Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Ninety-eight

Day 98 - Self-Determination
I had a quiet day today, which was both welcome and probably necessary for my sanity.  To quote my friend Virginia again, I’ve been going 100 miles per hour lately, and haven’t had a rest.  Over the past week or so, I’ve tried to slow things down just a bit, and while that effort has been unsuccessful most of the time, the ability to focus on the priorities first has helped.
Today, though, was a breather.  I never left home.  I picked up all the clutter that has accumulated during the past months of frenetic activity - paper put into the recycling or shredded, documents and letters filed, receipts put away or thrown away, magazines read and flagged for future use or recycled.  My work space is finally tidy again, and it relaxes me.  As I said to my daughter once, the clutter and stuff creates “visual dissonance.”  Now I see harmony.
I cut my hair short again today.  I know some people don’t like it as well as when I had it longer, but I love it.  There are times when I think of the Crissy doll of the late 1960’s and early 70’s that my friend Karen Knapp had, whose hair could be lengthened or shortened with a push of a button (and a gentle tug) - wouldn’t it be nice to simply push a button and have a different length?  If it were that easy, I’d probably enjoy it more.  But anymore, I simply cannot be bothered with the daily efforts of straightening and styling.  I don’t have the time.  
I enjoy how my hair - and head - feels with a buzz cut.  I like the look, especially in combination with a full beard.  I appreciate the fact that some of my friends and family are comfortable enough with me to simply blurt out their opinions; the fact that they trust me to understand their motives for saying what they say is a compliment.  Ultimately (and I don’t mean to sound harsh), others’ opinions are irrelevant.  I remind myself (and sometimes them) that since I’m the only one responsible for dealing with my hair (which has a mind of its own), I’m the only one who gets to choose how it is styled.  
I get to choose.  Not just my hairstyle, but my life, really.  I get to choose what I do with anything within my control.  I can control how messy or tidy my room is.  I get to choose which days I work 14 hours and which I work only three.  I can go to the gym five times a week, or not at all - it’s up to me.
I may not have control over everything in my life (like when a company will fill a position), but I’m grateful to have the freedom to determine for myself what I want and what I go for.  It’s empowering on some level to know I’m accountable to myself.  It is encouraging.  And a relief.

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