Women Wearing Colorful Bathing Caps I'm just going to say it. I'm so over winter. I'm over lugging around a full-length wool coat wherever I go. I'm over ruining my shoes in dirty slush. I'm over risking my life trying to traverse the ice. I'm over it. O-V-E-R.

Thankfully, I have a week-long, nothing-but-beach vacation coming up. The sun-and-sand light at the end of my proverbial winter tunnel, if you will. It was the looming of said vacation that prompted me to spend my lunch hour in a place no woman likes to go: the swimsuit section. Seriously. Apparently 70 percent of Americans would rather go to the dentist, do their taxes, sit in the middle aisle of an airplane or visit their in-laws than go shopping for a swimsuit. (And I'm one of them.)

The fitting room was packed yesterday, and the conversations flying back and forth were a chorus of self deprecation:

"This is probably as good as it's going to get for me." "I shouldn't be seen in public." "I hate my body." 

The chatter shook me from my own mental trash talking. (What, exactly, is that weird little armpit chicken cutlet and what exercises will make it go away?!) 

mean girls

But then it happened. I told my inner Mean Girl to stuff a sock in it, and this guy chimed in...


It seems that when it comes to fearlessness and priorities, we were all so much better off as kids.



Our five-year-old selves didn't worry about what jiggled or rolled, bumped or lumped. We had bigger things to focus our energy on. (Like pretending we were mermaids.)

The next time you find yourself facing the dreaded mirror, every bit and piece of your precious self cast in an unforgiving light, I hope you will dial down Regina George and crank the volume on perspective.

Be thankful for legs that offer you the gift of a stroll along the shore at sunset and toes that can wiggle their way down into the cool sand and hands that construct sandcastles and arms that are happy to oblige when you summon them to take you for a swim. Give thanks for ears that know the shouts of seagulls and eyes that have borne witness to fifty shades of sunrise. Be thankful for the freedom to wear what you want, show what you want and let down your hair whenever you see fit. Be grateful for the opportunity to experience the splendor of creation and the chance to unplug so you can plug back into the things that matter.

E.E. Cummings once said, "There's a hell of a good universe next door" -- it's waiting to delight in you. Don't let a poly-lycra blend become the deciding factor between your "no"and your "yes." Your fearless, inner five-year-old invites you to run through the sprinklers. She invites you to get out of your head and out of that dressing room.

After all, everyones knows a fitting room is no place for a mermaid.