This morning I went through what has become the summer routine:
First, conduct a dizzying search for swimsuits and rash guards for the big girls to take to camp.

Second, devise things to pack for the littlest girl to make her feel like a big girl.

Third, pack 2 lunches that will satisfy the distinct eating habits of the older girls.

Fourth, make the littlest girl feel ok about not having a packed lunch.

Fifth, apply deodorant*

Sixth, make coffee and mutter under breath that coffee should always be the first order of business.

*Why this one so often gets delayed and delayed until it’s the last thing I do making me late defies explanation.

I could go on, but I think you get the drift. I try to pepper the to-dos with things that focus on grooming myself, but the latter half of June saw every-other-day-showers at best.

[Self: focus on the improvements]

This morning I decided to get a tiny bit gussied up. I put on a bright green tanktop and my go-to white skirt (go-to as in every time I wear it Sean whistles, compliments and generally looks at me with lovesick eyes). I dabbed on a bit of this and that to make my face look refreshed and then saved shoes for last. When I walked out to the car Finley squeaked, “Mom, show me your shoes!”

I tip-toed over to the car, opened the door and let her peek at my shoes. Her face lit up and she nodded as she said, “Oh, mama, I like those shoes. So bowy!” Her delight and my own pride at having managed to carve out the necessary time to dress up literally had me walking taller. When I got to work I replayed her exclaim in my head. I snapped a picture and then something hit me.

I can be bowy any time I want. My sparkle, passion, drive, whatever it is, is up to me. So while I might get dismayed that person x is charging forward with something that is equal parts preposterous and ballsy, their actions have no bearing on how bright my own star can be.

We get so caught up in what other people have, what they’re doing, or where they’re going that we forget that we can choose to drive or stall our own success at any given moment. Sitting in the light of this revelation I feel emboldened to shout the pursuit of my dreams from twitter, facebook, Google+ and face-to-face.

I am not ashamed of my aspirations, nor am I dubious about my talents.

Today I wish for everyone to feel the freedom to be unapologetically bowy.