Making The Good Life

It's not what you have, but how you live.

Archive for the category “Beauty”

Au Naturel

My role model!

My role model!

I seem to be in the process of letting my hair return to its natural state. It wasn’t an intentional thing, and it isn’t without misgivings that I go down this path.

My hair is a dark blonde color – I found the photographs from 17 years ago to prove it. When I was a child it was lighter because of all the time I spent outdoors. Somewhere in the last 17 years I began to color my hair. First a few highlights, then a little more, then one day I was a redhead! Four years later I got the red out and began to be a “real” blonde. Every six to eight weeks, touching up the roots so that the increasingly dark roots and gray wouldn’t show. Over the years, damage happened and possibly a sensitivity to the chemicals. My hair fell out every time I colored – enough that it started to worry me. Women my age have enough trouble keeping their hair without bad reactions to hair dye.

I’ve experimented with less chemical-intensive concoctions but none are really satisfactory. So I have stopped. I haven’t put anything on my hair since late last year. I had it cut to my shoulders from halfway down my back a couple of weeks ago to get rid of the lightest, most damaged lengths.

I think I like it. Not so much the hair color, or the gray (I admit that I really liked that shade of light blonde!) but the process of beginning to look more like my real self. Stepping off the treadmill of faking it and onto the path of acknowledging and accepting who I really am today. Not giving up but hopefully walking a path to a healthier self-image and a more balanced approach to the rest of my life.

I’ll keep you posted.

Conflicted

A lot of people are, you know. Conflicted. About lots of things but in particular I’m talking about the big 5-0 lurking around the corner. You see, part of me wants to walk right up to 50 and stick out my tongue, say “I’m not afraid of you!” or something like that, and sail gracefully and serenely into my 50s with the absolute conviction that these will be the best years of my life. But the other part is a little bit…uncertain.

It’s a pretty big milestone in most peoples’ lives. As I approach 50, I still have teenagers at home – one full-time and one part-time, since he’s in college. I’m helping my father who is dealing with serious illness. My mom has had one ailment after another, from breast cancer to a bad hip to cataract surgery, weight problems, high blood pressure… (They’re divorced. She’s on her third husband.)

I have a fear of declining physically. When my mom was in her early 60s – not that much older than I am – she really couldn’t get off the floor or out of a low chair without help or something to pull herself up with. She wasn’t able to really enjoy playing with her grandchildren when they were small because of it. I may not have grandchildren, well…ever, but if I do it won’t be for a long time. I want to be able to enjoy them the way I did my own kids!

"Mature" runners

These are the things that inspire me to try to take the best possible care of my body. Eat well, be fit, get all of my screenings (I’m a little bit behind on those) and keep my stress levels down. Not sure how much that helps really, but it makes daily life more pleasant, and that’s really all we have anyway. I realize that I can’t stop time,

but I feel like maybe I can slow down what lately seems

to be inevitable decline. While much of that has recently been attributed to poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, attitude and perception play a part as well. This article in theNew York Times covers a lot of ground on the impact of both activity and attitude on aging.

Then there’s vanity. Yep, I am going to admit to that part too. I won’t pretend that it’s all about great health and serene acceptance. I’ve tried to downplay the part that vanity plays in all of this but recently decided that rather than feel guilty about it, I’m going to embrace it. It is, after all, a motivator! I want to keep my figure. I want to look nice, wear my hair long, and look at least a little bit like I feel inside for as long as I can.

So, health, fitness, beauty (or at least an effort at it) and a positive attitude. It’s not much – I can handle that! Come to think of it, I’d better wind this up – it’s time to go to the gym. I’m working out with my 15 year old tonight!

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