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Making time

 

Over the past year, those familiar with my tales by now have noticed that yours truly hasn’t been posting much. This is true. Last August, the Salon/retail shop I managed closed, so I no longer had my daily escapades at the shop to write about, nor was I privy to all the latest and greatest hair products coming down the turnpike. I found myself wondering where my blog was going to go…was it going to choose it’s new path or was I going to choose it? What would I write about? What do I have to say? – which is hilarious to those who know me, since I always have something to say. I went through my archives, 5 years worth and found the tales with the most impact were those of kindness, of life, of riding the rollercoaster of parenthood, of the gifts bestowed upon us when the shit hits the fan and we think “This is it. This is how it ends.”. So, yours truly has decided to change it up a bit. More often than not, my tales are going to reflect the above, and hopefully shed some light on a dull day, add some laughter to your life and to let you know that you are not alone…and hopefully, get some heads out of some asses. Here we go.

 

“People who truly care about you will make you a priority”. “If your friend is truly your friend, you would get a text back”. “People make time for people they want in their lives”. Everyday, at least once a day on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, I see the following quotes or some rendition of them. I find them to be passive aggressive and quite honestly, stupid. Yeah, I said it. Passive aggressive because if said person means so much to you, you wouldn’t be posting quotes, you would be at their front door asking them “What’s up?” or to physically check that they were alive and in good health – physically and emotionally. Stupid because, what are we, 12 years old talking shit behind the school? Come on.

I have just celebrated my 45th. year in this earthly realm. On my Birthday I found myself looking back on the past 5 years – not just reflecting on my blog, but on my life. Over the past 5 – 6 years, my beloved hubby had a heart attack, my dear ol’ Dad had a heart attack, both suffered from Afib (atrial fibrillation), both had health issues and physical issues due to their heart medication, I was raising a teenager who was facing obstacles of her own with self image, mental health etc… . I was (and still am) building my brand, the business I managed for 5 years closed, oh yes, and I still had a household to run and all that entails – making sure bills were paid, mouths were fed and clothes were clean, just to name a few. Any spare time I had, I used to go to the bathroom. So yeah, the quotes about those who are important you make time for kinda piss me off because I was making time for those who were important to me. Yes, many of my friendships fell on the backburner. Just because I cancelled plans or didn’t text back the exact second I received their text did not mean I wasn’t thinking of them, wondering how they were. It didn’t mean I loved them any less. I was a little overwhelmed and sometimes just keeping my head above water. As a Mom, you have to be strong for your child, even when you think you have no strength left. As a wife who still adores her husband after 23 years, you must be calm and reassuring when all you want to do is cry and freak out when the love of your life is on his 10th hospital visit to the E.R. because of chest pain. (the upside to all those visits was I was able to help my Mom and my Dad when he went through the same thing).

More often than not, when someone isn’t keeping in touch as much as you would like, it has nothing to do with you. Many of my dearest friends have admitted to me that they weren’t telling me their problems, or were “keeping it light” because they knew how busy I was and how emotionally and physically spent I was and didn’t want to add to my load. To me, that is one of the kindest actions – to realize someone you care about is carrying as much as they can handle, so why add more weight.

Here’s the deal. Life is messy and gets in the way. Sometimes you get a call, sometimes you gotta make the call. Some texts are answered, some are not. If you miss someone – call them, go to their house with a coffee and a smile. If you feel out of touch with someone, decide this – do you see them in your life 5 years from now? If the answer is yes – seek them out and rectify the situation. If the answer is no, well, there’s your answer. Leave well enough alone and hope for the best. It’s all you can do. Plain and Simple.

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Believe

believe – accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of

Those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I am a believer that all things are possible. I am 42 and I still think a little pixie dust goes a long way. Today’s tale is a personal one – it’s going to be short, sweet and sassy – like yours truly.

Some great things have happened for me over the past weeks. Yours truly has been invited by sarynaKey to blog about their fabulous products and I will be a featured blogger on http://www.justpencilmein.ca .

IMG_20150112_140505      IMG_20150115_072508

Actually, some pretty fantastic things have been happening for me since I began my blog, from being published on websites like http://www.salonmagazine.ca to being invited to some pretty spectacular events, like the Contessa’s and Joico’s Spring Trend Show. Two of  the best things happened just last week. The first, as I was having coffee with an old friend. She told me that I looked fabulous – from the inside out. I agreed with her. I look in the mirror and I love what I see. I feel the spring in my step when I walk down the street or the grocery aisle.  I no longer fear the change room or trying on a new outfit. The second, my daughter told me I am laughing more. She is right, I am. I gotta admit it, once you start living the life you imagine for yourself and start believing in yourself, good things begin to happen. Not to get all “the Secret” on you, but, thoughts become things and what you focus on does become stronger….oh, and eating well and getting off your ass helps…who knew?!

To be clear, I still have melt down moments. I still lay in bed after shutting off my alarm whining that “I don’t wanna get up!”. I still get pissed off that things aren’t happening fast enough – as you all know – my patience is a work in process. I still look at my exercise bicycle and tell it “to stop mocking me”…and yes, I still venture through the drive thru. I am not as social as I once was – for now. You see, I married young and started a family and now I am focusing on my career, so my free time is precious and my daughter is about to be 18 and still likes to spend time with me and my hubby is still the cutest, sexiest and funniest guy I know – so they get first dibs.

May today’s tale give you that extra nudge you may need to go after what ever it is you want. It can happen. It can.

 

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Hiding out

We’ve all been that person. You know the one. The one who has the answer in Math class but won’t raise their hand in the off chance the answer is incorrect. The one who knows what needs to be said but is afraid of the possible judgement that may follow. The one who knows they could rock a pixie cut but are worried their husband will find them unattractive. The one who knows who they are but stays tucked in the closet because that is where they are safe from judgement. The one who has a dream but cannot begin to chase it in fear of ridicule. The one who knows where their passion lies yet will not pursue it because the financial risk is too great. The one who has one too many at the party to fit in. The one who at one time knew she was pretty but listened to the wrong people and began to believe in them instead of herself. The one who was hiding out.

In a few days, I will be 42 and as you know, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)…I am quite excited! Those familiar with my Salon Tales, it is no secret that yours truly has had issues with self esteem and my reflection. In the past, if you were lucky enough to have me stand still for a picture, I never wanted to look at it. I was also the woman who blamed everything but herself for her weight gain…yes, my daughter was 10 and I still said I was trying to lose my “baby weight” and yes, I was the woman who couldn’t workout because I didn’t own the “right” cross trainers. I was also the woman who kept her hair short for over 12 years because everyone told me how good it looked on me and it “slimmed down my face”. Fast forward to present day. Thanks to getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy), learning to embrace patience – that was a toughie, entering my forties, my hubby’s health issues that made me take a hard look at my diet and how I was feeding my family and, quite honestly, removing my head from my ass and finally allowing myself to be the person I always knew I was. Everything began to fall into place, from my career to my family to my weight and self image issues. Don’t get me wrong, there has been many a tear shed out of fear and frustration. There have been bumps in the road and hurdles to leap over…they just aren’t as ominous.

Proof that patience, believing in yourself, believing that you are worth it, speaking your truth and healthy eating and exercise pays off – posting some pictures because I gotta practice what I preach.

SSPX0691-2  2010 (38)  20131207_125202   2013 (41)

 

With my birthday approaching I wanted to bestow a gift unto you. The gift of permission to be whatever and whomever you want to be. Permission to get your hair colored & styled how you want it styled. To be the person you always knew you were but were too afraid to be. Over the past 4 years I have learned that when you dare to dream and follow that dream, when you allow yourself to follow your passion and are willing to work your ass off, life begins to get pretty good. Another lesson I had to learn, it is not all about you – another toughie for yours truly. Everyone is on their own journey and they have their own road map to follow. Their paths may not be the same as yours. Maybe your paths will cross, maybe they won’t. Their journey is just as important as yours and their hopes and fears should not be belittled. I know I put my foot in it a few times and have since apologized. Last but never least, you must be kind, not only to others, but to yourself.

Be kind. Be patient. Love yourself and know your worth. Love others and show them their worth. …it’s time to stop hiding out.

 

*UPDATE! Proof that when you are true to yourself, it keeps on getting better and better. Yours Truly at the Contessa’s November 2014, courtesy of the Beauties at Piidea & Joico. Dress courtesy of Netty Vintage.

Contessa 2014 8

 

 

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Deal with it.

The last month has been a real eye opener, not only at the Salon, but everywhere I look, and with every conversation I have. Maybe the planets are aligned..or misaligned for that matter. Maybe it is due to getting the stupid cut out (hysterectomy). Maybe it is that I am on the cusp of my 42nd birthday…who knows. All I know is this, “If you don’t deal with your shit…your shit is gonna deal with you” (came across this a few months ago…and ain’t it the truth). From a woman who thought that becoming a blonde at home would be nice & easy and make her partner take notice, a woman thinking that a pixie cut was all she needed to make her boss see her worth for that promotion to V.P. of marketing and a woman thinking she had everything under control because she made a list everyday…I have seen it all. What did they all have in common? Masking the real issues…not dealing with their shit. No amount of box dye will fix the problems in the bedroom, or will take chocolate brown tresses to platinum blonde. A great hair cut may get you some attention, but a great head shot does not a great V.P. make. As for the list maker, sure, you may be organized, but as you check off “sew button on shirt”, your child may have hurt feelings that need mending. You checked off “pick up cupcakes” for the family celebration…but you weren’t present. “Pick up prescriptions” -checked off, listened to hubby’s response to how he was feeling – but didn’t really hear him. Ladies & Gents, I know of what I speak, for yours truly is the list maker. It took me almost 42 years, I finally realized, lists are great, for the grocery store, for daily chores. They are meant to keep your tasks organized – not your life. Big difference. HUGE.

Sorry to disappoint, I will not be sharing the personal tales of my own shit dealing with me – for not all the tales are mine to share and I respect the privacy of my beautiful girl and my lovely hubby. The purpose for today’s tale is to remind you, and myself to ease up, slow down, pay attention and be present. It is true Beauties – if you don’t deal with your shit…your shit is gonna deal with you – and your shit doesn’t care what time of day, where you are or who you are with…it’s gonna pop up and deal with you. So take it from me, it’s best to deal with it, what ever it may be. Shit ain’t always pretty – hence the fitting name – shit. It’s gotta be dealt with. It’s gotta be said. It’s gotta be hashed out, then it’s gotta be put down and left there. Not just for those you love, but for yourself.

– want to spice it up in the boudoir? Talk to your partner…sometimes renting a movie (nudge nudge, wink wink) is all you need to get new idea’s brought up…pun intended.

– if your partner thinks blondes are more fun, save yourself the cost of a color correction and buy a wig – trust me…they aren’t looking at your hair color… they’re not.

– want that new promotion? Get your credentials together. Put together a presentation about you and why they need you – not why you need them.

– when someone is speaking to you, listen to them. Really hear them. Put down your phone, look up from your laptop, mute the television and pay attention. If you aren’t listening, you can miss what is being said, and damage can be done, feelings can be hurt.

– when someone is ill or has a health issue – let them bring it up. They know what they are going through, they know how they are feeling. They do not need to be reminded of it, with every conversation.

– when your child wants to speak to you, stop and listen. It may be about the cute puppy they saw on YouTube or it may be about the funny thing their bff said. It may also be about how they are feeling about their reflection…pay attention.

 

As for lists, if you have to make a list, remember it is only a piece of paper with some things written on it. It will not explode in 10 minutes if all tasks are not crossed off by 2 p.m. …something I gotta remember.

 

 

 

 

 

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An attack of thanks

I live in Canada and this coming weekend is our Thanksgiving holiday. This has been an interesting week for me. You see, in 2011, on the Thanksgiving weekend, my husband had a heart attack. I was at work on the Saturday when he called to say he had come home from work early, he wasn’t feeling well. He told me how he was feeling and I told him to get to the hospital and  would meet him there. Thankfully my mother lives down the street so she drove him and kept a loving watch over our daughter. After I called my boss who told me “close the shop…don’t worry about it.” a woman walked in the shop saying she was looking for a blow dryer. I told her I was closing up because my husband was on the way to the hospital, “It looks like a heart attack” I said, to which she responded “So you’re not gonna sell me a blow dryer?” I shit you not. That is what she said. I told her to get the hell out. It just came out. All I could think of was my husband, my daughter, my life, the feeling of my husband hugging me, the way his hand looked and felt in mine and I needed to get to him. As she left the store she shook her hands at her husband saying “she won’t sell me a hair dryer!”. Wow.

Long story short, no damage was done to the heart muscle, hubby had an angioplasty done. Seems his D2 artery was malformed from birth, hence the heart attack. Eight days later my Dad had a heart attack. He had an extra artery that was blocked. Again, no damage to the heart muscle. Those two, always competing for my attention.

So, as I said earlier, it’s been a strange week for me. As strange as this sounds, I am thankful for all of it, the heart attacks, the rude customer, all of it. Because of my experience with the doctor’s and the hospitals, I was able to help my mother, I could honestly say “I understand.”. I was reminded of all the reasons I love my husband. I remembered all the special memories of my father, things I hadn’t thought of in decades. I was able to show my daughter strength and how to look fear in the eye and kick it’s ass. I am thankful for such an understanding boss and the support of the best Salon team in existence. I am thankful for the “blow dryer rant” for now I am able to deal with crazy, rude customers…it just rolls of my back.

What I am getting at is this. Don’t wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to be thankful for what you have. No, I am not having an Oprah “AHA” moment and no, I haven’t found my savior…it is the right thing to do, plain and simple. Live your life, love your family and yourself, do what is best for you and your loved ones,hug your children, visit your parents, laugh every day. Oh…and it won’t kill you to wait for a blow dryer…trust me.