"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Great Expectations

What is it about hair?

For both men and women, hair seems to be a big freakin deal. 

Having it, not having it, too long, too short, this color, that color...

It seems to control much of our waking hours.

No wonder Brittney shaved her head.

My last hair cut and color was back in June 2013.  Like a lot of women, I would visit a salon several times a year to get high and low lights to jazz up my mousy brown hair.  But with age, I'd noticed that I was getting a lot of "Salt and Pepper." 

Hey!  That's a natural high and low light.  Why bother with color?  Save your money!  So I stopped going. 

The other day I said to SM...

"You know, my hair is really growing in pretty good considering.  I'm surprised.  There's not a big difference."

To which SM dropped the bomb... 

"I like you better as a blonde.  I'd hate to see you let yourself go."

Now before all ya'll get your panties in a wad over that bomb, please understand that I didn't.

Think about it. 

SM might be evaluating me, but so is everyone else I come into contact with.  Including me.  Don't we all evaluate ourselves everyday when we look in the mirror?

I can't think of a time since I became a teenager (enter hormones) that I didn't consider my appearance and how I "rated" with other women. 

And not only in the looks department but in behavior too. 

What was expected of me during all the different phases of my life as a woman? 

Get good grades in High School, go to college, get married, have kids, develop a career, develop successful relationships with the people in my life.

Establish a home, go to church, go to the in-laws, go on vacation, go to continuing education, go to a conference.

Like a diamond we reflect facets of our lives to each other but mostly to ourselves. 

And we try to look our best while doing it.

Jazzercise, Weight Watchers.
Tight jeans, fat pants. 
Flat irons, curling wands.
Bad perms, bad haircuts.
The list is endless.

Let's examine the phrase -

To let oneself go
  1. 1.
    act in an unrestrained or uninhibited way.
    "you need to unwind and let yourself go"
  2. 2.
    become careless or untidy in one's habits or appearance.
    "he's really let himself go after the divorce."

So as I sat there thinking about what SM said, my first impulse was to get on the phone and call my hair stylist ASAP.

And that's exactly what I did.

But then I thought about this and then thought some more.  I didn't mind what was going on with my hair.  Far from it.  So I cancelled my appointment. 

To act in an unrestrained or uninhibited way. 

Oh yeah.  That has me (exit hormones) written all over it.

Menopause is tough.  It's tough on the women who are going through it and it's tough on the men who have to deal with them.  I can understand why so many couples split up at this time in their lives. 

They don't call it "The Change" for nothing.  And some people can roll with the change and some people can't.

I feel more me than I ever have before. 
Who I am, what I want is becoming more defined. 

There's this person inside me who is slowly stepping forward. 

The menopausal fire that has been washing over me every day for the last two years is forging a sharper, more intense version of the me that was before.

And I'm really very curious to meet her.


  1. I last visited the hairdresser in 2011. Last year was fraught with the move and this year the length has kept me warm in a colder winter than usual. RMan has also commented (a couple of times) on the age related colour which is slowly taking over - but I have let them wash over me. I told him many, many years ago that I was going to age "naturally" and wouldn't even consider ANY nips, tucks or cover-ups, and did he love me enough to handle that. He said "yes".

    So he has to take me as I am. And I love me. AS I AM :D

    The only change planned for next year is a haircut. It's now long enough to "donate" to a worthy cause - so some good will come of it all.

    Happy days.

  2. I have never dyed my hair and I sure don't plan to start now. I salute you in your decision to embrace your aging self! Just let go!

  3. I applaud you in your wisdom to "do your own thing" and love your natural self whether that be with blonde, salt and pepper, gray or white hair. After all, it's what's inside a person that counts!

    But could someone answer my question as to why women ALWAYS look older with gray hair (and men look distinguished)?? I'm not saying we gals must do everything we can to avoid looking "older" -- I wish our society would/could put the emphasis on a person's true self worth and respect older folks' wisdom rather than dismissing them because of gray hair or wrinkled skin -- but regardless of whatever we may be doing in our lives or the stage of life we are at, appearances do count and make an impression. So we ARE being evaluated by most everyone we come into contact with. You can call it superficial, but if two equally qualified women interview for the same job, both are 40 years old, one has gone totally gray haired (and appears to be around 55 years old) and the other has chosen to color her hair (and looks to be in her mid to late 30s), who do you think will get the job? (Don't forget, job applications can't ask ages anymore.)

    I should delete this 'cause I fear my words may be misinterpreted. But my soap box appeared and I just stepped up onto it.

    1. I agree about the job age discrimination. I am a government contractor. The contract that I am currently working on will end in December of 2014. I will be 55 and I have gray and brown hair. I have seriously been considering coloring my hair but personally I really don't want to. I am leaning toward leaving it as is until I see how the job hunt goes. No results will equal a dye job! I still have a mortgage to finish paying off.

  4. For me, the whole color your hair boils down to two issues for me: cost (owiee!) and the continued maintenance (what a pain in the butt!). So I have never colored my hair. I think of myself as Pepe Le Pew because there is a big hunk of white growing in slightly to the right side and then the rest is turning slowly. Some people I did that on purpose!

    I find your idea of the flashes forging a new person interesting. I too feel like there were certain goals that were expected of me in life. Somewhere in the process I feel like I fell behind. I need to think this out some more.