I was thinking this afternoon the incongruity that exists in my life sometimes. Last night I headed over to the Kahala Mandarin (or whatever it is called now) to go see the best hairdresser on Oahu at Salon Reve. She moved there recently and rents a chair to be out on her own instead of within the confines of a salon. I have been with my hairdresser longer than my significant other. Our relationship has spanned bleaching, shaving, razor cutting and coloring. I went to her when I was single, when I was pregnant and now that I have a seven year old. Since I have been going to her, she has gotten married, bought a house and had a son. After such a long time, I trust her completely. She knows my hair. She likes to do my hair. I am easy and never complain. She was telling me yesterday about a woman who had been unhappy with her color. She had wanted her hair to look like Sandra Bullock’s, likely a tall order. I always try to be the last appointment of the day. We dilly dally. We chat. I am there for a long time and it is OK. Last night it was about three hours. She cut my hair. She colored it (with three colors) and we closed up the salon when she was done and walked out together. The way I see it, it is the only thing I really spend a bunch of money on for me. I balk at paying more than $40 for shoes, I am always looking for clearance dresses on Target’s website but I pay my hairdresser for good hair.
So this morning, when I got up at four to go to the Swamp Romp, I had good hair. When I was done and it was sort of caked with mud in the back, at least it looked good. The Swamp Romp is just good fun. It is tough; it is long. Today there were many, many more obstacles than last year. When waiting for the Swamp Romp to start, I am very nervous. I worry that I will get hurt; not be able to finish; not be able to do the obstacles. Thing is, it seems that most folks doing the race, just want to have a good time. There were men in very, very short jean shorts, a group in tights and pink tutus and tiaras, some guys in just very small tight briefs and girls with bunny ears and tails. Me, I want to at least trot the entire race, I don’t want to walk and my extremely competitive streak would never let me drink beer at the start line. Good thing, my two time team-mate Katy, feels the same way that I do. We stand at the start with our stomachs in knots thinking that we could really go to the bathroom just one more time given the opportunity. Inevitably, it is fine. It is challenging, it is difficult, it is dirty and stinky, there is so much grit in your shoes when you are done that you wonder how you were able to take a step. When you are done, you feel great. You feel accomplished. You feel tired; dead dog down to the bone tired. The kind of tired that makes you wonder if you should be driving. And, I will say for the record, that our washing machine broke down today, nice.
Thinking about three hour hair and running through a stinky swamp for almost two hours. Can that person be the same person? And to quote a famous TV personality, yes, yes it can. Lately I find that a lot of people are stuck in the “way it should be” when it comes to themselves, their lives, everything. Kind of like, oh I am X age so I should be this way and I can’t do that because I am a certain age. For me, my mindset might just come from my Mom. She is 69. She frequently comes in first place in younger age categories in races (she registers younger when she can). She always tells me that she doesn’t mind getting old, but why does she have to look like a prune. She still shovels her own snow, rakes her own leaves and mows her own lawn. She eats healthily and is very active. Myself, I often forget how old I am. I have to do the math. Maybe it is because it is depressing or maybe it is because it doesn’t matter. All you have, when it comes down to it, is your life. Without that, you really do have nothing. So you had better take care of it. My mom would love to do the Swamp Romp and I am relatively certain that she could; at 69 or perhaps at 70. All I’m saying is that, don’t be the mold, be what you want. When I see people living their lives the way their age is supposed to and not the way that they can, it makes me sad. So get out there; swamp romp; dance; sing; do whatever, just don’t not do it because you are 69 or 59 or 49. Don’t accept what they say; prove them wrong. Chances are, I’ll be right there with you, likely with my mom at my side.