No more hairdresser visits, no more chatter about Kardashians, Mary’s hip replacement or the latest media gossip – mind you, I think any good hairdresser deserves an honorary psychology degree.
No more looking into that huge mirror and being made aware that the elderly lady looking back is actually me, made even more pronounced by the fresh young faces of those clever practitioners buzzing around me.
Why, you might ask? Am I actually contemplating leaving this mortal coil? Am I growing my hair and beard in readiness for an ashram? Or have I simply stopped caring about how I look?
Well, actually, none of these factors have anything to do with the change in my regime. It has been a long-term regime, in fact I can’t remember how many years I have subjected my locks to the latest styles and colour. From the time my daughter entered the hairdressing profession, I have had no idea what was happening under the various colours that she experimented with.
The years went by and she finally moved on to another profession, so my home care was transferred to the salon. There have been many times when I longed to just be me, yet I kept on going.
This year things have changed and there have been a few wake-up calls that have made me ready to embrace my age. I felt the transition into this final chapter – or chapters – of my life. It has been a somewhat sobering experience but also very liberating. I have seen some of my idols and friends fall off the perch, yet I live on and the quality of my life is rich and varied.
I am still working on overcoming some physical hindrances but I’m winning and will never take my health for granted again.
My big lessons have been that it is okay to slow down. Having been someone who has always charged through life – often taking on too many projects – for the first time, I am acknowledging that those days are over, and I let them go with regret.
However, I have discovered something wonderful and I now understand why I needed to face some physical challenges. I had to be slowed down to enable me to digest the fact that it is okay just to be. I don’t have to change the world – I am learning to allow life to gently flow.
I’ll still do my New Year’s Day vision board. This practice has helped me so much through difficult times and I have found that setting an intention brings results. It is just this time, I will be more gentle on myself. I feel there is more for me to do and it will reveal itself.
Meanwhile, I am loving the freedom of letting go some vanities. I will always make the best of myself, but will not miss those trips to the hairdresser – such freedom in accepting myself as I am. My daughter will ensure that my hair does not turn into a bramble bush and I will keep up the exercises that strengthen my back.
Now I will never feel guilty for taking time to read, write or just enjoy the beauty of nature. I have time to reflect on the amazing life I have had and plan to accept myself more. There are still lessons to learn and so much laughter to enjoy.
I run my fingers through my hair and thrill to the feeling of freedom.