New Things #7 and #8: Going gray and getting quiet

In which I rediscover my roots and try to tame what’s underneath them.

You may notice that these two new things do NOT include writing a song, which I had planned to do as New Thing #7.  I did work on a song, a funny song about Trump (lots of material there); I had a melody and about 2/3 of the lyrics when the whole Charlottesville – Nazi thing went down. And it just didn’t seem funny anymore. So I moved onto my next new thing: Going gray.

Though it may seem possible for a mother with a teenage boy, I’m not saying I just instantaneously sprouted a head of gray hair.  I have lots of gray hair, which I’ve been dyeing for about 20 years. For the last 5 years or so, I’ve been curious: What’s happening under there?  If I didn’t dye it, would it all be gray? I could tell the hair around my part was nearly white, but it was harder to tell with the sides.

So for the last couple of months, I’ve been letting the gray roots grow out, making them look presentable in the meantime with a Loreal product that is basically spray paint for your head.  Every morning for the past 8 to 10 weeks, I’ve shellacked my head each morning and gone about my day. Finally, last week I took the plunge and had all the dyed hair cut off.

The result was a little anticlimactic. The hair on top was gray, nearly white, and the hair on the sides was a darker gray — just like the roots foretold (DUH). What was more unexpected was how much I like the super-short cut. It looks cute and has bought me a good 15 minutes in the morning.

New thing #8: Meditation

I’ve actually been meditating for about a month straight now. I didn’t start doing it as a New Thing, just as a way to cope with my nutty schedule (the panic attacks weren’t doing the job for me). Then I got on a roll.

I’m using an app called Calm. My daughter downloaded it on her phone, but because my kids all use my Apple ID to get their apps, their apps show up on my phone (which is why my phone screen looks like I’m having an identity crisis, with My Fitness Pal next to Magikarp Jump and Pokemon Duel). Calm has an assortment of guided meditations, in which a serene, unstressed woman whose kitchen is probably really clean talks you through the meditation process.  There are about 8 or 10 free ones, and a long list of ones with a little padlock next to them that require you to spend money to unlock. So far the free ones have worked fine for me.

It’s not easy shutting up my mind. Just when I think I have it quiet, a stupid little voice peeps, “Look! We’re doing good!” So I’m essentially thinking about how I’ve achieved not-thinking.  I only meditate for 10-minute sessions, and I have yet to get through the whole time without drifting off to thoughts about breakfast or whether we need light bulbs or which sister is dead, Joan Fontaine or Olivia DeHaviland? (ANSWER: Joan Fontaine).  But I’m stringing together more quiet moments each time.

The next New Thing: Pho or Sushi

I’m not sure what my next New Thing will be, but I’m considering a new food experience. I’m generally a pretty picky eater for an adult, but I’m trying to expand my horizons. We’l see how it goes.

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