Friday, 20 November 2015

In a While Crocodile.

This week I was lucky enough to have a few extra days with the boys. On the first day I asked, due to it corresponding with a day off work, if they would like the day off school? They have been asking for a few weeks for an extra day off and it's something we do regularly but not often. So I figured this day plucked out of the cosmos seemed like the perfect day to say yes.

We had such a lovely day, we bought new art books each and spent a few hours drawing. We had long conversations. Being quite a hot day we went to the pool during school time for a cool down without the crowds, came home ate ice creams, had cool showers, watched movies, drew some more and then all snuggled on the lounge until we were dozy enough to fall asleep and went to bed. It was near on the perfect day.

I woke up this morning to the news of horrendously hot weather coming and I saw a few people were planning on keeping their kids home. As their school isn't air conditioned, I spoke to the kids dad and woot! Another day off. I felt a bit guilty at first, I mean had I known at the beginning of yesterday that today was going to be a day off I wouldn't have done given them yesterday off. But in hindsight I'm so glad I did. And hell they are 9 and 10 and a four day long weekend won't kill them.

Today was another near perfect day, we had a water fight before the real heat kicked in, battened down the hatches, we did more drawing, had more conversations and watched more movies. No one asking to play on the computer, no one arguing in spite of the heat. Too hot for actual cuddles we just spent time cuddling with words and thoughtful actions.

We had just settled in to another movie, art books and/or pompom makers in our laps when I looked at the time.


And my heart dropped. It was almost time for their dad to pick them up and the end of our little staycation.

You see there has been a topic that I have tried to stay away with since the reinvigoration of the blog.


Due to hard work and as much mutual respect as two people who have split up can manage we share the care of the kids.

Generally I have the boys for three weekday nights a week and they are with their dad the other two. We then alternate weekends, and holiday weeks.

And for them it's near perfect. They love the extra time they get with both of us. They talk about it a lot. About their two houses. Their two bedrooms. That their family is bigger now. How they have such different times at each place. They have never once talked about the way our life is now in the negative tense. And to be honest I think that's how they feel 99% of the time.

But every week there is a morning where I drop them at school, we talk about all the fun things they might do at daddy's, how excited I am that they are going to do all the daddy things, have extra hugs, say our goodbyes. I tell them I'll call them every night and see them soon.

I smile a huge smile as I drive away waving and blowing kisses. Then I turn the corner and cry.

Every week it surprises me that it doesn't actually get much easier. I mean sure there are weeks that I'm just a little somber and others where it's really tough. I have tried to pin point why some are harder than others. It doesn't coincide with how long, good times, bad times, it doesn't even coincide with my hormonal fluctuations. It just is.

Today is a tough one. They won't be gone long, just a few days, but as I sit here in the hours since they have left I have a deep ache in my gut that is just telling me 'I miss my boys'.

I think mostly my sadness comes from the idea that, for all foreseeable time I will spend more time than before missing them. These aren't those little breaks where you get to just enjoy a quiet night, or the longer ones where they are doing something unique. This is just a part of my week.

The upside I remind myself is how fantastic is it that they are happy, they have an involved and dedicated father and mother who both really love the time with them (even the cranky insane kid days) and who both miss that craziness when it is gone. Who manage to keep up a relationship with each other that isn't about each other but about our two children. And so on weeks like this week because something unavoidable came up I got extra time with them and in a few weeks for my stuff their dad gets them a bit extra as well. And in the end that means that they are always ok. Always with people who love them. And because of this never missing me nearly as much as miss them.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Who are you Really?

I went through a traumatic experience last year.  It was something that changed me in so many ways that I am still working on it.  It changed the way I felt about myself, it changed the way I saw myself and my worth.  It was such a profound experience that when I mentioned it, in what I thought was an off the cuff way to my shrink she added it to the list of thing to talk about in our sessions. 

I cut my hair ….

Now you may be thinking ummm this is stupid, what a ridiculous thing to have a traumatic experience about.  And you are right.  But it was a lesson that was massive for me because I realise now just how much of my ego and worth was put into my hair. 

My hair was something that I have always received compliments about from everyone including hairdressers.  I have been blessed with hair that quite naturally, is pretty.  If my hair was ok, it didn't matter what I was wearing or how sallow my skin looked, or how old I felt.  It was all pretty much ok.

This is my hair at the beginning of April 2014

It is long.  The back touches around my lower back.  I dye it regularly because as much as the colour of it is ok, it isn't punchy.  So I have bleached the tips a few times, or I dye it in reds and purples to cover the few greys that are coming in.
But I had started to feel a weight from my hair.   It felt boring and I wanted a change.

And then I saw this picture and man, I wanted a light choppy soft hair like this.  It looked fresh and new and I wanted to feel that. So I went to the hairdresser and said cut it, but don't cut it this short.  Just shoulder length, choppy and light like this.  The result was really lovely.

I felt more modern, less flat. It felt a little more mumsy but I didn't have to think quite as much about moisturiser or how often I shampooed it. And it felt lovely.  But that time was relatively short lived.  

I went to the hairdresser again to have it cut back in.  Lesson learnt, do not go to the cheap hairdresser and wind up with the apprentice. I received the worst haircut of my life.  The layers were all wrong.  I had layers that were only a few cms long at my crown.  Bits were standing up so that it looked like I had some weird blended mohawk.  And for the first time in my life my hair didn't feel pretty.  I started wearing a beanie as often as possible just to hide it.  Work was awful because on top of my ugly uniform, I couldn't hide my hair and just had to walk out the door looking like something the cat had dragged in.
  I couldn't rely on it to be the thing that made me feel 'pretty' and my ego just didn't know how to deal with it.  I had never felt quite as low about myself physically as I did with bad hair.  

And then for a derby event I had to dress up like a punk and I did my hair like this.  All slicked to one side and big on the top. And everyone, EVERYONE commented about how amazing my hair looked, and said wow you should shave the side.  And man did my ego need that.  I liked the way it looked as well.  It took that mumsy feeling away. And for the first time my hair didn't feel pretty, or ugly, it felt funky…. I wanted more.

Cut to this … a slightly drunk hilarious night where we decided to shave 1/2 of my head.  Because months of this bad haircut had passed, and my hair still looked terrible and so I figured, if it can't look pretty it may as well be funky, can't get any worse.

I was wrong….

Unless I put a heck of a lot of effort in, and to be honest I have no clue how to put effort in to make hair look good, I had a 1/2 mullet.  It was horrendous.  

And so, as all normal people do when they are having some weird existential crisis … I figured, fuck it and cut it all off.

And straight away I new I had made a MASSIVE mistake.

I complained to those nearest to me and it must have been so boring to listen to.  But what they were listening to wasn't really about my hair, it was about my loss of self, well the part of myself that still needs to walk out the door feeling together, and lets be honest, attractive.  And without my hair being part of that, I just felt plain, no worse than that, I felt ugly.

Ok break time … because I know that reading this could lead you to think that I'm a complete idiot.  and yeah partially you are right.  But we all have these things right? these parts of us that if it was taken away you would feel less.  For me it was hair, but it could be a range of things.  Maybe its going out without makeup, maybe its the way you dress and present yourself.  Maybe being the least smart person in a room would rock your self worth, or being the one that carries a little more weight, maybe you aren't refined enough, maybe you aren't cool enough, maybe you don't have enough money, or enough success, maybe …. well hang on that's the point isn't it … 


And that's why my shrink figured it was worth putting on the list.
But lucky for me I had already realised it.  It wasn't about a bad haircut, it was about taking away something that made me feel enough when I walked out the door. And thank goodness I realised it when I did because the next step would have been me shaving my head.

Today I have a short bob.  I have this weird piece that won't grow fast enough and keeps bugging me and I still often look in the mirror trying to figure out how to fix my hair.  I still wear a beanie when I just can't deal with the madness or just because they are cool.  But now I try and remind myself that my hating my hair is just a symptom of me probably needing to love more things about myself.  And some of the time it works.  I no longer hate that my hair doesn't look pretty.  Sometimes, although it's still rare I'm even thankful for that stupid haircut.  The biggest thing is sometimes I think I can still be beautiful without my hair. 

Now don't get me wrong, I have at least another 15 things that play on my mind when I go to walk out the door, but I hope now that now I have survived the haircut I can use those lessons to deal with of those parts of me that tell me I'm not enough.

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