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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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Unplugged

Today’s tale is for all who feel overwhelmed, myself included. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and of course, here. I realized a few months ago, when I heard myself starting each conversation with “Did you see that picture on Pinterest?”, “I saw the funniest thing on Facebook!” or checking my stats on my twitter followers and blog views that I was spending a little too much time on my social media sites….that and the kink in my neck from looking down at screens.

As you all know, my Salon tales have taken me on many an adventure. I am the first to admit that when building a brand and a name for yourself – social media is key, it is a must. It is because of social media that I am where I am today and that many opportunities are ahead of me on my path. Sharing my tales via twitter and Facebook has connected me professionally to many companies and writing opportunities and in turn employment. Sharing my photo’s via Instagram has connected me to many of the companies I use, sell and blog about and they are now following me …on my sites…not down the streets. My professional Facebook page – That girl in the red coat has allowed my blog to reach a new audience. It also allows me to keep my professional and personal life separate, as separate as social media allows that is. I have the administrative rights to the shop’s Facebook page and it has increased our customer base and introduced clientele to our Salon. Social media can be an awesome tool for business, for keeping up with the latest and greatest and for connecting with friends and loved ones. What I came to realize is that too many of us are letting social media control us, instead of us controlling it. Myself included.

Signs you may need to unplug;

– while paying for your hairspray, you shriek “SHIT! Some girl on Facebook says I should be using something else!” – true story, actual words said to yours truly 2 weeks ago.

– you decide the latest “pin” on hair & beauty is a better choice for your new ‘do, as the last foil is placed by your stylist.

– the latest party you attended was via Facebook or twitter.

– you find yourself comparing your hair style to the hairstyles on Pinterest and feeling like you are a failure. – yes, another true story. I have a customer who said she feels stupid because she couldn’t do a “top knot” like the picture on Pinterest. Once I let her know I get round brushes stuck in my hair, she felt better.

– you find yourself wondering why you lost a random follower on twitter…enough said.

– your child’s first sentence is “where did I put my phone?”

 

My solution? Unplug. Turn them off. All your notifications will be there when you plug back in. All your “likes” will still be liked. All your tweets will once again chirp. Photos will be stored and will reappear. Messages will be put on hold awaiting your arrival. The earth will not split open and swallow you whole, I promise. Now, before you run for the Xanax, take a breath. Now another. I know that the thought of unplugging is scary, and for many of us, not as easy as it sounds during the work week. I have my phone and my laptop by my side during my work day, to check our shop’s Facebook page, answering emails, checking facts and product pages for myself and my customers and clients, online banking, etc… . What I have begun to do is turn them off at least an hour before my workday and at the end of  my work day, depending on the day I have my phone off by 8 p.m.. – if there is an emergency, those important to me have my number. Lets be serious here…most of our notifications and messages are not life altering or emergencies. Watching the kitten chasing the string and Kim Kardashian becoming a blonde can wait.

Once a week, usually on a weekend, I unplug. I turn off my wifi, my data, my phone and my laptop. At first it was a little strange. I found myself feeling like I forgot something. I found myself reaching for my phone beside me. Kind of like when you cut your hair. You reach up to put it back in a ponytail but it isn’t there. Now I find it liberating. My time is once again my own and my life once again my own. It is about me and my family and who I choose to spend my time with. It isn’t about who liked what, or who favorited or retweeted who, or who pinned what. I can catch up on shows with my daughter, or take her out to lunch. I have coffee with dear friends and have actual face time with them – no screens or Skype needed. I make the dishes from the recipes on Pinterest instead of just pinning them. I try out the latest hair products instead of reading about how to use them. I take photo’s of my own instead of just liking someone else’s. I take a walk. I take a nap.

Sometimes unplugging is the only way to recharge.

 

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Great Expectations

Spring is upon us. Yes, I know Mother Nature is taking her sweet time welcoming Spring across the threshold, I assure you, Spring is in the air. Every year, around this time is when it begins. Ladies and Gents are looking to brighten up their lives and change it up a bit after their Winter hibernation, and usually the change begins with their hair, usually with the holy trinity of hair – a new cut, a new style and a new color. Today’s tale is to help you and your stylist make the transition to the new and improved you a positive experience, where the only tears shed are tears of joy.

We’ve all been there. Flipping through our favorite fashion magazine or surfing the beauty pins on Pinterest and at long last, our lifetime search for the perfect hairstyle appears in front of our eyes. The clouds part, the sun’s rays illuminate the image before us and in the distance we hear the faint echo of the angel’s singing. We run to the nearest Salon, the picture that the heaven’s bestowed on us in hand and burst through the door exclaiming “I want my hair to look like this!”. First things first…unless you are Jennifer Lopez, you will not look like Jennifer Lopez. We can help you have hair that looks like her hair (with an investment of some hair extensions), we cannot make you an exact replica. For those familiar with my Salon Tales, you know I have told you that when you want to change your hair it is always best to bring a picture (a color picture) with you to your appointment. This being said, you have to remember that the picture is a guide line for the stylist, they may not be able to achieve the exact color or cut you desire – hence why honesty on your part and a proper consultation by your stylist is key. Being me, I have compiled a little  list for you all, a guide line of sorts;

– when looking to change your hair color, be prepared that the color you desire may not be able to be achieved in one appointment – if you have been using box dye to achieve your raven black locks and have now decided you can rock the golden tresses of Khaleesi, no amount of dragon fire will make that achievable in one appointment.

– many …not all, but many of the women you see on the pages of your favorite fashion magazine are wearing extensions, either for length or volume or both.

– ALL the hair styles you see have one thing in common – PRODUCT. To achieve volume, hold or texture, you must use styling products and styling tools. *Many styling products that are created to help you achieve volume are thermally activated – you need to use a hair dryer for the best results.

– always let your stylist know if you have been using a box dye at home. There is no judgement – the stylist needs to know that there is a possibility of the color going a little funky. When the stylist is aware of what they may have to deal with, they can mix the color accordingly to achieve the desired result, or as close to it as possible.

– when looking to change your hair style, ALWAYS ask the stylist how much daily effort it takes on your part to keep up the style. Find out if you need to have a flat iron to achieve the desired look, or if you need a pomade and a hairspray. * In my decade of experience in Salon Retail many times the cut and color given were spot on, at the Salon. Unfortunately the stylist at the Salon the customer went to never explained how to style the new ‘do, nor was any direction given on what tools, styling or otherwise were needed.

– REDS. One thing you must know if you are going to color your hair red. It will fade. No matter what you do, it will fade. The red molecule is too big to properly penetrate the hair, so it will fade the quickest. Reds have the most upkeep, so if you like to go to the Salon every 8 – 10 weeks, red may not be the color for you. * Sulfate free shampoo’s can help retain the vibrancy of your reds a little longer – Joico Color Endure is now sulfate free.

20150514_134714  *** NEW ADDITION to the Joico Family – Color Infuse Red – a color depositing Shampoo and Conditioner to bring the life back to your fabulous red tresses!

– many of the vibrant colors tend to fade quicker than the other shades. Healthy Sexy Hair has an awesome product to help keep your vibrant  locks bright – Reinvent Color Care Top Coat. This gem is suitable for all hair types. It is a clear coat for your hair – think of a top coat for your nails – this product is a top coat for your hair color. It also gives a boost to the color in between services by adding more gloss and sheen.

– you will have regrowth. The hair color penetrates the hair, not the scalp. Once your hair begins to grow, you will have a line of regrowth. If regrowth bugs you, or you don’t have the time for root touch ups every 3 weeks, there are many options open to you. One of the most popular is the Ombre or Reverse Ombre….or, like yours truly, have blonde on top and dark underneath so when my roots come in it looks like it’s on purpose….smoke & mirrors baby….smoke and mirrors.

Image

 

– pixie cuts are great, I have had every imaginable pixie cut known to man. A pixie cut, although short requires maintenance and product, something to think about if you are just a wash & go kind of girl.

– for my Gents – there are great hairstyle options for you today. Most require a little time and effort on your part, so if you are like your female counter parts and do not want to fuss with your hair, the New Side Part may not be for you.

– another for my lovely Gents – your beard and your moustache require a little attention and product as well. American Crew has a great product line for shaving and facial hair maintenance – American Crew Shave.

One last little bit of advice. If you are feeling the need to change your hair, or your hair color, be sure it is your need. Changing your hair or yourself for that matter, for any one other than yourself, will always end in tears and frustration. You will never be happy with your reflection because it is not the reflection you want. Hair color mishaps can be corrected, hair will grow, clothes can be returned or given to charities. A broken spirit or lack of love of your reflection is not as easily repaired.

Everyone has their own definition of beauty. Be your own kind of beautiful.

 

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Not your usual Top Ten list

Everywhere you look, on facebook, on twitter, on Pinterest, even on the cover of the magazine’s at the express check out, everyone seems to have the newest idea or the newest “how to” for your “best hair day EVER!”. Granted, some of these idea’s are quite useful and helpful. Many, sadly are not. There are no miracle cures for split ends, there isn’t a 10 minute technique to make a brunette a platinum blonde, and sorry to burst your bubble – your hair will not grow 2 inches in 2 weeks – no matter what product you put on your scalp. Over the past weeks many customers have wandered into the shop with the same question “Do you have something that will fix this?”, as they point to their head…or hat depending on the damage done. I have seen women with hair that looked and felt like straw. I have seen women who’s hair felt like wet cotton – although their hair was dry. I have seen women with patches of singed hair. I have seen women, that their hair had so many shades of gold and orange their head looked like a paint swatch. As always, my aim is to educate and enlighten, so, being me, I have compiled a list. A “Top Ten of what not to do” list. You’re welcome.

1 – If you want to be the blonde bombshell that you have always known was inside you, do not attempt this at home. I know the box shows you that a brunette became a platinum blonde – trust me, it’s not gonna happen. Save yourself an evening locked in the bathroom and go to the Salon.

2 – Coconut oil smells terrific and has many health benefits. One thing it is not is a thermal protectant. *Unless the package states it is a thermal protectant and meant to be used with a flat iron, DO NOT use any oil on dry hair and then proceed to use your flat iron. I want you to picture a hot frying pan…what happens when you add oil to it? Exactly. See my previous post –

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/04/09/you-should-hear-sizzle-at-the-stove-not-at-the-vanity/

3 – Split ends are a result of damage – from being too aggressive with the brush while trying to rid yourself of tangles to over processing your lovely locks. The best way to keep those pesky splits at bay? Go for a trim every few weeks. Before you faint – get out your smelling salts – I am not saying get inches chopped off. Ask for a baby trim – literally millimeters trimmed off…or 1/8″ for my non metric beauties.

4 – There isn’t any product on the market that will make your hair grow inches in weeks. There are some products out there that state you will notice 1 – 2 inches of growth in 6 weeks…that is the usual amount of growth for anyone in good health.

5 – Toner is not a magic potion found in a magic bottle.

6 – Purple Shampoo/ Blue Shampoo will rid your lovely blonde or silver locks of the yellow/brassy tones that blondes/silvers pick up due to product build up, pollution and nicotine. Purple/Blue Shampoo will not make you more blonde. If you have colored your hair and you now look like the great pumpkin, no amount of shampoo will make you blonde. Time to call the Salon.

7 – Plastering your teen daughter’s head with hairspray will not stop her oily scalp. I don’t know who thought this one up. Oily scalp is common for teens, boys and girls alike. It is hormonal. Senscience Specialty Shampoo, Joico’s Daily Care Treatment Shampoo, RUSK Sensories Purify Shampoo and AG Peppermint Wash are terrific shampoo’s to help oily scalp conditions.

8 – A professional stylist would never tell you how to color your hair. Until the color is applied, there is no way of knowing how that color is going to process on your hair – something to remember the next time you are told “oh yeah…just use this and that and you’ll be fine”. …I know it happens, the stylists in my Salon are booking color corrections because of so called “professional” advice.

9 – Unless you have natural wave or curl in your hair, you need to use a curling iron or get a perm to achieve tight, bouncy curls. No amount of curl activating cream will make your poker straight hair curly. You may achieve a slight kinky wave from the product build up, but if ringlets are what you desire, you will need some mechanical (curling iron/wand) or chemical help (perm).

10 – Most conditioning treatments have done all they can do in 20 minutes. Leaving them on overnight has no added benefits.

I know I said this was a Top Ten list, I do have one more very important addition…throwing the flat iron is never a solution.

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Make the call

Today’s tale is for the Stylist’s and Salon owners. Today’s tale is about the ever present “no show” and how it disrupts the day, if not the week at the Salon. Now, before I get a “PREACH IT SISTA!” from all the stylists out there, you may want to hold back your enthusiasm a wee bit, for today’s tale is about the responsibility of the no show – the Stylist’s responsibility.

No one likes being stood up. No one likes standing around, waiting and wondering if their client is going to show up, wondering if their client is just running late, kicking themselves for not taking the walk in that just arrived because they weren’t sure if their client was coming or not. From time to time a stylist will have a “no show” – a client that doesn’t come in for their scheduled appointment. No call. No text. No show. Not only is this a disregard for the Stylist’s time, it also is taking income out of their pocket and potentially interfering with the rest of their scheduled appointments. This is one Salon problem that has the easiest of solutions. Call your client’s the night before their appointment to confirm the appointment. It really is that simple. The Dentist does it. The Doctor does it. You can do it too.

Think about it. It’s a win/win situation. You have helped your client remember his/her appointment and saved them the ever dreaded embarrassed phone call two days later, and you now know what your following day looks like and you can plan accordingly. I know you can’t control everyone and what they do, trust me, I know. Sure, there is the chance you call and confirm the appointment and the next day you have a no show. The upside to this is that now you know that this client is not reliable and next time they want to book with you, (if you choose to let them) you know not to schedule their appointment at a peak time.

On many occasions, be it at classes, hair shows or discussions with Stylists and Reps., I have heard the same phrases, over and over;

– “I don’t have time to call my clients”.

– “I’m too busy to call my clients”

– “I don’t want to bother my clients at home.”.

– “I hate those kind of calls, so I won’t do them.”.

Guess what? Since you didn’t confirm your appointments for this week, there is a good chance that you will have time to call your clients, because without proper confirmation, the chance of a no show increases. As Stylists, you know how much your time is worth, you charge for it everyday. If you are able to ask $150.00 for a cut and color without blinking, you are able to call your client to confirm their appointment. The client is worth it, and so are you. As for the “hate those calls” – you may not like them, but many people appreciate them. No woman alive wants to forget her root touch up appointment.

I have been in the Beauty Biz for many years. I know first hand how busy Salon’s and Stylist’s can be, some days there isn’t time for a sandwich, let alone a bathroom break. I also know that we do have down time, to place orders, to eat, to have that much needed bathroom break and to make a phone call or two. Honestly, if you have time to search new up do ideas on Pinterest, you have time to confirm an appointment or two. Being me, I made up a little list, for those of you who do not know where to begin;

– Make confirming appointments part of the receptionist’s job description.

– when you are re-booking your clients, let them know to expect a courtesy call, a reminder the day before their appointment. * think about it, our clients book 4 -6 weeks ahead. Life gets in the way and people tend to forget things. More often than not, your client will be grateful for your consideration.

– If your Salon doesn’t have a receptionist, have each stylist call their own clients at the end of the day. Make it part of the nightly routine – sweep floors, clean station, confirm tomorrow’s appointments. – it really is that easy.

– Sit down as  a team and decide upon a no show rule. Many Stylists and Salons now charge a fee for a no show. *IMPORTANT* – you can only charge a fee for a no show if you have a policy in place that you confirm all appointments. Lets be fair here.

A real plus of confirming your appointments…if your client has to cancel, now you can call the clients that need to come in earlier, or that are on a cancellation list and you have over 12 hours to do it, instead of 20 minutes. Confirming appointments takes 5 – 10 minutes and can save you hours of headache. Make the call.

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Let me introduce you to OPI

Over the past few months many women and young ladies have come into the shop with the same question “Do you sell OPI?” and my answer is always “Yes!”. I ask them what they are looking for from the OPI line and many answer with the same answer, they are not sure. I am told how they saw some great nail art designs on Pinterest, or You Tube or that the girl at the office swears by it. This is when I walk them over to my OPI shelves and introduce them to OPI.

OPI is a great nail care line. It has something for everyone, from nail strengthener to hand lotions to FAB! colors with FAB! names like “I’m not really a waitress” (H08- stock # if you are looking for it). OPI truly thinks of their clients and customers. Their website http://www.OPI.com is fun, interactive and user friendly. The best feature of their website…the Try it on Color Studio – just choose any color of polish to see if you would like it for you. You are able to change the color of the pigment of the skin and the nail length of the hand demo offered.

As you know, my aim is always to educate and enlighten, so, me being me, I have compiled a little list of the big OPI sellers at our shop;

OPI NAIL ENVY – OPI’s answer to a nail strengthener. OPI has something for every nail type or ailment;

Original Formula – Maximum strength formula that strengthens with Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein & Calcium for harder, longer, stronger natural nails. *Ideal for weak/damaged nails

Matte Formula – offers the same features as the Original Formula with a natural look (clear) *AWESOME for men

Soft & Thin Formula – designed to strengthen soft & thin nails. Fortifies with extra calcium.

Dry & Brittle – moisturizing formula that also protects with anti-oxidant vitamins E & C. *No more snaps, splits or breaks.

Sensitive & Peeling Formula – a formaldehyde free formula for sensitive & peeling nails. Protects with anti-oxidant vitamin E & emoillient rich Kukui nut oil & soothing Aloe Vera. *terrific for nails recovering from poor acrylic applications.

OPI Start to Finish – a 3 in 1 combo of base coat, nail strengthener and top coat in one! *available in a formaldehyde free formula

OPI Rapid Dry Top Coat – this gem is FABULOUS! A fast drying top coat that dries tough, dries fast and is long lasting with a non yellowing high gloss shine. *Also available in a spray. ** One of my all time favorites.

OPI Drip Dry – a quick dry topcoat that you drip onto the nail. Dry to the touch after 1 minute, completely dry in 5 minutes. *Also treats the cuticles with soothing Jojoba and vitamin E.

OPI Chip Skip – A great nail primer which increases the adhesion of your nail lacquer. *put on your nails before base coat or color.

OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing oil – Rich in avocado oil & Tocotrienol *super anti-oxidant – 1000 times more powerful than regular vitamin E. Contains featherlight grape seed oil, sunflower, sesame, kukui nut oils & lecithin to restore essential moisture & lipids to nourish dry cuticles. *IDEAL for rough heels & elbows!

OPI AVOJUICE – a beautiful line of hand and body lotions in an array of flavors from CocoMelon to Cranberry to Jasmine. These lotions are nourishing with fruit extracts, avocado extracts and healing aloe extracts.

OPI. A gem of a line that keeps up with the times, has a fun time with their products and is always thinking of their clients and customers. What more could you ask for?

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Who knew Qtips could do so much?

“If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left” – Marcia Hutchinson. I came across this quote a few months ago, and over the past few days it keeps popping up around me, be it on Facebook, Pinterest or over hearing conversations in the Salon. Funny tale to tell today…well, funny in a “okay, I get it” kind of way.

Confession. I haven’t always been this confident woman you read before you. I was that girl, the one who acted confident but went home everyday thinking she was fat, stupid, dumb, ugly…take your pick of any negative description of a person and that was what I thought I was. Over the past few weeks, I have heard the same phrases coming out of the mouths of the women coming into the shop, and I have let it get to me. You know what they say…what you surround yourself with you become. I started to bring it home with me, which is never a good thing, nothing worse than letting someone get in your head and reside there rent free. The constant negativity compounded with a few personal exclusions over the past few days were the perfect ingredients for a recipe for emotional disaster. Yes, I am 40 but it stills stings me a bit when I am excluded…I’m working on it.

Last night, as I was sitting and pouting, on my twitter feed I came across the above quote and literally right after came across this little gem from @simonsinek “If you want to achieve anything in this world, you have to get used to the idea that not everyone will like you”. (told you this was an “okay I get it” kind of tale). He is right. I know that. I blog about it all the time. I had forgotten. I had let myself wander off my path because it was getting lonely at times. Funny thing is, when you stop being true to yourself, you become more miserable and lonely than you thought you were to begin with.

This morning, I was still a little glum, couldn’t seem to shake my melancholy, then I went into the bathroom and saw that my hubby had refilled the Qtip jar and everything fell into place. Yep, I am that easy to please. In that instant I realized that all the negative thoughts floating around in my head were not mine, they belonged to the woman who yelled at me because the hairspray I had introduced her to that she loves is on back order…until Monday, and to the woman who didn’t understand why exchanging her flat iron was so easy to do and disappointed that the process didn’t take 20 minutes like she had planned it would. (seriously folks…I WISH I was making this up). All the anger I had towards my family was not my own, it belonged to the woman who’s husband had found a new love and to the gentleman who was angry at his wife because he had to pick up her hair color and she “never” does anything herself. I do like my hair, and I do think I look good and am proud of it. I don’t down play myself because I am now 40 and as the lovely woman in jogging pants and rubber boots so lovingly pointed out “putting on jewelry and doing your hair when you are over 35 is stupid”.( I got to meet this gem in the 1-8 item line at the grocery store…she had 9 items by the way).

It is so important to be kind, not just to others, but to ourselves. We teach people how to treat us (thank you Maya Angelou) and, although I hate to admit my faults, over the past few days I have been responsible for the negativity coming my way. I was letting it get to me and become the lesson I was teaching to all who crossed my path. With a little help from my Twitter feed and  a jar of Qtips, I have a new lesson plan.