Monday, August 18, 2014

Thoughts on Fall

A few months ago I was sitting in the van with my husband looking at all the silver that had weaved its way into my hair in the mirror on the visor. Up to that point, Trever had told me he thought it was sexy, but on that day he casually remarked that IF I should decide to color my hair, he really liked my natural reddish brown. Of course, I blew the whole thing way out proportion in my mind and assumed immediately that he hated the gray and that I looked old and haggard and he was just being too nice to say so. I rushed right out to the nearest Sally's and bought hair dye.

The tricky thing about my hair is that it's not any one color. There's red in it, yes, but there's also brown and traces of gold in addition to all the silver. So even though I picked a decent color, I wasn't going to be able to match the color I was born with. When the roots started to grow back in I realized this was going to have to be something I did every 3 or 4 weeks unless I figured something else out or grew a sudden fondness for different colored roots.

I went in to a stylist and paid an exorbitant amount of money for her to put different colored highlights throughout my hair. She assured me that if I decided to let some of the silver grow in, this would make that as subtle as possible because it would blend better. It was the beginning of the summer so I didn't balk too much over the fact that it was a good deal blonder than I ever wanted to be.

Then last week, I went back in and asked her to put some lowlights in it. It's almost fall and I realized I'd prefer a more subdued, natural look. She chose a couple colors that were in my natural hair- a reddish shade and a brownish shade, and mixed them in. I love it. I can see the silver coming in all over the place but I don't mind it and I realize I am not the kind of person who can get her hair done every month. I'm way too low maintenance for that. The gal coloring my hair was surprised when I explained I use exactly ONE styling product on my head, an argan cream that tames the frizzies, and I always just scrunch the curls and then let my hair air dry. She put a little bit of hairspray in my hair and I hated it because it made my hair feel stiff. I used enough hairspray in the 80s and 90s to last me for the rest of my life, thankyouverymuch.

I've admired those cutesy hairstyles in the magazines but am practical enough to realize that I won't want to put the effort in that it will take to blow dry and straight iron and painstakingly apply approximately 8 billion styling products to my head. The only reason my hair is currently short is because I took a round of chemo meds a couple years back and it trashed my hair. I lost a ton of it and then it grew in all thin and sickly looking. I'm finally at the place where all the crappy hair has been chopped off and what's left is healthy, so now I plan to grow it out so I can eventually just put it in a ponytail and forget about it. Like I said, low maintenance is key.

I like to play around with make up from time to time but I really don't spend a whole lot of time on my appearance. Maybe I should, maybe I'd feel better if I did. I'm a jeans and tee shirt kind of gal. I wear Birkenstocks in the Summer and Spring and Uggs all Fall and Winter and I don't own any heels. I always have my toenails painted because I love pedicures but I never have my hands done because I hate when they start chipping. I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I used to really like rings, but since I've got rheumatoid arthritis and my hands swell a lot, I don't wear them as much anymore. My favorite pieces of jewelry are the pearls my parents bought for me.

I'm really looking forward to fall because I love wearing sweaters and thick socks and having an excuse to wear my robe around the house or make hot beverages several times throughout the day. Fall is my favorite season for lots of reasons, but maybe especially because I make it my goal to drink my body weight in Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It's the time of year that you can get away with not having to shave your legs every damn day because no one is going to see your legs anyway.

Georgia is glorious in the fall, with the leaves changing into rainbows of oranges and reds and yellows. People start making desserts with apples and pumpkins and drinking cocoa and cider and making lots of soups and chilis. The air is crisp and the humidity is comparatively low and I can smell fireplaces being used in the evenings and all of that makes me happy.

I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself, daydreaming about fall. It's still mid-August. Well, my hair is ready, in any case. Very fall-chic.

I called this morning and made an appointment with my rheumatologist in Savannah. I was supposed to go in last week, but they have this screwy confirmation policy where they call you a few days prior to your appointment to confirm it... and if you don't happen to answer the phone they just assume you won't make it and cancel on you. Well that's exactly what happened. It's actually the first time it has ever happened to me, but it still irritated me because I'm the kind of person who makes an appointment and keeps it in the first place so I wasn't thrilled that they assumed I'd flake and be a no-show. I had the reminder slip pinned up on my calender an everything.

Oh well. I rescheduled for this Wednesday, which means I need to go get lab work done tomorrow morning. They only had an afternoon appointment, which is particularly frustrating, because this doctor usually runs so far behind schedule that your only hope of seeing him in anywhere near to a decent time frame is to be one of the first appointments of the day. It is not uncommon for me to be waiting in his office for well over two hours. I like the doctor and only have to see him every few months, so I generally just suck it up and deal with  the long wait a couple times a year. I bring a book, even though I have a hard time reading in waiting rooms when TVs are on. They almost always have on the news and it's almost always distracting.

Maybe I'll make a day of it. Maybe I'll go a little early and get lunch at that little cafe I like that sells that orgasmic banana pudding dessert. There's an art store and a book store in the area as well. They have these fine point pens I love in loads of brilliant colors.... Not that I really need to spend the money, mind you. I don't. And I really shouldn't be trusted in an art or book store with a credit card- ever. I haven't really been feeling much like painting or drawing or doing anything creative, which is so unlike me that it actually concerns me and makes me question whether something is wrong. Perhaps I'm just hoping if I walk around perusing the aisles, inspiration will strike. Sigh. I don't know.

I think counselors are able to make a good living because people need to have someone in their lives they can talk to about things who will listen attentively and pretend to care. I've been thinking about going and seeing one just so I can get out some of the millions of thoughts swirling around my brain without burdening Trever any further. I can tell that he tries to be there for me as much as he can, I know he loves me, but sometimes I just need a bit more than he can give and I don't want to be unfair to him. I have my best friend Cara, and I'm truly grateful for her. She helps me feel sane, and some days, that's really something. But what about people who don't have a Trever or a Cara, who don't write or paint or run or have some sort of outlet for their pent up thoughts and feelings and frustrations... Are any one of us really all that stable that we don't need someone or something else to help us along the way? Isn't it sometimes a terrifying thing to have to sit and be alone with yourself? Or is that just me?

I suppose this is where God ought to factor in, but I just don't have words for that today. It feels like a topic that makes me feel too tired to begin properly. I'm going to run a hot shower and just be alone for a while and listen, because I guess if I believe anything, it's that if God is relational and wants to talk to us, the least we can do is quiet down long enough to hear if He's saying anything. I think I need to eliminate a lot of the noise around me, pack up boxes of books I don't need to read and clothes I don't need to wear and just stare at empty-ish shelves and bare surfaces for a while. Maybe there is a season for nick-knacks and decorations and also a season for minimalism in our lives. Perhaps the problem is when we try to force one thing or another, or fall back into the patterns we are familiar with, instead of embracing a new thing.

Trever told me yesterday he thought I should burn my journals. I knew what he was getting at because I had been telling him about how I'd recently reread some of them, and identified some repeated patterns that I was unhappy with. He is very  much a forget-the-past-and-move-on kind of guy. I tend to think that the past has a lot to teach us, if we are willing to learn. Still, I need to be careful not to get stuck there.

The kids are baking cookies, the kind you add an egg and some oil to that come in a little packet. They smell pretty good, actually, even though I'm sort of a purist when it comes to cookies and like doing everything from scratch. They've been completing all their school work by lunch time and I'm thinking I might need to make a trip to the library and get them some books to read because video games are driving me insane and it can be challenging to find a movie they can all agree to, considering their ages range from 2 years all the way up to 16. They're all pretty partial to our Ella Grace, and they let her get her way quite a lot, so they are all watching Care Bears right now.

I'm lazily making my way through a Donald  Miller book. I need a nap.

I think I'll order Chinese take-out for dinner tonight. Trever is out of town on a business trip and I don't feel like cooking or dealing with cleaning up a mess afterwards. All the kids like Chinese, and there's a decent place here in town that I like. I'm going to ask for a whole handful of fortune cookies, take turns opening and reading them with the kids, and then take the one I like best.

I'm kidding.

But, in a way, I really do think that's what we ought to do in life.



  1. I like your stream-of-consciousness writing today, Amy. I just cut off my ponytail and I'm happy about it. It took forever for my hair to dry and it felt like a wet sock on my neck. Yay for a change of hair every now and then. I hope the Chinese food is good and that your appointment goes well.

    1. A wet sock on your neck? Smiling over here at the word picture. :)

  2. Lovely glimpses into your life. I'm at a minimalist, accepting the gray, cookie purist stage in life, too. Really, for some time now. Love you and your kindred heart.

  3. Made me think of this:

    I haven't read the book, but I've heard him tell the story.


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