Friday, January 4, 2013


It struck me as ironic. So much in my life has changed in the last five years. So much. Yet for all the changes, at heart, sometimes, I find myself clinging something, some little crazy thing, refusing to let go, refusing to give it up, afraid of the change.

Hard to explain, but I have an example. My hair. 

I don't have great hair. I never did, not really, but it used to be long, really long. Then I spent a summer trekking around in the swamps without a hat, and sunburned my hair. I had to get quite a bit cut off.

Oh, the trauma.

And then came cancer and my longish hair became no hair at all.

Oh, the trauma.

I'm going into my fifth year cancer free, and my hair's been growing back, and I've been fretting about it, and working with it, and using all manner of hair glop and supplements. I wanted my long hair back. In my mind, it became equated with health, with a return to life before cancer. I don't know. But I really wanted that long hair.

I work in offices now. I've been carefully spiffing my wardrobe up, one piece at a time. I've been watching how other women dress, and how they carry themselves. I've come to the conclusion that I will never be like them. I'll never have the confidence that they do. I don't think you can just pick that up at 55, but this job is teaching me a lot.

This morning, I studied my reflection in the mirror as I fussed with my hair. My hair has a strange trick. It goes from okay to 'meh' to gees, I should have gotten my hair cut a week ago, all in the span of 24 hours, seems like. So I made up my mind to stop and get my hair trimmed on the way home from work.

On that drive home, it struck me: I'm ready for a change. I want that change. I want to be different.

While I waited for my stylist, I picked up a book. I picked out a hair cut. I pondered my own hair. I thought it might work. When I showed it to my stylist, she studied my hair. She told me that it would be shorter. I told her I didn't want to grow it out anymore. I got my hair cut. I made the decision, and I didn't waffle about it, and I got it cut.

Furthermore, when I walked out, I bought a can of hair product that I'd been eyeing months now, wondering what it would do for me. Not quite finished, I went to the makeup aisle. I needed makeup, and I really liked the minerals I had bought a couple months ago, and then used up, and couldn't bring myself to spend the money at Christmas time to replace them. Today I spent it.

I stepped out into the cold wind, and walked to the car with my two little bags.

Generally speaking there would be this niggling feeling of shame at spending that kind of money on myself.

Today, there wasn't. Today, I felt like I deserved it.

When I told Tim that I'd spent $60 on myself, I did not feel the need to apologize. Tim did not act as if he was waiting for an apology.

Today, I was different.


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Mom! Can't wait to see the new 'do! :)

Love, Brianna

jeanie said...

Well done! I am contemplating all sorts of things, and to do the hair is a great idea!! V's Mum (or Mom) is coming to visit from California in a month - I think I shall place my head in her hands.

Scotty said...

You know, I'm in two minds about this post, Debby.

The first part says to me, "Way to go, girl."

The second part says, "Clothes, hair, breasts, bum, legs, societal expectations, etc, do not make the woman; the woman maketh the woman, ya know?" And yet, having said that, I hear ya, and I revert to point 1.

Seems to me that you shine, under most circumstances, Debby.

Would love to meet you (and Tim, of course, one day - it's on my bucket list, lol.)

Anyway, I hope you guys have a great 2013 - all the best to you and yours.

A Novel Woman said...

My hair is not what it once was either, and just tonight I was sitting there pondering what it would be like to cut it short again. I wore it short short SHORT in high school, then I let it grow to shoulder length and it hasn't changed in...probably 30 years. And just last week I shopped with my two daughters as they bought makeup and I treated myself to some charcoal eyeshadow (!!) and black eyeliner (!!!) and came home feeling quite chuffed. I swear we are twins separated at birth.

BUSH BABE said...

Yay for you! Of COURSE you shouldn't feel guilty... I think it's all a great investment. It makes you feel good about you. And that feeling ALWAYS rubs off on those around you. You have more to give when you feel good about you. (Did that make sense?).

Reb said...

I'm on the other side of the hair quandry :) My hair has ALWAYS been in 2" short! At 55 I decided to make a change. My hair is now below my shoulders, all one length. I love the ease of pulling it up when I'm doing my outside stuff. It doesn't really take me any longer to do in the morning, and I seem to mess with it less during the day. Does everyone love it? Nope, but I don't care (a bonus of being older). I'm happy with it.
I've always worn makeup because I'm in a public, female oriented career. I got to the point that I couldn't wear mascara AND contacts so? I chose to see :) A big makeup day for me now is a little powder and eyeliner :)
I don't think your decision is as much about "looking better" or falling into female "norms" as it is about change. You have gone through a lot in the past 5 years, you've made it through stronger. You are now spreading those colorful tail feathers and letting everyone else know how good you feel inside!

Leenie said...

DITTIO to BB's comment.

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steviewren said...

Good for you! I want to see a photo tool

I changed my hair-do recently. It is now the shortest it's been since I was a pre-teen. I've gotten nothing but compliments...wish I'd done it a long time ago.