Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I just started reading a book called Going Grey by Anne Kreamer. It is a wonderfully written, witty account of a woman who has decided to stop dying her hair and go naturally grey. I, like her, decided some time ago to not only stop dying my hair but stopping cutting it as well. Unlike her my hair was not so grey as hers apparently was and I didn't have a year of bad grey while my roots grew in. As I said I decided to stop cutting it too. At first I firmly planned to let it get to a certain length and then donate my hair to Locks of Love. They take hair that is a minimum of 10 inches long, so the plan was to let it get to that length plus the shoulder length that it was at the time I make this decision.

It is now at the middle of my back and I feel thrust back to my high school years when my hair was close to being waist length. Now I vacillate between donating my hair and keeping it long and flowing. I hadn't fully convinced myself that at 55, long hair is not something that most women do. But I hate short hair and I hate having to go to my stylist whenever the style, whatever it is supposed to be, gets unruly and drives me crazy. Having it long is just so easy. I mean really, who am I trying to impress? I am a middle aged woman, married with a child. I am not trying to find the love of my life or catch the eye of the most desirable man around. At this point in my life I am working to impress people with my brain, not my looks.

Then today I came across a passage in the book where she sees a 70 year old woman, fit and beautiful sunbathing nude on a beach at Martha's Vineyard with long flowing white hair who becomes a model of what the author is trying to accomplish. It set my mind that I am not just growing my hair to donate it. I may never donate it...besides they don't take grey hair, but I may grow it out forever until it reaches the floor like my paternal grandmother. I seriously thing that when I saw her wedding picture as a child, I subconsciously decided that I would forever have long hair. That could be why every time I have cut it shorter than shoulder length I got panicky and uncomfortable. I even went to the trouble of making my mother buy me a fall (a half wig) when my hair was cut ridiculously short when I was a young teen. I came home in absolute tears refusing to come out of my room until my mother apologized for taking me to the hairdresser and bring back the fall so I wouldn't appear in public with the absence of hair. Such trauma!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have been using the rubber band negative reinforcement technique to help stop me from biting my cuticles and it has been working fairly well. Whenever I find myself putting my fingers in my mouth I "punish" myself by snapping the band on my wrist. I have gotten to the point that I now recognize that I am about to starting biting and stop myself. I hope that I will eventually stop even before I put my hand near my mouth.

Habits are really hard to break. One has to change their entire way of thinking and deviate from a comfortable, normal-feeling activity, to another one that is outside our comfort zone. It takes time, effort, and thought. I have heard that it takes the average human about 2 weeks to develop a new habit and 90 days to break one, so I am giving myself a little time. I know that when I started riding my bicycle for exercise, after a few weeks, it was engrained in my daily routine and I didn't even think twice about it and it felt odd when I wasn't able to do it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Rubber Band

The other day I had an argument with a co-worker. For some reason this particular person never understands what I have to say. I know it's not me, because other people understand me with no difficulties and I wonder if this person just likes to argue. There are people in the world like that - they pick fights all the time.

I often wonder about those people. Are they trying to be difficult because by being that way they are getting attention, or is it because they just want to fight? Why would anyone just want to fight? Personally, I try to avoid confrontations for the most part. I won't agree just to agree, but I try not to enter into disagreements with people because it's just not worth it to me; it's a waste of time and resources and I don't like to be in a bad mood.

A friend of mine suggested using a rubber band around my wrist that I snap whenever I want to stop a negative habit. I tried it last night because I am trying to stop this nasty habit of tearing the skin around my fingernails. It helped somewhat, but I went to bed with red welts all over my wrist. Maybe I was a little too harsh on myself, but it helped. I have to remember to wear the band until the habit stops. Anyway, the premise is that eventually you associate your habit with pain - negative reinforcement - and train your brain to stop the habit. He tried it with smoking, but it didn't work as well for him as the new drug, Chantix.

Unfortunately, I can't snap a rubber band on my co-worker.