inspiration and support.

Lauren said...

Outrageous Wonder! Happy Tuesday to you too! <3

You are right, so right. I appreciate your encouragement. You guys mean so much to me, like the sisters I always wished to have, a big group of them! :)

Many many many hugs to you and thank you.