You Trim Hair Like a Badass, but Your Personality Doesn’t Make the Cut

IMO, it is important to find oneself a good hairdresser or barber.  I am poor at finding time for myself, in regards to pampering.  Set me up in a room with craft supplies and a list of people to please, and I will devote every last nanosecond of free time I have . . . to / for others.  For myself?  Eh, not so much.  I recently committed to getting my nails manicured consistently, and though I have stuck to this regimen and have begun to enjoy nicely painted nails, I am constantly fighting the urge to flee from this routine.  It has been a month and a half, which means I have gone three times.  I always find an excuse not to follow through for myself: time, money, scheduling, etc.  It’s only a matter of time.

I have naturally curly hair.  It has been surprisingly difficult to find someone who can cut curly hair well.  After a run on terrible hair experiences, and I do mean abhorrent, I finally found a woman who can cut my tangled mass of coiled tresses like a badass.  In my imaginative fantasyland, I ideally sport long and flowing mermaid length hair, resting luxuriously atop my shoulders and cascading beautifully down my back.  The harsh reality is, this look just does not work for me.  As lovingly stated by my Mum, “It’s not your hair that’s the problem.  It’s your face.”  That, my virtual friends, was one of those phrases that just “did not come out right,” but I knew full well what she meant.  Long hair does not suit me, mainly due to the shape of my face, which I don’t even know how to describe.  I find that long hair, even shoulder length, makes me look tired, borderline haggard.  So, I have accepted a chin length, asymmetrical cut as my trademark hairstyle.  If I do say so myself, it is pretty adorable, and I just look . . . like Amy.  With that being said, as much as I am thrilled to have an undeviating hairstyle and a favorable haircut, it may be time for me to break up with my salon artist.

Over the course of two or three years, I have fought against my unwillingness to spend my money and time on myself, and I have gotten a trim and touch up approximately every eight weeks.  However, I find myself growing ever more uncomfortable with my hairdresser.  I do not doubt that she is a delight amongst her family and friends, but I find that I tend to leave her shop feeling worse about myself instead of better.  I also suspect that perhaps she is slightly vindictive.

About the latter . . . 

Here’s a recap of my September – November 2016:

  • Faint
  • Fall into the shower
  • Hit my head
  • OUCH
  • Concussion
  • Months of recovery
  • To this day, problems with memory

I am one of the quite fortunate and lucky ones who has faced a head injury head on (see what I did there, huh, huh, huh?) and returned to normal (OKay, so MY version of normalcy) relatively expediently and to about 98% – 99%.  However, over a year later, I still have some difficulty with my memory and the occasional bout of brain fog.  When my injury was raw and I was not permitted to drive, work, or even run, I missed a haircut appointment.  I completely forgot about it.  (Mind you, I never received a courtesy reminder call – more on this later.).  So, the following are reasons I assume she is vindictive:

  1. She rescheduled me for a bright and early Saturday morning, which was the very next day.  When I arrived for my new appointment, she told me that she was booked, that my appointment was for another day.  I had gotten up at 0600 to be there on time, merely to be turned away, and since that was indeed my appointment, I had to yet again reschedule.
  2. For another appointment, I was penciled in for a color, and she sent me on my way after the cut.  Mind you, most people would have spoken up, but that’s already not in my nature . . . and I’m typically willing to get out of there ASAP.
  3. My trim has seemingly, and without warning, skyrocketed in cost from approximately $20.00 to $35.00.
  4. Let us not forget the time that her sister, employed as the shop manager and personal assistant to the beautician, called me to indicate I had missed “ANOTHER!!” appointment, when it was the beautician herself who had requested to reschedule due to a scheduling conflict.  I could hear her spouting off in the background, and it wasn’t what I would consider professional or kind, even though this blunder was definitely her error.

Here’s the “more on this later” from above. . . So, it is unreasonable to call me the day before to remind me of an appointment, but it is perfectly acceptable to call and harass me at what is perceived to be my faux pas?

Needless to say, after months (over a year’s worth of months, in fact) of what can be described only as passive aggressive behavior, I was already prepared to make last night’s appointment my final visit.

About the former . . . 

Why / how does my hairdresser make me feel uncomfortable?

  1. Being aware of the fact that I am a runner and have lost weight due to my running, she has referred to me as a “bigger girl,” and has even gone on to say that being a bigger girl is OKay because I have a heart of gold.  Before I lost weight, yeah, I could afford to lose a few pounds, but she didn’t even know me then.  Why would she even feel the need to discuss my size with me or with anyone else for that matter?
  2. She shares stories that are far too personal.  We are not friends.  I do not need to, nor do I want to, know the inner workings, or lack thereof, of previous marriages, current relationships, and perhaps, future rendezvous.
  3. Last night, she told another woman, a perfect stranger to me, that my Mum and Dad “spoil [me] BAD.”  What is this tidbit based on?  Am I an only child?  Yes.  Am I spoiled?  In some regards, absolutely.  However, that is not her business nor is it the business of strangers.  FYI, I just so happen to work my ass off, and I have worked for and fairly earned everything I have accomplished, own, etc.
  4. She regularly finds a way to ding my self esteem. It could be a simple inquiry: “Have you gained weight?”  (Even if I had, have, or do . . . why ask?).  The ding can also come in the form of a statement, “You have grey hairs.”  (Perhaps they are a result of the mere stress of looking ahead to my hair appointments . . . ).

My beautician cuts hair like a badass, but her personality suckity sucks. 

Last night, I politely declined to book a future appointment.  The woman who colored my hair before my NYC trip was delightful, and I would like to sample her cutting skills.  If she too is a badass with unruly curls, I may have found myself a new go-to.

Backstory: I sought another colorist because the woman I’ve been blogging about made it fairly obvious that she did not want to lay lavender highlights in my hair.  However, she had the gaul to portray herself as hurt and offended when my hair was indisputably recently colored but another.  In hindsight, perhaps it was my recent stint with another’s chroma that triggered the comment about the importance of highlighting my hair due to the greys I have sprouting.  Now I don’t know whether this example more appropriately belongs in the vindictive section or should remain in the why I’m uncomfortable segment.  But I digress . . .

So, what is the point of this wordy diatribe triggered by follicle folly?  I wish I could say / write that the point is to assert that I am unaffected by others’ perception(s), but it’s not.  The point is to express that yes, I am indeed insulted, and yes, her words have stung me on multiple occasions, but it remains well within my power to control just how much damage she can cause my self-esteem and psyche.  I have shared my displeasure as a means of letting it go.  Afterall, who exactly is she to me?  She is nobody.  She’s merely a woman who provides a service.  I am not obligated to continue to see her, she is not connected to me via bloodline or hanging from the same branch on a family tree, she is merely a blip on the roadmap of my life.  It was several years ago that I began to eliminate blips that had the potential to become potholes along the road to my own happiness.

In summary, I am done shelling out $40.00+ for snide remarks, rude commentary, and unprofessionalism.  So, I have a few grey hairs.  I can guarantee, despite the belief that I am spoiled rotten, that I have earned every one of those greys fair and square.

P.S.  If you benefit in no way from this smörgåsbord of verbiage, I hope there is at least one takeaway: be kind – to others and to yourself.

 

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Look At Me, I’m Sandra B.*

*Sung to the tune of Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee, the catchy Stockard Channing ditty from 1978’s Grease.*

However, the Sandra who I know and am fond of, Sandra B., is likely not “lousy with virginity” considering that she has five adult children and several grandbabies, but I digress . . .

Sandra B., who I have now known for nearly five years, is a woman I not only respect and appreciate, but I admire her and aspire to be like her in one particular way.  Sandy is the epitome of the expression:

fountain

Sandy is a REAL runner!  <~~BTW, this is not me downplaying my abilities, but I am describing her this way to provide some insight into my perspective and image of her.  Sandy has been running for years and years and years; a “leisurely” eight-ish miles is how she begins most days, and I doubt she even breaks a sweat, tbh.  As seasoned and capable a runner as she is, from day one, Sandra B. has been one of my supporters.  When running 1/4 mile non stop was an accomplishment, when I finished my first 5k, even though I walked most of it, and when I did my first Torch Run and had to ride part of the way in the struggle bus, Sandy was supportive, encouraging, and motivating.  When I entered my first Dempsey Challenge 10K in 2016, I kept pace with Sandy and her sister for the first mile or so, and I use the term “kept pace with” loosely; when they finished long before me, they waited for me at the finish line.  When Sandy and I went running in the park together a few times last summer, during breaks, and the heat was so oppressive that I had to walk, she never once made me feel bad about myself, nor did she make me feel like I was holding her back.

Sandy is a force to be reckoned with as far as fitness and athleticism, but in addition to this, she is truly a model of empowerment.  I wish to and strive to be that person to others.  I doubt that Sandy envisions herself in the same manner that I visualize her, but I hypothesize that nobody sees themselves from the viewpoint of others.

Last week, while in my office, I overheard a colleague say that she didn’t want to go for a walk outside because it was torrentially raining.  I stuck my head out from my doorway and told her that I was going to go downstairs and use the gym if she wanted to join me.  She exclaimed, “No way!” and indicated that she can’t keep up with me; as of late, she’s been pushing herself harder and harder to get her 10k steps in before she goes home for the day, and I always give her an attaboy for her efforts.

Just this week, I received an email from my best friend, Callie, that reads, “You are the only reason I have been pushing myself.  If not for you, I would have been much lazier this summer 🙂 Glad to have you beside me :)!”

Holy shit!  I’m someone’s Sandy!

Radio Flyer

So, I am back on the exercise wagon!  Granted, it’s a Radio Flyer, but it’s a wagon nonetheless!  For quite an extended period of time, working out was my priority before all else.  Somehow though, I allowed life’s other tasks to creep to the top of my ever famous ‘to do’ lists.  I was still working out consistently, but life’s tasks are stealthy ninjas and eventually, they coordinated a complete and utter takeover.

What I’ve learned after several sedentary months: the first few steps of the journey are the most difficult to take, even when it’s a journey you have been on before.  I have a little over a month to prepare for the Special Olympics: Law Enforcement Torch Run; our leg is the longest.  Therefore, I have found my most immediate goal to work toward.  Tough Mountain is a mere three months away, and so, in addition to honing my cardio abilities again, I must get my other muscles in tip-top condition as well.

Tomorrow will be my first “hard” workout in at least two months!  (Not hard in difficulty but hard as in intensity).  Who am I kidding though?  It is likely going to be all-around difficult because let’s face it, I’m not the machine I was before the winter months settled in.

So, on tomorrow’s agenda:

*3-5 cumulative miles.

*Body weight exercises: squats (weighted), lunges, pull-ups (modified), push-ups (modified), Russian twists (weighted), and sit-ups (weighted).  3 sets: 1st – 20, 2nd -15, and 3rd – 10.

*Wall sits, planks. 2 cumulative minutes.

*Agility ladder drills.  At least 5 drills, 10-15 times each.

I shall name this back to business workout … Bobby.  As in, “Damnit, Bobby, I’m gonna f*** you up!”  Bonus points to whomever names the movie that this quote is from, sans Google! 🙂

 

 

 

Bot O’ Swap

Probably the most difficult aspect of maintaining my health and fitness blog is that I am attempting to keep it health and fitness oriented.  I am multi-faceted, as are most . . . OKay, ALL individuals.  I do not think it is feasible for me to not include other aspects of my life within my blog.  I think health and fitness are influenced largely in part by the well-being of our mind and spirit, not only a healthy BMI.  I have so many hobbies, and one of my greatest passions is snail mail.  I am a pen pal extraordinaire, a snail mail connoisseur!  I have intermingled my love for tangible mail with my love for a healthier lifestyle.  How?  With a swap-bot group named Health & Fitness Foray.  Note: Anyone who is currently using swap-bot is more than welcome (and encouraged!) to join either my HFF group AND / OR my other, quirkier group, Idiosyncratic Unicorns.

About Health & Fitness Foray 

“I have recently made several lifestyle changes in order to pursue a healthier, fitter life. Despite every calorie I have counted and every step I have taken, I have found that the most motivating aspect of health and fitness has been the support system(s).

Join this group to meet and swap with others who have similar lifestyle change goals. Goals can range from drinking more water to eating less carbs, from losing weight to taking more steps, from starting to exercise to joining a 5K. Etc., etc., etc. 🙂 This group is not only devoted to health of the body but also to the health of mind and spirit.

By definition, a foray is, “a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something.” Our goals do not necessarily need to be our enemy, but we can conquer them nonetheless!

Disclaimer: This is a group with the overall intent of being supportive, motivational, and influential. Kindness is imperative here. Anyone who is negative or degrading will be removed; bullying will not be tolerated.

I will accept all individuals, with a 4.95+ rating, who request to join the group. I do not want to exclude anybody who has a goal, but the group must be able to depend on each of its members to follow through with swaps. Therefore, a rating lower than 4.95 will not be accepted. However, consider requesting membership once you’ve improved your rating.

I am accepting of newbies as we ALL started somewhere, amiright!? However, any member who does not have any rating(s), within 3 months of joining the group, will be removed. In three months’ time, there is ample opportunity to gain ratings. 🙂 If you wish to earn some ratings ASAP, join the group’s swaps or PM me for a private swap.

I will be monitoring members’ ratings. Any members whose ratings begin to drop will be evaluated. I don’t expect every member to have a perfect score, but if there begins a pattern of flaking or complaints from partners, membership may need to be reconsidered. Note: I am well aware that life, forgetfulness, chaos, stress, postal error, etc. happen so no one will ever get the boot from the group for a mistake, especially when it’s obvious the situation is being rectified. If your account becomes suspended, partially suspended, or you have not logged in for a month or more (with no communication), you will be removed. However, once your account status is rectified, you are encouraged to re-join the group.

There will be type 1, 2, and on occasion, type 3 swaps hosted at HFF. If you have swap ideas, please do not hesitate to reach out to host! I love to have an active group!

Let’s reach those goals, ladies and gents!

Because I want this group to be as active as possible, ALL members will upgraded to officer status. Officer status allows you to invite fellow friends/swap botters AND host swaps. You are encouraged to do both as much as your heart desires!”

Current HFF Swaps

Kick The Bucket

“Kick The Bucket . . . but not really! Here’s the thing . . . we ALL have something we put on the back burner. We all have a “bucket list” of sorts or just a bunch of “stuff” we want to do, but somehow, we never quite get around to it.

For this swap, pick something from your bucket list, and do it. At the very least, start it. (Some tasks are far more time consuming than others).

Send your assigned partner a two page letter (letter set), one page if you write on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, outlining what you chose to do, how you feel now that you can cross something off your list, and maybe throw in a few other things you have on your bucket list 🙂 If you don’t have a bucket list, feel free to come up with something you’d like to do, just for the sake of the swap. What you choose to do can be WHATEVER you like; it is not required to be health / fitness related.

Who can join: ALL members with no recent 1s or 3s (current / previous month). Swap is open internationally.”

Profile Deco_April

“We have done this one before, and I think it’s time to do it again, perhaps on a monthly basis! Let’s decorate our partner’s profile with something motivating / encouraging. This can be a quote, a meme, a photo.

ALL members are encouraged to join. This is an electronic swap, but the same expectations of tangible swaps apply – decorate your partner’s profile by the deadline AND recipients are expected to rate in a timely and appropriate time frame.

Please decorate your partner’s profile with a MINIMUM of 2 of the aforementioned.

Anyone who needs help / instruction on how to post images to a profile, I will gladly assist you and offer up my profile for practice – just PM me.”

Give Up

“For this swap, send your 1 partner a PC outlining at least 1 thing you are giving up,or at least TRYING to give up, for the month. The thing you are giving up should be something that will benefit you in regards to your health / fitness. A short explanation as to your choice is also required. If you are not trying to give anything up but trying to ADD something to your life / lifestyle, that is applicable also! Don’t forget to explain why 🙂

PC is sender’s choice, all members of HFF are welcome to join. PC can be sent naked or in an envie. 🙂

I can angel, but I don’t expect I will need to.”

Bullet Journal Fun Swap

“For our first HFF:Bullet Journal Fun Swap we will exchange a letter telling our partner what drew you to bullet journaling and one flat bullet journal surprise!

The letter can be typed or handwritten. You can write it on pretty paper or a card or plain paper. Be as creative as you want. Just be sure to tell your partner why you started bullet journaling. For the flat surprise it could be anything you can use in a bullet journal. Stickers, washi tape, tags, etc.

I will angle if necessary!! And don’t forget to put the swap name and your user ID.

Have fun and happy swapping!!”

Move It #1

“This is the first in a series I hope to host monthly, with the mileage increasing (at least over the summer months!).

For the month of April, move an intentional mile every day. Take a walk. Go for a quick run or light jog. Bike. Swim! Row! Elliptical. Change it up. Maybe you can’t get out every day–just make an effort to reach 30 miles by the end of the month.

Track your progress each day (or each mile, if you prefer).

Around the middle of the month (April 13-17th), send a Swap-Bot message to your partner letting them know how far you’ve come. This is meant to provide mid-month accountability and allow you to course correct as needed. This is part of the swap requirements.

At the end of the month, send your partner your tracking log and at least a few sentences about the swap experience. Also include a flat surprise such as a postcard, notecard, stickers, tea, etc. Check your partner’s profile for ideas and avoid allergies, but this is sender’s choice.

In sum:
1). Move a mile every day (average)
2). Track your progress
3). Send a mid-month check-in of your mileage to your partner via SB message
4). Mail your log, reflections, and flat surprise at the end of the month

Hope we all enjoy this and come back next month! Let me know if you have any questions.

Looking Ahead
In May, we’ll attempt 45 miles.”

Needless to say, I intend to update my blog with HFF’s swaps each month.  Why not spread the word?  After all, these swaps are assisting me along my path to achieving my goals!

 

 

My ‘Give A Damn’ Is Busted

Ugh, I am so very frustrated with myself as of late.  “My give a damn is busted” is not entirely accurate as I DO care; I care a great deal.  However, my motivation has been seriously lacking.  I have not been working out consistently, I have not put any new miles on my running shoes, and I have been lackadaisical, at best, with calorie counting.

With my first 5K in less than 3 months, I really need to shift my butt into gear.  I tell myself that “today is a new day,” and then I proceed to fall flat on my face.  I then tell myself that “tomorrow is a new day,” and I try my very best to not be too hard on myself.  I am still hard on myself, but the key word / phrase is “‘too’ hard on myself.”

I wanted to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, my first 5K.  Coincidence?  No.  And just the fact that I wrote ‘wanted’ . . . as in the past tense, this is an indication that I am constantly self sabotaging myself.  I want to be at my goal weight by June 3rd, and I know that with a lot of hard work, I can achieve this.

So, why do I continually strive along my path of self-sabotage?  How can I motivate myself again?  My journey has been a long one, and I have made it this far.  Why am I so hesitant to throw myself back into the lifestyle I had grown to love?  Why have I seemingly given up, yet have not truly given up?  It’s time to go from 0 to 60, and not tomorrow, not with the new week, not with the new month, but N-O-W.

A stumble is not a failure.  The only failure is quitting, giving up on oneself.

 

Why Write?

So, why start a blog now?  It’s a question I have been asking myself since I’m a serial blog starter.  I’m fantastic with the good intentions, but I dwindle when it comes to the follow through.  In order to understand how I can be successful in maintaining a blog, I have had to soul search and analyze what keeps me from doing so.

First, I get hung up on writing style, grammar, punctuation, so on and so forth.  I am letting that go.  I am going to write how I think, just put ME on virtual paper.  I’ve reminded myself, and I undoubtedly will need to continue to remind myself, that I’m not attempting to publish a professional piece of writing; I’m merely trying to connect with others who are on the same journey that I am.  I want to connect with those who are struggling with taking the first step of their journey.  I want to connect with others who have stumbled along their way.  I want to connect with people who have had nothing but the utmost success.  I just want to connect, and so, to do so, I’m letting go of my need to be “perfect,” to write perfectly, that drive to abide by all of the literary rules.  I want my blog to be a place where I can be candid, open, and just ME, not bound by any confines, even those that I have set for myself.  I am the one that puts myself in the box, and I know it.

Second, I always write thinking about my audience, even when I do not have one.  In order to be successful in keeping this blog, I am accepting that it is perfectly acceptable to do it just for me.  Write because I want to write.  I have spent the majority of my life doing for others.  It’s who I am.  I am a giver – giver of gifts, giver of myself, whatever I can possibly muster to give to someone else, I do.

Finally, my own accountability and motivation are worth the effort.  Daily, I spend the majority of my time in my own head, my own thoughts.  I have come to the realization that I am not learning from my mistakes, my bad days, by letting these thoughts just roll around and bump along in my head.  My fear of writing about my bad days (food fails, lack of exercise, no “fox” left to give) is that it will make the bad days ever more real.  Well, the trips and stumbles are just as real, even when they are merely jostled about in my own brain, yet I am not learning from them.  The missteps are important strides along the path to success, and I will no longer hide them, not even from myself.  I am the very first person to tell others NOT to give up, that stumbles along the way are OKay, and that tomorrow is a new day, an opportunity to try again.

Epiphany: I do not afford myself the same kindness that I invest in others.

Goal: I will learn to be kind to myself, for I am worthy of the same kindness I bestow upon others.