Look, I know that the world is a mess right now. And the political system in our country is appalling. The fact that this cast of characters in the Republican party have been able to gain the kind of momentum they have and be taken at all seriously is mind-bending.
But here's what's bothering me today: My hair.
I know you have all heard your fill of what you consider from me to be a neurotic obsession. But, please, hear me out.
My hair is thinning so much, and it's killing me. I always had this amazing head of hair, at some points unmanagable, and at others points, my glorious trademark. Hair, skin, and teeth. Those were my winning features.
My teeth are still pretty great. I'm lucky. I have terrific dental genes. And I have taken care of my teeth really well since I was about 21 when my then dentist, Gerry, admonished me for not flossing by saying, "Okay. If you want to get periodontal disease, fine," in the most throwaway, offhand way. That did it for me, and I've been flossing ever since (even in some situations that others might call "inappropriate").
My skin is still pretty good, but, I'm 60, and there's no denying that I have pigmentation ("age spots" - what a hideous phrase), and my skin's elasticity has waned tremendously - all over my body. I cannot bear looking at myself in overhead dressing room lighting. My thighs look like a map of small and prolific ski mogols.
But it's my thinning hair that's got me by my...hair.
Maybe it's because I never really considered that it would happen to me. As a woman, I suppose I didn't think about it much. And I had SO MUCH hair. I mean, how could I lose THAT? I know every time I've washed my hair, tons of it has come out. But I'd never felt a difference in what was left on my head. Until recently.
And when I feel my hair now, when I grab it in my hand, I feel the end of my life. I feel that I don't have many chances left, that I can't afford to make mistakes, that I have no time to wait it out, that I have make something BIG happen in my life, now, right away, at the end of this sentence.
That is what we would call "panicking." And we all know what greatness comes out of panicking.
None! Nothing! I become a saboteur of my own self. What's the point? I'm my worst enemy.
So, I think it's time to calm down and do a little grieivng over the pieces of me that have fallen away, as they are wont to do.
And what does that mean? It means that I am not who I was. I mean, the essence of me is still here, but I have aged, matured, become more complex.
When things fall away, it's not all bad. I can begin to see that. It's only a pinhole of light, but I can see it. If I can get through it and relax, let it carry me, I may be able to see what is being revealed in me that may not have been visible to me before when I was all gorgeous hair and taute skin and young teeth. I relied on my youth for much of my identity. Now I will learn to rely on what is more timeless in me. I may even begin to enjoy the freedom of it. Who knows? Maybe I'll shave my head.
No, I won't shave my head. But there's a change a comin'.