Hair Extensions

Several days after I posted “Hair is Not the Answer,” below, I did invest a considerable chunk of change in my hair at my friend Rebecca’s new salon, De La Muse. I went with a color closest to that of my darker roots, instead of the lighter color I had been trying to maintain. In a way, then, I journeyed back closer to myself and opened the route to a smooth transition back to the real me.

My daughter Robin, about to turn sixteen, has gorgeous natural hair color, a mixture of light brown and blonde. She’s been a competitive swimmer for nine years, however, so her hair needed a bit of TLC. Her friend, who may someday become a hair stylist, offered to give her highlights. I made my daughter an appointment with Rebecca instead. I treated myself to my first facial while Rebecca gave Robin a new glow, inside and out.

Robin was concerned about the cost; I pointed out that we routinely go out for pizza, and the cost of her highlights is equivalent to two nights of pizza. The hair coloring will last for months (and has fewer calories). We enjoyed making our own pizza this week.

The experience pointed out a bigger issue. As I talk to women about my solo retreat book, many exclaim that they can’t possibly justify the time and expense of a week just for themselves. They have no trouble spending the time and even more money on vacations with their families, but they feel guilty about the idea of spending more than a weekend away alone. That’s why there are plenty of books on the market about short retreats–even 20-minute retreats–but none about longer ones.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh called women “the great vacationless class.” When we take vacations with our families, we are still wives and mothers. We supervise, compromise, and put the needs of others first. Lindbergh writes, “Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.”

We all have to make decisions about how to use our time and money, especially when times get tight. But it is important sometimes to invest in ourselves. It’s a good investment; it pays dividends in self-confidence, peace of mind, and new directions in our lives. As the L’Oreal slogan says:

“Because I’m worth it.”

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2 thoughts on “Hair Extensions

  1. I think your blog is wonderful! The book will be so helpful to so many women who are tugged here and there by the demands of family and work, without enough time to even catch, let alone watch, their breath. I am starting mindfulness classes in two weeks. Personally, I get a lot of solitude in my studio and my community printmakers’ studio. I did sacrifice a lucrative career in order to find myself. We must be related!

  2. What you said “justify the time and expense of a week just for themselves” is so true. I was thinking about a retreat I did many years ago (but I did not call it a retreat then) which was hanging out at the family cabin for 8 days in blissful isolation. At that time I was single and not in any relationship so it was easy to take off for a chunk of time. Now it is not so easy – a home, a sweetheart, a dog, hobbies that involve meeting other people most weekday nights. It is really hard to tear myself away from that. Tear is a good word, isn’t it?
    Anyway, nowadays I find my ‘me’ time when said sweetie is off to a workshop or traveling for business (not often, but I’ll take what I can get). I’m looking forward to the summer workshop season. I’m not going to one (voting with my feet!) so I’ll have a week to myself.
    I’m going camping! Spend most of the week outside – hanging out under a tree with my dog and probably reading something like Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man.

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