(Doing it for myself)
My face is looking old. I observe this in photos more than in mirrors.
I tell myself, 'You can let yourself get old now. He's not here to see.'
Perhaps he would have continued to see me as beautiful, as he always did. But I still would have worried about turning old and ugly in his eyes as well as my own ... even though he still looked beautiful to me, no matter how aged he also looked.
Now, though, if I turn into a wizened old crone — as I suppose I must — who cares?
However, I still put on my make-up (albeit minimal) when I'm going out. I still dress nicely, and take an interest in my clothes. It's not just for the sake of keeping up appearances — I'm far too nonconformist for that — so it must be for me. I realise it must always have been for me, even when I hoped it would please him too.
It's the same with things in my home. (How readily now I say 'my' instead of 'our'.) Today, when changing the sheets, I started thinking about the way I always tried to match blankets to sheets and quilts. Now I feel less inclined, although I still do it. It struck me that this had been a foolish practice all those years, as he didn't seem to notice such things anyway.
But then I remembered when Bill (previous husband) and I bought our first house, and lived in it some months with horribly garish walls until we could afford to repaint. Only after we had done that did we realise the source of the stress, poor sleep and irritability we had been experiencing. One's environment really does matter, even if it seems to be just a background. It's subliminal, and it does have an effect.
So it was important for Andrew that I did those little things to make our home aesthetically pleasing. It was important that I did them for both of us, and it's still important that I do them for me.