This is not an accounting lesson, repeat, this is not an accounting lesson. I was born a brunette and while we keep our hair, we go grey young. I've been coloring my hair since my twenties. When I worked in a record store (yes, real vinyl records and cassettes were the thing) I experimented with shades of purple and orange. When I "grew up" and got a real job, I had a great colorist... a rich brownish red. I could afford a visit to THE SALON without thinking twice. Oh the good old days!
Flash forward to the last 12 years (which does in fact coincide with the age of my son) I have been basically brown or kinda reddish. The reddish has been great but goes so brassy so easily. And many of my friends will testify that I will put off buying the box for waaay too long. I've come to work to find "gifts" of unused hair color boxes on my desk. So my reds have varied.
As I have noted in my previous entry, time to color and cut my hair. I decided to rid myself of brassy forever and listened to my friends... I found an ash color to cut out the brass. So there I was in the hair color aisle at the HEB staring at the wall of potential colors. I have never been loyal to brand, always going for the low to mid-priced box o'color but today, I felt I was worth it... and tossed the box of 4A Dark Ash Brown in the cart and forgot about it for a few days.
Home hair dying isn't very difficult. If you can read, you can dye your hair from a box. Even though the directions provide extra minutes for stubborn gray, I usually add an additional five to that because my gray is obstinate. I have a special shirt that I wear and recently added a hand towel to that as well. I saved a root touch up brush that helps with the hairline and temples but I always miss a few. On goes the dye and then I sit around for the prescribed time. I can't do anything really because I wear glasses and without them the world is a blurr but of course, I can do laundry blind if there is any left to do.
Finally its time to hit the shower. Rinse until clear is actually pretty interesting. Within the first few minutes excess dye splattering everywhere creates a shower murder scene. Some products make your hair feel like straw, but I have to say that I love the conditioner that comes in a box o'color. I have friends who used to buy the box just for the conditioner. Once completely rinsed and conditioned the waiting game begins for me to see what color 4A Dark Ash Brown really is because the box pictures are always off. I rarely dry my hair with an actual hair dryer. I just can't be bothered but I just can't stand it... I grab the blower and go for straight hair versus the air dried mostly curly look.
And now I am Dark Ash Brown, which is really Daring Almost Black. I embrace the change and everyone says it suits me. Next, the new hair cut.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
My blog is clogged. My journal sits waiting to be paid attention to, pen at the ready. My knitting needles lost their click and I haven’t been lost in a good book for months. These things are the way I work out the stuff that churns inside my brain, my heart, my soul. It has happened before on rare occasion. I have reached a place in my life when I am at a loss for words, my creativity has come to a screeching halt because of the internal work consumes all. At times like this I have to clean house. I watched my mother do the same thing… I knew she had something on her mind and she would commence to clean. To seek out every nook and cranny and make it right.
I am my mother’s daughter. I am transitioning, changing my life in ways unimaginable. It has taken every inch of my fiber, my being to grow… to take these steps. And since I am not using my traditional “tools” to cope, I am my mother. Not a bad thing. I am cleaning house. I open a drawer or cabinet and go through it. I find all the lids to the plastic ware and if there is a missing piece it goes in the trash. I spent part of New Year’s Eve matching socks. Yes, I actually threw the singles away knowing its mate would never surface. I have tried on everything in my closet and sectioned off a part that fits, will fit and must consign.
And on those particularly turbulent days I make laundry. It’s not like I don’t have enough laundry to do and I actually don’t like doing laundry. But there is something about doing laundry, the methodical rhythm of finding the bits for the wash. The kitchen towel, the hand towels, the blankets on the couch. Then turning the knob, adding soap and loading. , Next the turn over to the dryer, cleaning the vent, turning the knob. Warm clothes enter the basket… the smell of clean laundry. Then, the folding, matching of socks, and making neat stacks. I do this all without really thinking, I enter a Zen state of laundry. My mind is captured by the method and I find peace. This is the one task that I do mindfully without actually having to focus on being mindful. I acknowledge the other “thought bombs” and let them go, I’m doing laundry.
So my house is almost clean and the laundry is nearly done yet the writing still comes in mad rushes. It is obvious that radical steps remain. Time to change the color and cut my hair.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Frogging...Not to be confused with gigging frogs. For all my non-knitting friends, this means that point where you have been happily clicking away on that knitting project, perhaps for hours and then you look down and realize something is just not right. After counting rows and stitches, recounting rows and stitches, you realize this is not a simple fix, you cannot simply unknit a few rows and this is something that crochet hook will never repair. You bemoan the fact that you have not utilized the life line. There it is, the issue at hand, perhaps a gaping hole, or twisted stitches. The decision is yours.
Do you continue on as if nothing has gone wrong? Or... do you decide to (gulp) frog? You hear the every increasing loudness of the "rip it, rip it, rip it, rip it" froggy chorus and you have the decision of your life ahead of you... Are you prepared to tear out rows and rows of your meditative knitting?
Knitting has helped me to put my life together when it was unraveling and now that I have worked on this UFO (unfinished object) for years, I see the dropped stitches, the miscalculated rows. part of me kept knitting along unaware. I have measured and contemplated long and hard. Finally, I have mustered the courage and I am frogging with determination knowing that I each time I start over, I understand the pattern better.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Speak-OutAt a recent NOW meeting, a new member was unclear about what the actual medical procedure for an abortion was like. Another member offered part of her personal experience and then stated that this was the first time she had actually spoken about her own experience publicly. Even though we are empowered feminists, we still have difficulty discussing our personal stories. Society continues to or revisits that those of us who choose or have chosen abortion are somehow less than. I think now more than ever it is time for us to speak-out.
The first abortion speak-out took place during the pre-Roe v. Wade era, when abortion was illegal in the United States. Each state had its own laws about reproductive matters (sounds eerily familiar?). It was rare if not unheard of to hear any woman speak publicly about her experience with illegal abortion. In February of 1969, Redstockings, the radical feminist group founding in New York “disrupted” a New York legislative hearing about abortion. Four years after the 1969 abortion speak-out, the Roe v. Wade decision altered the landscape by repealing most abortion laws then in effect and striking down restrictions on abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.
And today, it is becoming rare for women to speak-out about their legal abortions. As more and more states enact laws that make access to legal abortions increasingly more difficult and more disinformation is spread as fact, it is important that we hear the real stories of real women who have chosen to seek an abortion, whether it was after or pre-Roe v Wade. I encourage you to contact me with our story, which I will share on my blog and Austin NOW’s website, I know there are other sites out there dedicated to women’s stories and this will be another avenue for our voices but encourage each and everyone to put their story out there so we are heard.
Email your story to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), indicate if you want your story to appear with your name, a nom de plume or posted anonymously. Or if you blog, I (and the Austin NOW site), will be sure to indicate your story is a cross-post. To get the speak-out started, I will post my story in a day or two.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
By now everyone has read that depression can physically hurt, it can be exhausting, it can cause insomnia, and a multitude of other uncomfortable verbs. Depression is… we don’t ask for it. I know that I am no alone in this. We, the depressives, are actually a rather big club, but we don’t advertise very often. Membership comes at a great cost to us and to our loved ones. Our loved ones feel helpless even when we explain there is literally nothing they can do to make it better. The most they can do is acknowledge that depression exists, and let us know they are there for us if we need them. We can be reminded to eat, sleep or get up, or take our meds; but ultimately, we are the ones who have to make it better by doing what works for each of us in the moment.
Over the years I have learned that my depression is mostly triggered by situations and seasons. I don’t know if I am the only one, but I can recognize when I am on the road to a depressive period. There is that defining moment after struggling to stay balanced when I know that I have temporarily lost my battle with biochemistry. My mouth goes dry and I taste silvery, wrinkled, tinfoil. Really, no matter what I eat or drink, I return to the taste of chewing gum wrapper only worse metal. I wonder if I’m the only one.
The situations vary for me but the seasonal depression is well, seasonal, and as a result, more predictable. I actually start brushing up on my coping skills when everyone is pulling out their boxes of holiday decorations. While everyone is getting into that holiday spirit (or pretending to be) I am doing whatever I can to wake up each day. My seasonal depression can be sneaky. It might arrive before Thanksgiving, but always before my birthday in December and sticks around well into January. I get the fun of a summer depression too, around the death date of my best friend, which coincides with one of the hottest months in Texas.
On the more normal side, if there is such a thing as normal symptoms for depression, I become narcoleptic, never able to get enough sleep in an effort to just shut it all out. On the flip side, I might have a bout of disturbed sleep, waking up and unable to really go back to sleep, unable to stop the wheels from spinning. Staring at the alarm clock dreading the moments knowing I should be sleeping since I actually have to function during the day instead of pulling the sheets over my head.
So what works for me when I’m in the darkest depths of depression? I read, I write and I take not too warm baths or showers, and now I try to share what it is like to be a depressive. I think that speaking out about it helps me have power over it. Most people never recognize my depression because I work hard to cope. I leave my depression outside when I enter work and I literally put a smile on my face because it really does bring calm energy. I mindfully walk, type and breathe. I focus on the fact that the best thing I have ever done in my life needs his Mom and the reason I somehow live through those lonely moments of depression in a crowded room. I know each day my son will make me smile, even through the deepest depths of any depressive day. To see that sparkle in his eyes and to hear his laugh is truly magical healing.
P.S. I read a blog entry by one of my fav bloggers, Jenny Lawson aka The bloggess, about depression: http://thebloggess.com/2012/01/the-fight-goes-on/). She has a Silver Ribbon and is raising funds for charity by offering pendants and buttons with the message, “Never Give Up”.