Monday, September 17, 2012

Growing Gray

Ever since I stopped earning a paycheck (January of 2011) I've felt a little guilty getting my hair done at the salon. With a cut and highlights, I dropped $120-$150 on a visit to the salon every 6-8 weeks when I was working, and every 8-12 weeks thereafter. I've struggled since we moved to Texas (when my income dropped significantly, and then eventually completely after moving to NC) with being 100% financially dependent on my husband. I saw myself as a burden to him and I felt guilty spending "his money" on things that were unnecessary. Over time, as I've grown in my faith and my understanding of God's intentions for marriage, I've come to see my husband's complete financial support of me and our children as his responsibility. I know, I've gone totally domestic and traditional, but I don't think I'm wrong. This is what he was made to do; to care for me and our offspring; to provide for food, shelter, and other needs. And I'm so thankful that he is able to do so, and that he is proud to do so. Now I don't mean, it's his "job" to go to work and make money so that I can lounge around and eat bon-bons and watch daytime television all day. I also have responsibilities and my "job" is to care for our children, tend to the home, shop for and prepare meals, I also "mow" the yard (I weed-whack it) and take out the trash and do laundry among other things, as I'm sure most of you do as well. We have always thought I would go back to work when our youngest is in full day school (Kindergarten), but recently, our ideas of what we want our lives to look like, how much money we need, and what we want to do with our future has changed kind of dramatically. But this topic really warrants it's own blog post, so I'll get back to my hair (because I'm sure the whole wide inter web is really, really concerned about my hair). The one thing I never really stopped feeling guilty about was spending so much money on my hair. 

Earlier this year, the movie The Hunger Games came out. I had read the books early last fall and really enjoyed them (much, much more than the movie, but that's another conversation entirely). One thing that the movie DID have over the book is obvious- it was visual. Now, usually any picture I can come up with in my head while reading is better than what the movie people come up with (yes, I'm that good! lol). However, the scenes of the capital people in the movie were very convicting for me. I guess in my head they were more freakish looking. On film, they were still freakish looking, but they looked a lot more like you and me. I wish I could find a picture of the blue haired lady, but I can't. But I can tell you that when I saw her, my immediate response was "I am the blue haired lady". The amount of time and money spent on their appearances mirrored my own reality. I would put my kids in childcare or leave them with my husband, go to the salon and sit for at least 2 hours (more like 3) and pay at least $120 to have my hair cut and colored. Um, why?? Who am I that I need to do that?? So, I stopped. When we started our Buy Nothing New Challenge on May 1st, I included this in my guidelines- haircuts, sure. Highlights? No. I allowed myself box dye purchases to do myself, but after doing this twice, and finding it doesn't hold- It just fades- I've decided to just grow it out and be me. To my surprise "me" includes GRAY HAIR. This should be interesting folks. I've had several people ask me during the last few weeks if I dyed my hair blonde again. I haven't. The brown dye has just faded, and this is what I'm left with.  

Can you see all that gray??? I'm actually kind of excited. Natural highlights!!! lol. I'm hoping the contrast between my natural growth and dyed hair isn't just horrible as it is growing out, if it is, I can always chop it off. One of my friends expressed complete confusion over my decision. She said she couldn't ever imagine feeling convicted about her hair. Well, I do.  I don't expect everyone to share my convictions, but I think if you just think about it a little bit, maybe you can understand where I'm coming from. 

Now take a minute and look at this. 



Now anyone that has read the books (and some of you that have seen the movies, although I would argue that the development of the disparity between these people wasn't NEARLY as rich as the book) knows that the Capitol people were clueless, selfish people living excessive lives at the cost of the oppressed (and hungry) people in the districts. And it was gross. It looked a lot like America and the rest of the world. We live lives in ridiculous excess, while people all over the world struggle to even eat. BUT, you might say... We aren't gathering them up and watching them kill each other for sport. Its not our fault that there is such a disparity between us and the rest of the world. Well...

Now take a minute and look at this:



Which contrast is more distinct to you??
We're not gathering up and watching them kill each other for sport, but we're not doing a whole lot to help them, either. Certainly not doing anything to help that would make our own life uncomfortable. Not spending money on my hair is a baby step. I'm a selfish person living comfortably just like the rest of you. I'm not claiming to be any different. But I am starting to think differently. And we're making changes to live more simply. If we ALL made some small changes, they could add up, maybe. I don't know.

So if you think I look awful...if you think I've let myself go, that's okay. I'm okay with that. I'm digging the grays.

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