Friday, May 29, 2015

I Cried Because I Had Bad Hair

"I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet" ~ Author Unknown

It has not been lost on me, that I have been expending an extraordinary amount of time obsessing about things that really don't matter as of late - the fact that I have not been wearing my age well, the effort it takes to maintain "pretty feet and hands", bad hair and the list goes on and on, my friend.

I have been cringing each and every time I take a look in the mirror. I finally picked up the phone and made an appointment for a full hair makeover tonight. Cut, color, the works. 

I told my stylist, "There is absolutely nothing I like about my hair. Except the fact that I have it." She replied, "I can fix that! Or I will certainly try..."

I was actually very serious about the fact that I know my bad hair days are not the end of the world. 

I have hair. I have a lot of hair. The fact that I find it unmanageable is actually quite a good problem to have. The side effect of looking at said hair in the mirror and allowing it to affect my day is my problem. And a minor one at that.

I knew this, yet I still allowed myself to focus my attention towards it. Perhaps because there is something I can (try) to do to fix the problem at hand.

I am all about "doing what is within your power" to fix or adjust or adapt to life's frustrations. I do it all the time.

I google everything. I write out many of my thoughts and try to live a life where I will not regret what I have or have not said. 

If I invest enough energy worrying about something, I do my level best to try to do something to deal with the worry of the moment.

Life has been so terribly serious. Too many people I know are dealing with serious health issues. There is nothing I can do for anyone. Except reach out ...

Last night I did just that. The gift of reaching out in a quiet, one-sided manner, is that the person on the other end of that gesture can respond when they have the time, energy and ability to do so.

Lucky me. That person called me back last night. We talked like we have talked on many other occasions. She has an ability to laugh on the outside, even though I can only assume that it may be a case of "If I don't laugh, I might cry and I choose laughter".

She is a warrior. She is fighting the good fight and it has been an uphill battle. She is certain things are about to change. It is the only way left for things to go.

An intensive regimen of radiology is on her agenda and she is laughing about the fact that she no longer has to worry about the hair growing back from recent brain surgery. She laughed as she said, "It will probably all fall out any way, so I don't even have to worry about the gray hair that is showing!"

"I cried because I had bad hair, until I met the woman may lose her hair".

I worry about the little things because sometimes I feel like those are the only things that are within my control. 

Life is too full of things where we feel completely powerless. I spoke to my warrior friend and laughed along with her last night. And it was good.

Tonight I will go and deal with my unmanageable hair. And be grateful for what, I consider to be a frustration, is truly a blessing. I really knew this all along but it never hurts for life to remind me to keep my priorities in focus.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dirty Work

This whole "cleaning up" thing sure dominates one's world once you open the door and enter.

It started small.

We shuffled the contents of three bedrooms. We moved a few beds. I designated one room for "office"; the other for "daycare"; and my son created room for a desk which would house "his future" (more on that, another day).

With this shuffling of contents, came the collecting and donating of some of our excess.

All of this began because I wanted a separate computer for my work. This somehow transitioned into cleaning up our existing computer and transferring only the cleaned up files onto my new laptop. And somehow segued into my son claiming ownership of the old computer while I have sole access to my new one.

With this transfer of computer ownership, came a massive deleting and organizing of computer files.

This was an onerous task. But at least it was a clean one.

Finally, I shifted my focus onto the garage. The garage has not been my own for about five or so years. My son moved in and back out of the house during that time and he took ownership of the cleaning and culling of the garage while he was a permanent resident here.

Then he moved out.

I realized this week, that he forgot to pack up the garage when he vacated. I knew I had moved an oil pan, full of dirty oil, from one side of the garage to a corner of its own. But I didn't realize he had also left an assortment of other "stuff". I think he forgot as well. Either that, or he knew it all along and was just waiting to see how long it would take for me to finally clean up the garage and let him know what I had found.

It took eleven months. But I finally did it.

I am not done, but I am close. What a dirty, dusty, gross and disgusting job it has been.

I only found a small amount of evidence that a mouse has been in the neighborhood. But at least this time, I didn't find a corpse or anything to indicate it moved its family in with it. I think it left for greener pastures a long time ago.

Even though the garage needs one last "heave ho", to rid it of what I deem is unnecessary, I can't quite believe how much lighter I feel every time I walk into it.

I have been putting off this dirty job for forever. I have every excuse under the sun to justify why it has taken me so long. Some of them are even good ones.

Now that the job is done, I just want to keep on going. Except for one thing.

This is dirty work!

Add that to regular lawn maintenance and the fact that it is so dry and dusty outside that you need a shower every time you invest any time at all to enjoying this fine spring weather and I am rethinking the whole "Dirty Thirties" thing.

In the thick of the depression, there was also a drought. Bathing was a once-a-week event at the best of times in those days. As I have felt the need to hop into the shower on a daily basis during this dusty season of minimal work (compared to the word that was done on a regular basis during the Dirty Thirties), I can't help but wonder how I would have survived without an abundant supply of running water.

At least these days, when we do have dirty work to do, the ability to clean off the grime is as simple as turning on a tap.

And I complain about having to deal with the aftermath of washing my hair after an eternal bad haircut. What does my brother's family refer to this as?? Twenty first century First world (thanks, bro) problems perhaps?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hidden Treasures

Let it be known that I rarely say that I "clean". I tidy up, I declutter, I sort, I organize, I vacuum and I tend to a little dust and dirt I find along my way. But I rarely make the statement "I cleaned the house today". Or the car.

Recently, I did a little vacuuming and dusting inside of the car before I headed to Mom's one weekend. I also smudged the windows. I thought I cleaned them but I think all I did was create smears and rearranged the dirt.

I did not say I "cleaned" the car. It's more like I made it presentable for any passengers who may enter.

Last week I sold my second car. I didn't clean it either but I did remove my clutter and personal belongings from within and placed them in a flimsy plastic grocery bag and abandoned said bag on the floor for five days.

I was headed out the door last night and thought I may as well take that forgotten bag of "car stuff" and find a new home for it within my car.

In doing so, I opened a compartment between the driver and passenger seat which I have long neglected.

It appears I filled that space with take-out napkins until it was full, to overflowing, then found a new spot for the napkins.

I cannot remember the last time I looked in this spot.

Upon opening it up last night and discovering an envelope with my sister's writing on it, which said "Gas money", I would have to guess it has been long over a year ago.

The last time I dug through the napkins which lie within that space was when my sister told me that she and my other sister had left an envelope in that very compartment long after they were nestled back into their respective homes when I attended my school reunion in the fall of 2013.

You see, I tend to find these little "envelopes" when and where I least expect them:

I texted my sister when I made this discovery last night and wondered when in the world she left this envelope behind. All I could think of, when we last met for a "sister brunch" in April, I drove her back to my place but I certainly didn't use that much gas.

Well, apparently she left this in my car when I drove her an hour or so out of the city to meet up with our other sister to drive out to Mom's. In April of 2014. OVER a year ago!

I am one part amused and another part mortified. 

My sister now knows that I do NOT clean my car on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis. I rewound the tape in my mind and wondered if I ever "bragged" about cleaning. I thought, no, I rarely say I actually "clean" something. I wipe layers of dust off things. I pick my battles. I tidy and vacuum what shows. I do NOT do deep cleaning. 

But maybe I should. I have had a few guests in my house from time to time over the course of the past few years. Maybe there are more envelopes begging to be found. 

It could be like a treasure hunt!!

If nothing else, maybe I'll find our cat's lost ball and the missing piece of pizza that goes with the Little Tykes kitchen...

Hey, "Thanks, sis!! Sorry it took so long!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Post Without a Point and Nowhere to Go

This time yesterday morning, my mind was racing with ways I could squeeze the most into the last quiet hour of my day, in an effort to make up for a lost Sunday.

Today, I am content. I did as much as I could with yesterday and my efforts have given me this one hour "off".

I work better under pressure. My thoughts flow better, I am spurred into action and I race to see how much I can squeeze into one short hour.

Today, I am of the mind where I could happily curl up into a ball on the couch and just inhale those sixty minutes.

In other words, if I didn't have a job to do this morning, I believe I would waste the entire day that is sitting here before me.

I have a love/hate relationship with the frantic side of myself. 

I love knowing I still "have what it takes" to do what needs to be done when the chips are down. I hate the person I am when I am racing against the clock under pressure. 

Give me free time and I waste it. Give me a job to do and it gets done. Give me an hour with nothing to say and I'll say too much.

Maybe I'll wander off and send off some emails instead. My thoughts are quite literally going nowhere this morning. 

That's it. This was a post about nothing. 

"Happy Tuesday!"

Monday, May 25, 2015

One Thing at a Time

"You can put your mind in order by focusing on one thing at a time. 
You can put your environment in order by clearing out the old and useless things that are taking up space. 
You can put your spirit in order by replacing fearful, doubtful, angry thoughts with thoughts about the grace of God." 
~ Iyanla Vanzant

I read this quote yesterday morning and decided to follow that mantra for the day. 

"One thing at a time".

I have become so scrambled, disjointed and feel like I have a "bazallion" things to start, to finish and to do. It is not unusual to find my to-do-piles strewn about the house. 

Yesterday was no different.

An income tax job I must complete was set out on the kitchen table. Some interesting "historical" budgeting and net worth statements were on the opposite end of the table. My current financial work was piled on the corner of the computer desk and a few addressed envelopes sat adjacent to my bank book as they awaited their finishing touches.

I sit down at the computer and it is not uncommon for me to open a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet (or three), find the need to open up a picture file and at least three "Windows" seem to be open on my browser at all times.

All of this clutter sat in front of me and all I could think of was the movie I wanted to watch.

I closed all the Windows on the computer and exited from every other document I was perusing. I filed away the paperwork on the kitchen table.  

I grabbed my cup of coffee and sat still to watch a movie. My cell phone, our house phone and the iPad were all out of sight and out of my reach. 

I turned off the world and turned on the TV.

I decided to do only "one thing at a time" yesterday. I chose to watch TV. 

I walked into this weekend thinking of the remainder of things on my to-do-list from last weekend. One of those items was "four more movies to watch".

This past weekend, I watched three movies. And it was good.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Trust and Be Prepared to Be Amazed

I used to obsess about my finances.

I planned, I projected, I did my best to pay down debt, save and have a little "in case of emergency" fund. I budgeted and accounted for every single penny.

The more I counted my pennies, the more pennies I seemed to need.

I had every bill covered with little room left for the unexpected. The unexpected always happened. Where there is a car, a house and a family there are always surprises.

There seemed to be a direct correlation between the amount of energy I spent obsessing about money and the amount of money I felt I needed. There was never, ever, ever enough.

I don't know what shifted my perspective in my "worry to money ratio". It may have happened when I rid myself of five different accounts to budget for every contingency I could imagine. I amalgamated all of my savings with all of my debt and my enemies started living together under one roof. Surprisingly, they have lived quite well together.

Since that time, I have stopped "sweating the small stuff". When times are good, I sock away my money and pile it onto my debt. When times are lean, I borrow from that same debt sparingly.

Unfortunately I have had quite a few lean years in recent history.

Going back to school was the death of my finances but resuscitated me in so many ways.

The years when I attempted to redirect my career were the hardest years I can remember living but they taught me more than a formal education ever could have.

The leanest years of my life took and gave back to me, in proportion to each other. Mentally and financially.

I just went back to the archives of my financial history.

I have accumulated $17,107 more debt since my return to school. In that same stretch of history, my pension has grown by almost $50,000. My savings is an ever-changing number and has been depleted by almost $2,000 but the number that is in there now is more of a "static" number.

I went back further in time and I am aghast to see the years I felt the poorest, I had the least amount of debt and the most amount of savings. I guess counting every single penny did have its advantages.

Now that wasn't the direction I was headed when I started writing this post!

My point (which feels slightly moot at the moment) is that by lessening the energy I spend on worrying, I have found "things always work out in the end".

For each and every extra-curricular expense, I have found an unexpected windfall on the opposite end of the spending spectrum.

I planned a purely whimsical trip to see Dancing With the Stars in Las Vegas. The cost of this trip was simply absorbed by some unexpected gift money that had been tossed my way.

Recently I ordered some extra family history books for both my mom and dad's families. Surprisingly, I had some unexpected financial bonuses which equalled almost the exact amount of my book order.

As I considered the expense of a new computer verses the need, I hovered back and forth in a state of indecision for quite some time before letting my income tax refund (almost the exact amount of the new computer) make the decision for me.

This week, I took the plunge and booked flights and accommodations for a trip to see my uncle. I invited my mom along for the ride.

I planned this trip for all the right reasons and knew without a doubt I would find a way (or it would simply work out) that this would not cause my financial situation any undue hardship. What has transpired is beyond amazing.

My son just happened to need to buy a car without shopping for one. I just happened to have a spare one sitting on the driveway. He paid double my asking price but my price was enough to cover my trip. My trip is paid in full.

Add onto that equation, the fact that my mom overpaid me for doing her income tax. Add that total to the refund I will get for cancelling my car registration/insurance and not only do I have my ticket paid in full, but my mom's as well.

Me, the spendthrift in the family, throws my money around without a second thought when it comes to simply doing the right thing.

This trip was the right thing to do. I knew it without a doubt. I spent first and budgeted later. The end result is nothing short of amazing.

I was telling my cousin (a minister) of the miracle of my spending lately. I worry less and it always works out in the end, in the most unexpected ways. He spoke of a the "gift of provision" (law of provision??) and if we just relax and trust (in God) we are always provided for.

I am quite certain my cousin could speak more eloquently than me, but the long and short of it is (to me) "Trust, and you shall be amazed".

This line of thinking hasn't served me too well in the department of romance, but hey! Maybe it is because I didn't trust enough. Hmmm ... food for thought, for another day.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Commitment Issues

I woke up with a pit in my stomach this morning.

I had a family email to tend; a text message I sent last night, that felt cool and abrupt and I wanted send an apology; a daycare blog to update; a guilty conscience about one of my little people's reaction to the sun/sunscreen combination (thus, a plan to spend today in the shade &/or inside to alleviate the need for sunscreen); PLUS the knowledge that I must work tomorrow.

Thus, I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders today.

I can go with the flow of my life but my tipping point seems to be my weekend employment.

I would and could never say this to my boss. Once I get there, I have no problem (and actually enjoy) putting in a full day's work. I leave feeling satisfied and like I have accomplished something important.

It is simply committing to that day that depletes me. This is why I find it so very, very hard to plan ahead these days.

Yes, I just booked a four-day visit to see my uncle. But there was an ulterior motive. By doing so, I freed up those four days I would have "spent" during my ten day summer vacation.

I am/was feeling a small amount of anxiety because I forfeited a week of summer holidays this year, in lieu of the extra days off I had to ask for over the course of the past year.

I need to keep my  holidays commitment-free.

I hate when I wake up in the morning and feel so completely depleted before I even place one foot on the floor.

This is my most unfavorite day of the week. Waking up to the knowledge that my weekend is not my own.

I think I have "commitment issues"

Thursday, May 21, 2015

High Maintenance Season

It isn't even summer yet and I'm exhausted with the extra curricular personal grooming requirements.

My first order of business was to splurge (it is more about the time than the money) and treat myself with a manicure and pedicure.

The manicure was spurred on by my mom's passing comments about my hands. When she read my post about "Aging Disgracefully", she assured me the waitress was talking to her, when she pointedly asked me if I qualified for Senior Discount (age 65 and above). I disagreed. The waitress was gazing directly into my eyes when she asked the question. That's okay. It is what it is.

Mom, in an oh-so-serious voice said, "I wouldn't worry about your face so much. But have you had a good look at your hands lately?!?"

I laughed. What can you do? Waitresses think I'm eleven years older than I am. Mom thinks my hands are older than that. It comes with the territory. I'm 54 years old and apparently, I'm not wearing it well.

I have been slathering my hands with lotion ever since my conversation with Mom. And I decided a "mani/pedi" was a good investment for my mind, body and soul.

Besides, I couldn't be bothered to take the time to spiff up my own appendages. I get distracted easily and I can't remember the last time I filed all ten of my fingers in one sitting. I'm more of a "tend to it when it needs tending" kind of girl. Ragged nail? File it down. Try to make the others match. Then I need a cup of coffee or to get rid of that last cup of coffee or check my email. There is always something.

I took my pretty feet outside in sandals yesterday. At the day's end they obviously needed to be hosed off.

I thought I would take a few extra minutes and use a pumice stone to keep my feet silky smooth as I go along, rather than wait for the calluses to form. Instead? All I did was rough them up. They are already feeling like sand paper. And it has only been four days since my pedicure. What's with that?!!!

Then there is all this "going outside with the kids" business. We spend hours outside. A few hours in the morning and a few hours in the afternoon. Oh! My! Gosh! Cleaning up "said children" after a morning in the sandbox was an exercise in futility. I stripped them down, changed their clothes from top to bottom and scrubbed their hands and feet. And we still ended up with three sand piles in the house despite my efforts.

Apparently the kids weren't the only dirty ones. When I finally shifted my focus to myself, I could see I was in need of a change of clothes just as much as the kids. I come inside at the end of my days looking like I've been working in a sand pit.

Which means my hair and body require a hose-down as well.

Washing my hair makes me grumpy. It has been a godsend to turn as old as I have become because the oil glands in one's hair settle down and I can sometimes stretch out the hair washing torture to once a week. One week of not having to deal with the aftermath of washing my hair makes me happy.

Not lately though!

Mow the lawn? Wash your hair. Clean out the car? Wash your hair. Walk in the wind? Wash your hair. Sit/stand beside a sandbox? Wash your hair.

I think I've washed my last dye job out of my hair. Thus, I need to tend to my roots!!

Egads!! Where does this body maintenance end? Winter?!?

Hmmm. Maybe I'll quit my complaining and just enjoy summer for what it is. If it is making me shift my focus towards a little repair and maintenance on this aging body of mine, maybe that is a good thing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

When You Know Where You Are Going...

Do you ever feel like you should do something but don't act on it? But the times you do act, you absolutely know without a doubt that it was the right thing to do? Me too!

So I took what life has taught me and set a plan into action.

The idea has been in the back of my mind for six months. I made a proposal to Mom and asked her to join me when she was in the thick of her medical worries this past winter. I needed to think out and beyond the present and bring her along with me. So I asked.

A few weeks ago, she mentioned that idea once again. This time, her sister asked her if she would consider the idea. Her answer was, "Actually, I have been thinking of doing [exactly what  you just suggested]."

Monday morning, the right set of thought waves set a plan into action.

Step #1. Ask for the time off. I needed two days attached to the lonely holiday Wednesday on July 1st. By the day's end, my wish was granted.

Step #2. Find a means to get there and a place to stay. I checked online and found my answers.

Step #3. Contact those on the destination end of my plans and see if the idea was feasible. Once again, I received my answer by the day's end.

Step #4. ACT!!

And that is exactly what I did.

I set the date, the place and the time. I reserved our rooms. Then I called Mom, gave her this information and all she had to do was to say, "Yes". And that is exactly what she did. A quiet, firm and without hesitation "Yes!"

Mom and I are flying out to see my uncle on July 1st. The flights are booked, the accommodations are taken care of. The details are minute.

We are going.

Mom said, "YES!"

Sometimes in life, we just need it to be as easy as saying "yes" or "no". We need someone else to take care of the details.

I'm a detail person. I can do that.

This feels as right to me, as it did when I surprised Mom on Mother's Day weekend with a quick trip out to her place to take her out for supper.

It is the right thing to do.

I wavered for a millisecond yesterday and then I reread the last sentence of the quote I posted yesterday morning. "... When you know where you are going, the universe will clear a path for you." ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Well Universe, we did our part. I have faith that you will keep your end of the bargain. Because we are booked and we know where you are going. All we need from you is a clear path.

"Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Spent a Lot This Past Weekend

Well that was a very good way to spend a weekend. And spend is exactly what I did.

Friday, I spent what was left of the day tending to the house and chores I didn't want haunting me over the weekend.

Saturday, I spent money. I spent $275.87 to be exact. I diversified my spending and feel like a little went a long way. Then I came home and worked with other people's money and completed as much as I could do on my bookkeeping work.

Sunday, I spent words. Lots of words. Columns got out, I wrote a few notes, a long overdue email got written and I visited with family. Oh dear, I spent a lot of words that day. It is less exhausting to spend money.

Monday, I spent time. I devoted a great deal of energy to reviving the dreamer in me. Then I took what was left over of the time I had left and spent my energy on doing "hard things". My daycare photos are almost organized and my daycare newsletter is almost complete. The lawn was mowed and trimmed by the time Dancing With the Stars began.

I am looking forward to the end of the official TV season. Grey's Anatomy wound up last week and DWTS will award their gold mirrorball tonight and put that to rest.

I can turn off the television set and focus my attention and energy in my own back yard. I still have a garage to clean, a box of papers to shred and four more movies to watch. Other than that, I accomplished all that was on my weekend to-do list.

It energizes me to cross those long neglected and must-do tasks off of my never ending list. But I found where my energy lies. It is in the dream state.

I started scheming yesterday morning and a few more pieces have to fall into place before I can make any formal plans. But it feels good to dream again. It is where my positive ions reside. I need to visit that place of my dreams more frequently.

"Planning is the only way to keep yourself on track. Plan your moments to be joyous. Plan your days to be filled with peace. Plan your life to be an experience of growth. When you know where you are going, the universe will clear a path for you." ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Well Universe, I know exactly where I want to go. I'll do my part if you do yours.

I'll let you know more when I know more. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Parenthood Rating

I like when my children sit still with me and rate me how am doing (and how I have done) in my role as a parent.

There is nothing like the brutal honesty of your own child to see things from a new perspective. What intrigues me most is the different vantage points. Add that to "what I know" about myself and the errors of my ways and I think I've got a decent perspective on how I've rated over the years.

My oldest son tells me the truth. Time and time again. My mom loved him unconditionally. He knew that as a child and he knows it now. I missed the memo on mother/baby bonding and I did it wrong. I did it all so very wrong. No matter what has transpired between then and now, my son's heart feels that lack of bonding and unconditional, unwavering love.

I get it. I truly do. I was so very young and naive and just plain stupid. Yes, I know that is the wrong way to describe myself. But the truth of the matter, is that it is the truth. I was seventeen years old and I didn't know anything. I didn't love anyone more than myself in those days and I didn't care too much for myself at the time, so you can only imagine what was not left over to give my baby boy.

My middle son has memories of the tirades between him and me. The one he quotes (but there are oh, so many more) is the time I said, "If you slam that door one more time, I'm taking it off". He proceeded to test my ability to follow through and apparently I did what I said I would do. He tells me I was right to be strict because he was well aware that he was in need of discipline.

We have the ability to talk of everything these days. I do believe he got a better mother than his older brother did. I learned to love outside of myself by the time he was born and he felt the difference. As angry as I got, I think he knew I had his back. And he had mine. An incident with a parent of one of his friends when he was a teen, drove that point home. It is mutual, this thing called "love".

My youngest son has not quite reached the point of adulthood and we have had no skirmishes that I can recall. We have had such an easy going relationship. There are no demands, there have been no shouting matches, we speak to each other with kindness and respect. It is amazing. It is a gift.

Recently, he "hit a wall" and had no idea which way to turn. He just knew he had reached a breaking point with his expectations of himself and he couldn't maintain them. So he stopped dead in his tracks and "quit". He may have quit school at that point if it was a viable option. His older brother did (quit school) and if I had known then, what I know now, I would have acted and reacted so differently.

One child taught me what I needed to know to raise the next. And so on and so forth. Oh, how I wish I had had a practise child. There are so many things I would do differently.

My youngest son sat with me yesterday as we watched over my little daycare family together. He reminisced about what he thought and felt when he was little. He remembered my hands off style of parenting.

I never doted or cajoled over any one of my children. I treated them much the way I treat my little daycare family at the park. I will not lift them up to any precipice they cannot reach on their own. I don't push them beyond their own limits. When they reach a point that is scary to them, I don't lift them up and over it. I stand close so I can catch them if they fall and urge them to feel their way down to safety. If they know how to reach solid ground on their own, I can trust them to try new things.

My son said he didn't like that feeling at the time, but he said he realizes now that it was the right thing to do.

He told me he watches how parents discipline their children as he rides the bus to and from school each day. He compares and contrasts "their way" with "my way". He agrees with my methods and justifies other parent's methods because they are not running a daycare and/or they are sitting on a bus with others watching so perhaps they are being lenient.

I am 36-1/2 years into this parenting gig and I'm finally getting a passing grade. Maybe I should have opened my daycare first...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Power of a Quiet Morning

The clock is ticking its way towards the beginning of my daycare day and I cannot seem to cram enough into my morning hours.

It is the quiet of the morning that I am absolutely craving by the end of my work week. Knowing my day is not going to walk in my door at 7:30 and consume the next ten hours is the gift of "Saturday" and "Sunday".

It is really no wonder that I am having a hard time leaving the house to go to my weekend job some weeks.

My bookkeeping boss is incredibly wonderful that way. The majority of the time, we only work one day of the weekend. Time off is given like a fairy godmother's wishes are granted for Cinderella. All I have to do is ask, and POOF! my wish is her command (even if we must negotiate a way to make it work).

My boss also acknowledges we both have lives and she gave both of us "Mother's Day weekend" and this upcoming long weekend off.

The load that lifts off my shoulders is incredible. If it wasn't for my rediscovery of the amazing combination of chips and dip (and other snacks just as tasty), I would feel twenty pounds lighter. But even with that I feel like I can almost float when the weight is lifted.

I k....

That train of thought left the building at 7:24 a.m. when my day started walking in the door. It is now 8:55 a.m. and I am already fantasizing about the freedom my upcoming long weekend will bring into my mornings and the three days which follow tomorrow.

I backed the car out of the garage (to take it in for repairs) this morning, and wished for a day where I could clean out the garage while the car was out to play. Then a light bulb went on. I can back the car out of the garage any day. I really don't have to wait until the car is out getting serviced, to clean the garage.

I shall clean that garage! I will shred the box of paper which has been sitting beside the shredder since Easter. I hope to watch a movie or five. I must get some more columns submitted. I want to write the winter/spring daycare newsletter that has been sitting on my to-do-list since January. I am committed to working on an "income tax job" I have taken on.

I would love it if my car went no further than the driveway, while I clean out the garage, because all I need is right in my own "back yard". It always is. It always has been.

Everything that fulfills me is within these walls I so gratefully call a home. Friends and family are only a card or letter, a phone call, an email or a text away. I think that is why I am so drawn to employment that I can do without stepping out this door.

The furthest I hope to go away from home this weekend is the garage.

It is now 9:10 a.m. and I have no idea what my point was (or if I had one) when I started this post back before my daycare family walked in this door and filled up every nook and cranny of the morning.

I am oh-so-grateful for employment that is delivered to my door five days a week. But just don't expect too terribly much of me on the remaining day or two I have left after my work commitments are fulfilled. Sometimes a have a lot left over but more often (I'm sorry!) I am in dire need of a weekend just like the one I see in my forecast.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'll Take an Hour, Please

I have done more with "one hour" these past few days than I have done with a week the past several years.

Hallelujah! I feel like one small piece of me is finding its way home.

Now, what is the key??

A goal, a deadline or a reward seems to be what's in it to win it for me.

I tricked myself into going away for the weekend because I told myself I could back out at any time. No one was expecting me to do anything. The choice was all mine.

I needed that back-out clause. I have somehow created the belief that I must do things and that need is suffocating me.

By creating a way to cancel without hurting anyone's feelings or letting anyone down, I played a little game of "if I don't go, I will have everything done and I can just sit back and do what I want to do all weekend".

It worked like a charm.

I did go away and I returned to a home that was exactly has I left it, thanks to my Youngest Son who is pretty much perfect that way. He doesn't create work for me. He is a godsend. In so many ways...

That was followed up by a half hour gift at the end of a daycare day. Everyone was gone a half hour earlier than normal. That half hour, combined with the other half hour that I normally fritter away, became enough time to mow and trim the lawn. I had five minutes to grab some food and settle in to watch Dancing With the Stars.

Last night, I had a meeting with someone who needed help with their income tax. I had exactly one hour and five minutes between the time my daycare family left and she arrived.

Before I knew it, I was racing out the door to buy groceries. I didn't have time to pick up take-out food on my way home but I knew a fast meal I could make. I made supper, put away groceries, ate and even had time to brush my teeth before she arrived.

She apologized all over the place for making me rush around after my busy work day and I assured her that I normally use my "day job" as an excuse to sit and do absolutely nothing at the end of the day. I thanked her for the gift of that hour to do more than I normally accomplish all night.

My daycare days are busier. And the phone just keeps on ringing. It isn't ringing off the hook, but my spots are filling up as they are becoming vacant.

My daycare is "full" and I have a waiting list. An opportunity to take on some extra work helping someone with their income tax came out of no where.

I am busier than I have been for a very long time. And I am getting more "extracurricular" work done around the house than I have done for even longer than that.

Funny how that works.

Give me a year and I'll take six years to do the job. Give me a week and I'll take a month. But give me an hour?? And I'll get more done than I would have done with five more of those hours.

I'll take an hour any day of the week!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Exactly the Kind of Weekend I Needed

I popped out to my mom's for the weekend and despite my complaints about "needing time for myself", this past weekend was exactly what I needed.

I took care of more little tasks Friday evening and Saturday morning than I would have accomplished all weekend, had I stayed home.

Little things, like "laundry" were done and over with before I sat down with my morning smoothie Saturday morning.

Medium things, like vacuuming out the accumulation of "winter grit and grime" from the car and giving it a minor dusting and polishing felt like I had moved a mountain. Maybe only a hill.

Harder things, like taking the car in for an oil change as I headed out of the city got done instead of put off until another day.

I tidied up the house before I left. Nothing big. Just vacuuming, sweeping and generally leaving the place in a condition that was ready for my upcoming work week upon my return home on Sunday.

I noticed the yard needed some TLC but I didn't have time for that. Instead, I placed it on my Mother's Day Wish List.

My fairy godmother did not drop by while I was gone and grant my wish but instead, I received the gift of "early pick-ups" yesterday. All of my daycare family was picked up by 5:00 and I had the lawn mower and weed eater at-the-ready. I started mowing by 5:00, the job was complete by 5:55 and I was sitting down to watch Dancing With the Stars by 6:00.

I could have dragged "all of the above" out, over the course of the weekend and little jobs would have taken on a bigger feeling.

Instead, I just kept nicking away at the pile and nothing felt too onerous or heavy.

Add onto that "lightening of the load" feeling, the fact that I savored the solitude of eleven hours of driving without speaking. Thoughts wafted in, out and through my mind like a spring breeze. Songs played on the radio that brought me back in time and I sat and enjoyed the memories of where the music took me.

After I my quota of alone time was met, I arrived at my destination. I filled up the car before I got to Mom's so my car and I both arrived on Mom's doorstep on "full".

Our visit was light and easy. There has been so much "heaviness" lately that we were ready for an easy, laid back visit.

My brother and his family wafted in and out my time at Mom's. Mom suggested we go for a "morning drive" Mother's Day morning and we met my brother for breakfast an hour out of the city, in a homeward bound direction for me.

I take these little things for granted. I know I do. The ability to pick up the phone and surprise Mom with a Mother's Day visit and her wistful suggestion of a "breakfast in Vegreville".

Only a few short months ago we were sitting at a fork in the road and had no idea which road was going to open up for us.

I like the road we are on. It is old, it is familiar but it is oh, so comfortable. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like my comfortable, worn out ruts. Nothing much has changed but oh so much has happened to bring us back to this warm and familiar place.

There is no place like home! Thanks, Mom.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Aging Disgracefully

My 50th birthday came and went and this whole "aging" thing really wasn't an issue with me.

I didn't feel my age, I was trying new things, going new places, I felt vibrant and my inner 27-year-old self was alive and well.

Little things started alerting me to the fact that others didn't see me the same way I felt about myself.

The police officer who assumed all the toys in our playhouse (some kids had snuck inside and set various items on fire) were my grandchildren's.

Then there was some idle chatter about my age when I was getting to know some fellow-students that same year. Normally the conversation goes something like this, "You sure don't look that [49 years] old!" This time, there was a knowing nod among these strangers in my midst. Like "We were sure wondering how old you were!"

I laughed it off and kept living my merry little life inside my delusional bubble.

I took up Zumba with a passion and started noticing there weren't many people there who were older than me. I made a valiant attempt to become a Zumba instructor and I was definitely the oldest in the room within many of the classes I took.

I would make flip comments about my age to my young Zumba pals and they would acknowledge how great it was to see "someone my age" setting such an example.

Yes, basically you could have knocked me over the head with a big rock and I still didn't see what the rest of the world was seeing. I felt young inside but my age was catching up with my face and body.

I don't deny that when I looked in the mirror or caught a glimpse of a really bad any photo, I knew the truth. I was aging. But I still thought it was just par for the course. I was over 50. I may have been fooling myself as to how young I felt, but my face was giving away all of my secrets.

The reminders of my aging body have been pelting me in the face pretty steadily the past little while.

Young children ask if I have grandchildren. A sales clerk innocently asked me if I had mentioned I was retired. No one questions when I order the senior portions off the menu (I am always very careful to say "I would like to order the senior portion [not the senior meal!]" Please let it be known, I am not an actual senior.

My reality is that I went to my sister's, with the knowledge that I had a chin hair to contend with, but I completely forgot about it. When I remembered about it the next morning and went to pull it out, it was actually long enough that it was starting to curl. I looked like Buzz Lightyear!!

I got over that drama and quietly chuckled a self depreciating chortle to myself. And consoled myself that at least my chin hear was gray, so hopefully not too many people noticed.

Last weekend, I went out with a friend, see a musical group perform at a restaurant. I have been there and done that before and my neck always ends up very, very sore because you never get a "head on" view of the performers in a restaurant. I always end up with my head turned to one side for much too long. It is very uncomfortable and detracts from the whole musical experience. So this time, I slathered on a generous supply of Voltaren lotion. I noticed the Voltaren scent and once again, I chuckled to myself the lingering fragrance I was leaving behind was one of a "senior" nature.

I put on my comfy, worn out Dr. Sholl square toed, double wide black shoes with rocks in the heels (because they are so worn out) and I was off. No one would see my feet. We would be sitting in an awkward position at a table. 

I wore my most favorite clothes and I am pretty sure I decided to skip the accessories (earrings and lip gloss) in favor of lip balm and bare ear lobes.

Yes. That was me. The plain, old woman, smelling of Voltaren in her worn out old comfy shoes. Hey! At least I had a new haircut!! One clump of my bangs kept falling in my eyes and I felt like the sheepdog on the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes show, but I thought I was exuding the essence of "someone who tried". Sort of.

I do now see the writing on the wall. This day was so close to coming, that it probably already came and went and I didn't even notice.

Yesterday, my brother and I went out for a Mother's Day breakfast with our mom. Our waitress was explaining the buffet and special deal for seniors. She was making a lot of eye contact with me and I thought this had a lot to do with the fact that I felt very dapper in my new T-shirt and some different earrings I had dug out of my earring box. And I felt happy. I was mentally buffing my nails on my shoulder feeling pretty good about myself.

Then my little disillusional bubble burst all over my face, when the waitress looked me in the eye and asked if I was 65 years old, to qualify for this special.

Yes, my dear sisters, you may laugh long and hard and loud. It is hilarious! 

I now officially look not only my age, but eleven years beyond it!! 

Perhaps I need another new prescription for my glasses. I knew I was aging but I really didn't grasp how badly it is going for me.

At least no one can call me a grandma ....

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Despise Change!

I am going to sound like a crotchety old geezer here, but maybe it is the truth. I despise change!

I stayed up until the wee hours of the evening (almost midnight) last night transferring the last of my computer files off our old computer and onto my new laptop.

As the moments passed I started to panic.

What if I spill coffee on my laptop? What if I drop it as I am carrying it around? What if I decide to bring it with me if I am going on a bit of an extended vacation and I forget it somewhere? What if someone steals it? What if, what if, what if ...

Maybe I don't want a laptop after all!

Yesterday morning, we took our new double stroller out for a spin. I have MacGyvered the old stroller every which way I could, to make it last as long as possible. But when two of the tires fell off their rims when we walked through a bumpy alley the last time we went for a walk, I knew the time had come.

I don't like the "seatbelts" on the new stroller - they only go around the kid's waists. It is smaller. There isn't as much leg room as we walk and my new little walker kept on walking into the moving wheels, grinding our walk to a halt. It feels flimsy.

I searched high and low for this stroller and ended up ordering it from the States. I paid $90.00 in shipping/handling, U.S. exchange and duty fees, on top of the $45.00 price tag for the stroller itself, and it was still cheaper than anything I could find that was remotely close to it in Canada. And I'm afraid it isn't going to last. Then what am I going to do??

I am not loving the new way I must take pictures now either.

Sure enough, my cell phone survived its swim in the toilet. All functions work except for the ability to download the photos I take, onto the computer. I take a lot of pictures. They help me recap our daycare days as I blog about what we do on a daily basis. The pictures help me on so many levels.

Now, I have to tote around my phone (it is also my watch and how my parents contact me) plus a bulky little camera. It is easier to leave the camera at home if we leave the premises. I have had to relearn how to download those photos onto my new computer.

All of this new stuff is pushing my limits!

I could look at getting a new phone, but unless I could get one exactly like the one I have right now, that would mean more learning and adjustments.

Then there is my Magic Bullet. My old one outlasted the cups (the tabs which make it work all eventually broke off), so I bought a new Magic Bullet and just used the cups. Not the Bullet, itself.

Then came my Kitchen Clean Up. I thought it was silly to have two Magic Bullets, so I brought in the new one and stored the old one. "What if the new one breaks??" the little voice inside of my head screamed. I couldn't dispose of it permanently.

And the new Bullet did break. A week or so into my New Bullet Adjustment, the cup got stuck in the Magic Bullet mechanisms and I couldn't release it. My morning smoothie was all ready and waiting for me. But it was stuck, upside down in the Bullet.

Thankfully, it was a one-time incident. But the new Bullet is not quite the same as the old one. I haven't learned to trust it yet.

I have my favorite cookie sheets that have been browned beyond recognition. But I don't think they make them any more. So I keep the old ones. I have some shiny new ones in the cupboard but I don't trust those either.

Don't even get me started about changing my hair stylist. I have already said too much (in my "Hair Drama" post). So of course I have issues with changing doctors or vets!

I have already written about my resistance to change here, here and also here.

I sit here, writing this post on my new laptop computer at my old desk, with my old keyboard and mouse doing the work. I am considering placing the laptop on the high shelf of the desk (away from all liquids) and hooking up the monitor so I can fool my brain into believing nothing has changed.

Change is hard. But it is necessary. I know.

I'm just not in the mood to be challenged.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

So Many Thoughts, So Little Time

I woke up just before my alarm this morning and I got up at the time it was actually set for (my bedroom clock is presently twenty minutes fast because every time the power goes out, the battery not only restores the time, it adds five minutes onto it).

I had time to respond to emails and send new ones. My favorite blog authors came out of hibernation and wrote words and essays "just for me".

Everything spoke to me this morning. Ping! Ping! Ping! I feel like a pinball wizard. Every word is hitting home.

Mother's Day is around the corner and I should be spending some of my daycare hours trying to find ways to honor the mothers in my midst. I am not quite certain how to do this without it becoming expected in the future. I am not always so inspired, so I hate to set a precedent I can't maintain.

I'd like to come up with some deep and thoughtful idea for my own mom. I have so many worn out old phrases, I'd like to find a new and improved way to honor her.

I have been given a reprieve on the "daycare front" this week and there have been cracks in my days where I can tend to unfinished business outside of my daycare world during the day. Taking a few items off of my to-do-list has released some excess energy.

Words, ideas and energy are starting to flow. This is not a guarantee they won't dam up again any time soon, but if I can keep up to some of these thoughts maybe they won't pile up on me again.

I also woke up to the news that there has been a schedule change for my "new guy" at daycare. He has not yet found his niche in our little family and keeping him happy and entertained &/or distracted is a full time job. So I must cut this short because I am quite certain today will not be a full-on daycare kind of day.

I think I'm ready.

If you want to read some articles that inspired me this morning, check these out:

Glennon, at Momastery:
Chrissy, at Life With Greyson & Parker:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Life Lessons - What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

On August 6, 2009, I wrote this: "Giant Steps"

Oh, how my rose colored glasses saw my future. If only I knew then, what I know now...

A brief synopsis of my life between "then" and "now":

I took a bookkeeping course which I completed in just under a year. It was the best year of my life.

Going to school allowed me the flexibility to continue to take in before and after school children, work part time at a bookkeeping job from home, work my school commitments in and around my life and fill the extra time doing what I most loved to do.

I danced and I lived out my dreams in between all the cracks of my life back then. It was a wonderful and glorious time.

I completed my education and was ready, willing and able to take on my bookkeeping work in a full time capacity.

Long story short? That never really happened. Yes, I was able to continue to work out of my home for a while. That "while" was very good.

I continued to live a life where I filled in the gaps of my non-work-life doing what I most wanted to do. There was "Zumba", "Bellyfit", an Alaskan cruise and I could fit work into the cracks of "life".

Yes, I worked some weekends but when Mom came out for a visit, I was available to do and go places whenever we chose to do so. I was able to run out to Mom's when I needed and wanted to be there.

The pay cheque was not a full time one, and it was a struggle financially. But my work to personal life ratio was in perfect balance. It was still a pretty good place to be.

This could and would not last forever. I needed stability so I went in search of greener (and I mean the greenery that comes from a steady pay cheque) pastures.

Another long story short, you have to deal with a lot of "manure" to attain those green pastures. Many lessons were learned, minus the student loan. The financial struggle became more prevalent and eventually I ended up exactly where I started before this saga began.

I reopened my daycare almost three years ago and six years later, I am finally back on my feet again.

Those "Giant Steps" and that huge leap of faith came with a price tag of approximately $20,000.00 (I could do the math and quote an exact number but I'm running out of time). Add one student loan to a revolving mortgage where I had to borrow to meet expenses and it equals a number very close to that.

I am not only paying the bills again, but I am finally starting to whittle away at the debt I accumulated during my Time of Great Learning.

My bookkeeping education did not pay for itself but it has opened doors for me. Doors that equal a part time income that subsidizes my life and is starting to pay off my debt. Doors that may make all the difference in the world when I segue out of the daycare world some day. Doors that keep my brain from coming foggy and mushy. Doors where I get to "balance to zero" and have black and white answers to everything that comes my way.

I like numbers. They make sense. There is always a black and white answer. I like that about numbers.

Life is messy. There are so very many shades of gray. Answers don't come easily and when life resolves itself it is hard to understand why some things happen the way they do.

I am so very grateful that my hiatus from the daycare world provided me with options which are enhancing my life today and will help me out in the future. It isn't what I expected. But it is exactly what I needed.

I like a life filled with a good balance of "black and white" intermixed with a rainbow of other colors. I am grateful for the complications of "life". I know I need to see beyond balancing to zero.

I sing the lyrics "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" with great gusto. Because these past six years have made me much stronger than I was before all of this unfolded.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I am aching for "input" this morning. I scoured the blogs I read for some new words, thoughts and ideas. It looks like I am not the only one who is without words.

I don't like the words and emotions that are swirling around my head right now. I was never one to blame hormones on my mood fluctuations, but this downswing I am presently encountering feels "bigger than me" and I am wondering if I can blame hormones for it.

Yes, I just googled it, and I believe I can blame declining estrogen levels. I have every symptom on that list. I am irritable, sad, unmotivated, anxious, angry, I have the attention span of a gnat, I am exhausted, moody and tense. Check, check, check, double check and check!

Okay. I know the cause. Perhaps it is something that is a little bit bigger than me. Thus, my inability to shake this off easily.

Google also tells me to exercise and eat better. Meditation, deep breathing &/or yoga is also recommended. I have no problem avoiding tranquilizers or alcohol - they are the least of my worries.

"Engage in a creative outlet" it says. For me, that is usually writing. I feel like I am wielding a poison pen at the moment. The last thing in the world I should do is set myself free (or maybe I should, then just delete &/or shred &/or burn my words).

"Stay connected to family and community"; "Nurture your friendships". Oh. My. Gosh. Do "they" know how hard that is to do at times like this?!?!!!! I just want to bury my head under a quilt and come out when I feel my butterfly wings starting to emerge.

I don't feel like talking or doing or being anything more than absolutely necessary to get through my days. I tried doing "all of the above" with the moments I had to spare over the weekend and it absolutely depleted me. I had nothing to give and when I was in the company of others?! It just made me feel worse.

I am toying with the idea of running out to surprise my mom with a quick visit for Mother's Day. I am torn.

I need down time. I will get that down time as I drive there and back. I enjoy travelling alone. I like being alone with my thoughts and letting them flow in and out and through me. The drive would be good.

I love waking up in my own bed. Oh, it is so hard and uncomfortable to pry myself out of my comfortable bed, routines and solitude that I savor at home. It is just one night. Just one morning. I could do this. I could.

I need to do something that makes a difference. Right now, there is very little I can do for some for those who are in my thoughts. I can make a difference for my mom. I can show up.

I know I annoyed her the last time we spoke on the phone. I know I was a little over-caffeinated, over-concerned and feeling the need to do something. For somebody. Anybody. So I tried to find her answers ("Yes Mom, I can do that!! I can order you some KFC and have it delivered. From here. Right now! It will arrive at 4:44 p.m. I can even pay for it!!" "You want to go see My Uncle? I can take care of that. I can book the tickets. I can find a place to stay. I can make the calls, the reservations! I can even join you (if it falls on a weekend or my holidays). Just say the word..."

I could feel the tension rising. But it wounded me when she said, "I thought this was just going to be a short call..."

Those few words cut me like a knife. I hurt so hard that I still feel it when I rethink that conversation.

I couldn't stop myself. I need to do something. But I am powerless. I spoke the words aloud, that I usually keep to myself. This is how I think. This is not how I should speak.

I have uttered phrases that have cut others to the quick. I hold nothing against Mom for the words she spoke. I was just "too much" and she needed very little. I was overwhelming her with words the way my daycare family overwhelms me at times.

I understand. I truly do. But at the same time, I am torn.

Do I sacrifice a quiet weekend at home, to surprise Mom with the "gift" of my company when I am not entirely sure that is the present she wants to unwrap?

I write the words and I know. Phone conversations are not the same as a one-on-one visit. I know I was trying to turn our chat into a visit. We have had them before. I was trying to recreate a time when a phone call made a difference.

Those were days when Mom was able to get out and about more. I think she has a small case of Spring Fever and just wants to get out and do all she used to enjoy doing so much. I get that. A phone call just doesn't cover it. But maybe a visit will...

"Stay connected to family and community" - that is what Dr. Google prescribes. Perhaps it is exactly the medicine I need most right now.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Do-Over Kind of Weekend (aka: Monday, I am SO Not Ready For You!)

I feel so incredibly unprepared for "Monday". I feel like I am running on empty.

This past weekend was just an experiment. Please let me try it and do it all over again. I can learn from what went wrong and do it better. I promise.

I would leave my house five minutes earlier to go to work Saturday morning. I would leave the house a half hour earlier to meet up with a friend Saturday evening. I would get up an hour earlier Sunday morning.

I would listen more and talk less. I would relax and just let things flow. I would not try so hard.

I would find a way to politely tell the young man (and the two girls he was trying to impress) to stop talking through the entire movie I went to see with my son yesterday.

I would eat better, breathe deeper, stop more often and just inhale the moments.


There were simply not enough of them these past two days. Last week was too busy and I was really counting on the weekend to breathe air back into my soul.

I scanned the calendar for the upcoming month. It is empty. I am beyond relieved.

I don't have a to-do-list or a must-be-there list. I just have to wake up each morning and show up for my day. That is it.

I can do that!

One day at a time. That is all. Just show up. I can do that.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hair Drama

I tried. I was succeeding. I made a valiant effort not to complain about my hair. But this is it. This is the post that has been boiling up inside of me for four full months.

My hair is driving me crazy!!!!

There. I said it. I should get over it now. Right? Wrong.

I can't help but think of the last time I heard the voice of My Favorite Hairstylist. I hear the echo of his words now, "If you want an appointment before Christmas, I book up fast. Book your appointment early..."

That was in October. I tend to get my hair tended to every three months or so, so I bypassed the busy Christmas season and was looking forward to seeing my stylist in the new year.

There was hope and anticipation of a revived version of myself as I dialed his number. I was aghast and dumbfounded when I was told my stylist had to quit the hair styling business because he had developed carpal tunnel syndrome in his hands.

I hung up the phone and my mourning period began.

I was sad and upset. I was already longing to hear his voice as he worked his magic with my hair. He knew my hair the way no other person before him did. He was making my hair become less about the drama and more about acceptance.

We had plans together, my stylist and I. He never told me exactly where we were headed but I liked the route he was taking to get us there.

Of all the time we saw each other, there was "one bad haircut". I went to see him about it. And he fixed it. He truly fixed it.

After all of my stories about bad hair days, bad hair cuts and bad hair moods I started to trust someone with my hair again.

Sure, we only saw each other every three to four months but I was in it for the long haul. I was committed.

Then he quit.

After the sadness abated, anger set in. How could he do this to me?! I trusted him. And he left me!! How? Why? Where would I turn?

A few sad days later, I sent him a text message. I didn't know if it was right or wrong. But I did. In it, I asked him if he had anyone he could refer me to. He was very kind and said he was referring his clients to stylists he thought would best suit them.

I so wanted to feel that sense of trust again. I followed his advise. Twice.

The first time was not good. The second time was worse. That was four months ago and my hair has not yet recovered. For some odd reason (I believe it is the way my hair was cut), my hair wants to caress my face. It is too short in back. It is too long in front. I cannot do a thing with it. Everything I do turns out looking odd. My best look is the "mushroom cap" style which seems to appear every time I try to talk my hair into doing what I want it to do.

Enter my potential new stylist.

She inherited a client with chronic trust issues. I walked in that door with my head of untamed locks and begged her to cut it without washing it so I knew what I was dealing with when I walked out the door. She obliged me.

The cut was not a good one.

Not her fault. She did everything I asked but I am not schooled in hair styling so I was only talking about what I knew. What I knew, was what I didn't like. She tried.

I thought it was a great cut. Until I woke up the next morning. It was bad. It got worse. I washed it, styled it and tried to tame its ways. I looked like a mushroom.

I got brave and called again. It was the only way. I have to learn to trust again. I begged her to try one more time. She said she could and she would. But she would have to wash it and cut it wet.

Once again, I would walk out of a salon with hair that I did not style myself and I would not know what the cut was like until I washed and dried it myself. Or ... until I woke up in the morning.

I woke up today and growled long and hard at the reflection in the mirror. Despite my new cut and her styling, my hair is still insistent upon encroaching upon my face.

My face is old. And haggard. And angry. I do not want hair that brings focus to my face. I want hair that takes your eye up and away from these worn out old features of mine.

But no! There went my hair. Again!!

I soaked my head and hoped for the best. It wasn't good.

I heated up the flat iron and did my level best to try and convince my hair to move in an "away from my face" direction.

For this moment in time, I have (somewhat) succeeded. I am not angry any more. I am just bitter. A haircut from January continues to haunt me to this day.

It is hard to learn to trust again. I love the feeling of trusting someone implicitly and I will try, try again. It is the only way ...

It could be worse. I could be bald.