Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Hair and Its Lesson

My hair is now longer than it has been since high school, only back then there were lots of curlers, combing, teasing, and other methods of torture.  Now, I just blow it almost dry, add some "product", and finish the drying while turning under the much easier! I'm not sure how flattering it is, but it requires little upkeep and is versatile.....I can band it, clip it, or just let it go.

This all started when I was unsettled at work, not able to sell the house and just feeling like I needed to do something different.......but couldn't affect much change to those larger issues.  I had long felt that when I retired I would cut my hair as short as I could and spike it, because that seemed the easiest thing to do.....and I am into ease.  Then one day when I was getting my short do trimmed, I happened to mention that idea to the beautician and she gave me (without request!) a very short cut.  It was then that I realized that I couldn't really go any shorter because, when cut short, there is a band of hair running from ear to ear that stands straight up........but everything else is totally flat!  With Plan A ruled out, I moved on to Plan B........which was to go in the other direction and just let it grow and see what happened. 

So, as soon as I was no longer working, that is exactly what I did.  There are several ladies with whom I "lunch" every 4-6 weeks, and I was amazed at their response to my "new look".  When I began to think of it, I couldn't remember any one of them ever looking different from when I first met them.  Some are lucky enough to have the type of hair that takes a good cut and looks stylish and "natural".  However, there were many like mine - a short, fixed style that didn't look current or natural, but more something stuck in a time warp!  But this isn't about style or vanity, it's about change.  I was surprised at how amazed people were that I did something different.  It was a positive experience for me because everyone was very complimentary (whether or not deserving), but it was the element of surprise that struck me. Why are we so surprised when someone does something different or makes a change?   Is it because we become so comfortable with the status quo that we resist change?  Is it the fear of the unknown? Do we fear it or do we just not notice that we rarely change even the little things?  Or, even worse, do we feel that because we are older there is no need to change or that change might be considered inappropriate??  As minor as this change has been, the experience has given me lots to think about, especially as I get older.  I don't want to get stuck in a rut just because it's comfortable or easy or even appropriate.....and certainly not because I'm getting older!!

So, the moral of the story is to change things up a bit.  Do something "different" for yourself.....something new, fun, rewarding, exciting, whatever adds a spark to your life.  And do it often!   I remember years ago sitting in the waiting room of a dentist office with another lady.  I just glanced at her and noticed her plain hair, lack of makeup, nondescript clothing, comfortable shoes and said silently to myself, "Poor lady".  At almost the exact same moment I realized that she was about my age and could very well be saying the exact same thing about me!!  I've never forgotten that moment in the waiting room; and that, along with the response to my new hairdo, reminds me that to be static is to miss a lot, especially the delight of experiencing something new.  Sometimes we have to be proactive in creating our life experience, even if it's something as simple as changing a hairstyle.