This Hat…


I live in this hat. Everyday, or almost.  It represents a lot of things. Like how I don’t have the time or the energy to care for 8 people full time, and how I choose them over the time it would take to take better care of my appearance, and how a huge portion of my life has been dominated in one form or another by appearance, though you’d never know it by looking at me now.

It also represents that I no longer believe that my only value lay in my appearance. Now I have all this other value, but no kind of appearance at all. That’s called “Irony”.  I bathe in irony. It is my life’s blood

It’s probably a crime of some kind here in Southern California, but it also hides the fact that I missed my biannual haircut. Again. That my hair is showing it’s gray.  That I won’t look at myself in the mirror again till night.  I guess it represents my complete removal from myself in the midst of raising all these young children.  I miss being pretty, and I wonder if I ever will be again. Logic tells me it will be attainable again some day, but my emotions are a bit fragile about it all I guess.

I have travelled from one side of the pendulum swing to the other when it comes to appearance, and as usual, I rarely reside at the bit in the middle where good mental health resides.  As a very young girl, I would spend a couple of shaky hours in front of the mirror, painstakingly applying “the mask”. I was very, very good at using makeup to enhance my appearance. I thought of it as armor, not me. I still do in ways, and so my carelessness about wearing now has some homage to better mental states to it. The  “Me” underneath was always an awkward, unattractive mess and the make-up hid that.  It took two hours to cover that person and the fear that she would bleed through.

17 years old = 2+ hours
44 years old = 5 minutes (maybe)

I am a creature of extremes.

I miss the days when I had a hairstyle.  I miss looking better than I do. But to accomplish what needs to be done and not be under enough stress to wholly guarantee a stroke, I have elected to surrender make-up and hair for now. (I surrendered exercise as well of late).  But I miss it. And the best I hope for is to be kind of invisible as I facilitate my kids through their day.  It’s one of the things that I hope will pay off…and will still be there when I come back to it again.