Gray Follow-up: 1 Yearish Later

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?? I return with an ending to my ‘growing out the gray’ saga, discovering that the middle was really, really boring. There were no road-blocks, mini-goals, or suspense of any kind. No products were used to alleviate any discomfort. Even the hair cuts were of no real consequence, until now.

When I see photos of myself, as a member of the ‘gray lifestyle’, it’s still a little surprising. Such a change from the light brown-dark blonde (my usual), to the gray mix. I’m pleased with the shade, I love the cut, and over-all, presently the best decision I’ve made. When I walk down the hair dye aisle at the store, I feel myself grinning and delighting in my new-found freedom! It’s one more thing off my to-do list.

As I get older, my ability to let go of my self-esteem issues becomes stronger. I accept more of what I have been given, especially since returning to better self-care with exercise and diet. A little bit of good health changes ones perspective in so many ways. I encourage everyone to LET IT GO! It’s a rush!

So here is the before and after…yikes!

Before

After

After

Unrecognizable Self

An extremely important component in learning about your individual health needs and getting to know how your mind and body works; is becoming your own healthcare advocate. You can read it here.

I’ve written about my thoughts on why it is so difficult to be and stay healthy. You can read it here. I’m expanding on each of the eight points I made, because I have a lot to say. What I write about, comes from my own personal experiences and observations. As individuals–our health–needs to be approached as such.

7. We have this grand vision of what we will look like, once we’ve started to eat better and exercise. Forgetting of course, that the changes are small, and stretched out over time. Make your goals achievable, baby steps. Don’t get stressed out if you take longer to achieve a goal or fail to achieve one. Just start again. A daily goal of eating carrots for a snack, and getting in your twenty minute walk, is a start and is achievable. Or, pick one of those, and just start. Then, because you achieved, you feel happy, you want to repeat it. That’s the idea anyhow.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Have you ever looked at yourself naked for more than ten seconds? Are all the thoughts racing through your mind positive or negative? How many of those thoughts come from your past, like a tiny seed deposited in your brain, only to grow into something much uglier? Who were those people that planted the seeds, spilling their own grief onto you?

It may only take one tiny little comment, said in passing, to begin building self-doubt. Once the garden commences sprouting, it can become a tangled mass of self-destruction. We carry this mess with us well into adulthood, and if we don’t find a way to begin untangling it, understanding where it came from and how we nurtured it to grow, the view of ourselves is distorted. There are many varying degrees of this distortion, and I have my own to deal with. Life is full of challenges and if you can see it as a challenge, then it should be easier to dissect it and lay the bits and pieces to rest. If it has become a struggle for you and you find it overwhelmingly difficult, if not impossible, to make sense of your thoughts, then reach out for help. Most times others can see what we are blind to.

Working on ourselves is never an easy task, although with practice we can mend quicker. Self-discovery will open up a can of worms every time, but if we can prepare ourselves with the knowledge that we have created this ourselves, then we understand that we can also tear it down. Time is what we need to give in to. How much time has it taken you to get to this point? Then be prepared to spend at least as much time healing. Have expectations, but keep them very simple in the beginning. Focus on the complete picture, and avoid the nitty gritty, pick-apart everything, scenario which will slow progress.

A great place to start, now that eating healthier is on the menu, is to move the body. Change the routine and walk a little farther, take a set of stairs, do a couple of sit-ups. Anything that stirs the pot of stagnancy and changes the direction of thoughts in our brains, waking us up.

If ever we were challenged before, this will take it to the next level. We are the only ones who can make these changes, learn about ourselves, and move forward. Stop allowing the image that is burned into our brains, rule our lives. To take back that control, we need to face our fear, study it, cry and scream at it, then do something different than what we’ve been doing. These are life experiences, teaching moments, and if we keep feeding ourselves the same answers over and over again, we will get the same results…obviously.

Keep looking in the mirror, facing fear, choosing to see the beauty in nature, and the changes we desire will start to happen. Little by little, the mask we hide behind will break apart, and what is revealed will be new, exciting, and beautiful.

 

Any other suggestions? Comments are welcomed and encouraged!

My Precious

If I had to name an item, a physical object, my most-prized possession, it would not take much time or thought to know what it is. It is not a childhood memento of mine, although I suppose at some point it could be for someone else. It is not a flea market find, but it certainly would be a splendid find, for the lover of the saturday flea market. It is not a family heirloom, not yet, anyways.

The future for this object holds some uncertainty, as the best laid plans can change. However, I have a grand plan for it’s future, a desire to pass on, the beauty of it and the emotion that it holds.

It was many, many years in the making, passing through my thoughts as time went by. I had seen a few of them, and was always drawn into the beauty, of the idea that it held. Like building or creating anything, you will have a finished product to show for it. A house, a craftily designed room, a piece of artwork to hang on a wall. Something for you to admire, and bring with you into the future, even if only on film. The memories, right from the moment of conception, are given new life with each and every glance. I experience emotions from years gone by, good or bad, happy or sad, it doesn’t matter which. I love that I can be reminded to get my act together, again, or to be awestruck at the perfection and beauty.

When I wear it, I feel as though I am wrapping myself in love, and taking them along with me on every adventure. I hold them in my hand, or slip them into my pocket, protecting them in a sense. I carry their spirits with me, a closeness which is my substitute for the real thing. Nothing can touch the real thing, but the memories it provokes, go far and beyond the fact that it is just a ring.

Unlike my engagement and wedding rings, which held meaning for only a few years, my family ring will hold fast. Yes, the dad’s birthstone is on it, and rightly so, as he was a part of this family that we created together. It wouldn’t feel right any other way. I will treasure it to the very end, and hope that it will spark someone else’s memories, as it did mine.

Writing 101 last day.

Comments are always welcomed!

Gray Follow-up; Two Months Down

To start, I have to comment on how remarkably slow this going gray is. Everything else seems to speed by and sometimes, even without me noticing. Why the difference? I suppose my anticipation of having it complete, hangs out in the forefront of my thoughts. I also want to note, that it has been more than two months. I was about six weeks in, when I made the decision.

gray hair

 

 

So far, so good. It’s definitely spreading! I only ever hear comments from the mirror herself; they are generally good, depending on her mood. When I’m away from the mirror, I don’t think about it at all. When I go into a store and walk down the hair dye aisle, it doesn’t enter my head. It’s such a relief to not have that six-eight week mark, in your brain at all times, so that if you are in a store, you can pick up a box. DONE WITH THAT!

 

gray hairI don’t think I look any older, I certainly don’t look any younger, but how young do I want to look? I’d be content with looking my age. It’s taken me quite a few years to get here, and yes, I’ve earned those years, along with the wisdom that came with them. I’ve no desire to use a semi-permanent yet, but as it grows out, that is an option I will keep open. Apparently you can get clear coats, which add moisture and nutrients, without any colour. Don’t need those yet, but again, I will keep as an option.

I think I’ll go a little shorter, maybe another inch off the bottom. I do like to be able to pull it back from my face, but the shorter it is, the more wave I have. We’ll see.

I still haven’t heard from any one else who would like to join me. To anyone listening: I feel freer, more authentic, the further along I am. I actually find this fun; watching the changes in the mirror, and then sharing it with the world. Well, maybe not the world, but a world bigger than mine was before. Anyone??

You can read about my decision to go gray, here.

More good, gray, reads!

25 “Gray Hair” Bloggers Who Rock

Just Your Average Joe

Walking along the street or sitting in a coffee shop, you would not notice this man. Just your average Joe. Older with gray hair, sometimes a little unkempt, he is of medium/ tall height with a slight hunch of the shoulders. One would conclude that he is physically active, for his weight is appropriate to his height, and his strides are easy. He keeps his head tilted down, just enough to make others assume that he is deep in thought. Whether that is a learned behaviour or just the tilt of his head, or the fact that he is a bit of a hermit, I don’t know. The added facial hair, gray also, gives the impression of intelligence, with a touch of ‘silly professor’.

orange blue jester hatHis dress ranges from; plaid pyjama bottoms with a cotton Tee at home, to jeans with a nice shirt or sweater, when out and about. He has a beefed up scooter, which now, after seeing him decked out in helmet, sunglasses and windbreaker, makes sense. There is definitely a fun-loving side to him that may keep you on your toes. You can see it in his sky blue eyes.

Conversing with this man, you find out that he has the strength of character like that of an angry bull. His voice is quiet, unassuming, with a mild South African accent, even when raised to make a point. Filled with common sense, he is. Down to earth, no flash, sensible shoes. He has money, that becomes clear once you get to know him better. Not because he tells you, but because he has worked hard all his life, and he shows you his vast projects. You know how it is being used.

His compassion runs very deep. Learning from his own past, becoming who he is today, and reaching out to others in order to encourage and teach emotional, intellectual, and physical health as one. His stories are very interesting, his background, his challenges, and how he managed to grow from it all. Frustrated at times with the lack of openness in people, the fear of change, the fear of success really, he strives to reach them. However, in his effort to educate, he is not pushy, allowing his teachings to have their effect, or not.

He has an alter ego, the one who writes the stories, the one wearing the jester’s hat. They work well together, as author and editor, despite his dislike for the writer. The creations are a bit brash, bold, bottom-line, but if you want the truth, if you are open to the truth, you will enjoy it.

Writing 101         As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!