Because I am not a fan of writing I have been procrastinating doing so again, but this time I felt obligated. This subject is extremely controversial and in the end I didn’t want to do it, get vaccinated that is, but I took it in the leg*!
This is my story of conversion, of why I changed my mind. In no way is it intended to convince or cast judgement or expectation in any way. It is a most personal matter. This, simply, is my story.
I haven’t had a vaccine since I was a kid and had no intention of starting now. I come from strong stock, European immigrant grandparents on both sides, no strangers to hard work. I stay fit, eat clean, have a positive attitude and maintain healthy relationships…blah blah blah. All the tools for survival, right? Usually maybe, but not in the case of Covid.
Frustration and pressure began to overwhelm me as I listened to both sides of the argument. I always sided with nature because I believe when man intervenes it screws up everything, since all life of any kind is interconnected. I wondered if this pandemic wasn’t natures’ way of doing a “correction”. We have become overpopulated, sick and poverty stricken as a result. We have kept far too many people alive by artificial means for far too long at a time when nature would normally take them. Calloused sounding? Maybe. But I couldn’t get past that.
Finally, I had an idea. A close friend I used to work with as a hairdresser went on to become quite accomplished. She is now a PhD biologist, one of the smartest people I know, next to my PCP. That is not the reason I sought her out. Joyce is also a granola crunching hippie, practically a homesteader living off the land with her husband, also a scientist. A natural gal to the core, she knew both sides of the coin, science vs. nature. So I reached out for her advice, held my breath, and although I had no expectation I was praying she would side with nature. She didn’t. And she assured me it was “bad science” that leads people to believe this will screw up your natural immunity. Crap. Things are changing too fast with this stupid virus. Damn. I STILL don’t want to do it!
Then Joyce told me her personal story of Covid. 45 and vivacious, healthy in body, mind and spirit she lives in rural Georgia. She drove 30 minutes to town for supplies just once a month and gas as needed. Joyce got Covid and was so sick she was unable to work for MONTHS. Not to mention the residual effects.
And there’s Ashley, my client’s daughter-in-law. Same story. Late 30s, super healthy, professional working from home, she barely left the house, having everything delivered. Covid leveled her for WEEKS, rendering her useless. And on and on. Stories like this knocked me off my high horse. I’ve just recovered from major surgery and I sure as hell don’t want to be out of commission again with Covid.
That reason alone, not wanting to be sick myself, sounds pretty selfish. Though I cross paths with relatively few people I do have to consider that I am face to face with many elderly and otherwise compromised people just by the nature of my work as a hairdresser. There is still so much to learn about this virus I was becoming increasingly uneasy about causing harm to others.
So I did it. I got vaccinated, but STILL against my instincts. I don’t want to keep getting boosters as this monster morphs. I’m angry that I had to make this decision at all. And crazy as it may sound, I feel like I have let down my naturalist friends and practitioners by “giving in”. But I sucked it up, put my tail between my legs and took it in the leg!
*p.s. I didn’t want in in my right arm because I had a super busy week in the salon and didn’t want to feel like I got punched. And my left arm has some weird residual nerve discomfort from my cervical surgery. Plus it was fun to liven up the vaccination site! No one had ever made such a request and that got them all hopping. Hey, a muscle is a muscle after all. The funniest part is they had to have an RN give it to me for whatever reason. He was a handsome studly dude that kept insisting we had to go to a private area to administer the shot. I finally figured out he thought I had to drop my drawers to get to my thigh. I had leggings on and he didn’t know they were stretchy enough to pull up. No wonder he was so flustered! LMAO.
All the hoopla around the exit of Prince Harry and Meghan was the inspiration for this post. While I offer no opinion about their life, I am absolutely shocked by Meghan’s statement at the onset of the big interview when she said she hadn’t given much thought to what royal life would be like and was surprised at the reality of it. An expert on “the institution” I’m not, but even this American commoner guessed pretty closely how it would play through.
Over and over I witness people making foolish decisions, the repercussions of which can be prevented. One large example is having a baby. I am amazed at how many people put more thought into what they will have for breakfast than getting pregnant. Did you play through what that hot night of unprotected sex might lead to? A pregnancy as a single woman, struggling to make ends meet, sleepless nights with a colicky baby and finding childcare while you go to school AND try to work are all possible scenarios.
And speaking of breakfast, another example is the effect food has on us. Wrestling with diet is something most of us do on a daily basis. Think about what you are about to eat. Feel it in your mouth, taste it. Then play it through further after it’s gone. Was it satisfying? Do you wish you didn’t eat it? Did it bloat you or make you constipated? Or did it support your vision of a healthy body by consuming food that is nutrient dense instead of dead? Did it increase your vitality? If you opted for the better choice how did that make you feel? Sometimes a splurge is worth the satisfaction. Consider the cost/value. Play it through.
On the cost/value note, spending on superfluous items is a biggie. This thrift shopper, totally out of character for me, once bought a suit off the mannequin in the window of a pricey boutique, next door to a liquor store. During a short break from work at Christmastime, I ran out to get some wine for the salon and was beguiled by this suit. The only one of its’ size, I disrobed the wearer. It was absolutely stunning, fit me like a glove BUT was $300 twenty years ago. In 10 minutes I made a spontaneous decision to buy it. The style was timeless, the fit was forgiving and I knew I would have it and love it forever. Guess what? I still wear that suit and it still looks amazing on me, if I may say so. If you want to see a picture of me in it, leave a comment!
Something I really struggle with is balancing time helping others, something that brings me great joy…when in balance. You ask how helping those in need can ever be a bad thing. It is if it is at the expense of your mental and physical health. I now play through my plan. When that plan stresses me out, I simply modify it. I don’t have to do it all. Something is better than nothing.
I actually had to see a counselor over my obligations to an elderly Aunt. When the angst became all consuming I reached out for help. She suggested I use the practice of Mitzvah, where the emphasis is on deeds—not on positive thoughts or wishes, but on conscious acts of empathy and kindness. Then she had me set a limit of how many Mitzvahs could be reasonably performed without becoming resentful. That simple “play through”, along with many others, literally changed my life and has made decision making easier than ever.
So the next time you are faced with a dilemma, just play it through and you’ll know what to do!
Those two powerful words carry much responsibility, as they shape who we become. What beliefs do you have about yourself? How do others perceive you based on your own beliefs? Fill in your blank.
I’ll go first! I am confident in my actions. This is often perceived as arrogant.
I am constantly looking for ways to simplify; everything from ridding myself of one-sided friendships, clutter in my home or extra work for both my businesses. Removing the unnecessaries makes space for things that enhance my life rather than bog it down.
It would be hypocritical if I didn’t practice this philosophy behind my chair as a hairstylist, as well. I believe it to be my job to simplify your hair. Coming from personal experience, I used to be a slave to my own. If I could take back the countless hours I spent blow drying, straightening, curling and coloring I would do something more productive with them, all the things I invest in now that bring me contentment and satisfaction. It is my job to keep you out of the salon and to prevent you from buying an arsenal of products you don’t need and that clutter your cupboards. What??? How do I make money, you ask? Because people trust me and become lifelong clients as a result. It is sustainable. If I send someone home without performing any service because their hair didn’t need it, when I do recommend a service or product they will buy it because they know I’m sincere. If I keep the price of a service down and space appointments further apart it will be easier for a person to maintain that long-term. On the contrary, if I perform pricey, time consuming, high maintenance services and put the hard sell on overpriced products, most folks couldn’t and/or wouldn’t continue for very long. That is how I have built a 39 year clientele. Norma, now 96, was 59 when I started doing her hair. I was 19 then and am now 57, just to put it in perspective! More than half of my clients have been coming that long. Now that’s what I call sustainability!
Let me give you a couple of examples. As a persons hair starts to turn gray I don’t believe in completely covering it with color. I choose to use a non-ammonia tint whenever possible, which blends the gray with your natural shade, preventing a harsh obvious line of regrowth. Nor does the hair shaft fade off-tone because it is not permanently “changed” by ammonia, as it is a deposit-only color. If a little extra kick is needed I’ll add as few highlights as possible to do the job. I know people who get a full head of foils every 6 weeks! That is almost never necessary. (We offer free consultations to further explain this, if you are looking for a change.)
Now a short product story. Marsha, a long-time client, was struggling to control her thick, wiry hair. After much discussion, we agreed she needed some sort of styling aid to help tame the shrew. I looked through all of our commercial products, as I haven’t yet developed any products specific for styling. (More on that in a future blog.) Sickened by the exorbitant prices and knowing this woman is on a fixed income, I had an idea. I grabbed a jar of my handcrafted Bliss body butter. You should have seen her face when I schmooyed a palm full of that all over her hair! Then you should have seen the look when it totally transformed her hair by giving it instant shine and manageability!! She was beyond thrilled to only spend $9 for 4 oz. instead of $19 for 2 oz.
So these two examples gave my clients more time and more money to spend on additional things that enrich their lives, which has a ripple effect out in the world by exuding more joy and projecting less stress onto others. It’s not about making the sale. It’s about keeping the client. I’ll end with this quote by Irving Berlin: “The toughest thing about being a success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.” Peace.>