I have another post waiting to be compiled, with a load of photos on my camera so I can show you all the delicious slow cooker sausage casserole I made last week. But I’m shelving that post for the moment as uploading photos takes time, and I am in a phase of feeling guilty when I am doing anything that isn’t productive either for college, job seeking or the home and the children
However, this morning, I have taken an hour out of my time, pretty much on the spur of the moment, to do something I consider extremely decadent and self indulgent.
I’ve been and had my hair done. And when I say ‘done’, I am not talking about the usual ten minute, in-and-out-of-the-salon, cheap-as-possible dry cut I’ve been having for the last fifteen years or so. I actually had my hair washed. And cut and blow dried. And straightened.
There is no doubt that I have let my hair go over the past six months or so. I last had it cut, back into its short, graduated bob style which I have loved for several years, in about May. By then a dry cut was costing me £11.00 which I know for most people sounds like nothing to spend on your hair every eight weeks or so, but for me was just too expensive any more. I told the hairdresser I wouldn’t be booking another appointment at the moment as I didn’t know what we were doing yet over the summer. I thought I would decide in early July to get it cut again, and thought I might go to the college where student hairdressers would cut it for a much cheaper price.
In my disorganisation and apathy, that never happened. The short bob grew out. My hair began to resemble a hedge. I started to care that it was overgrown and unstyled and unkempt, but I didn’t care enough to do anything about it. I felt that there were far more important things to be spending the meagre budget on, and that I was very low down on the list of priorities. Mortgage, bills, food, school uniforms, petrol, all come much higher up that list and rightly so.
However, putting myself that far down on the list for a haircut is actually a symptom of my own current attitude towards myself. I know I’m at a fairly low ebb this past few months, with life taking over in a myriad of ways, and my own self care going by the wayside. I know, rationally, that if I don’t take care of myself adequately, I won’t be able to take care of anyone else, but any busy parent will know just how easy it is to put themselves right down at the bottom of the list, and for a single parent it is doubly hard to climb up from your position at the bottom!
I’m staying with my partner J for a few days over half term while my children are with their dad. Yesterday I walked past a board outside a salon down the road asking for models for a free cut and blow dry so an NVQ student could finish her course. This morning I suddenly decided to pop along on the off chance I could make an appointment, and ended up having my free cut and blow dry right there and then.
It didn’t cost me any more than time (and a small tip because I was so, so impressed), but somehow actually having someone else wash my hair for me, do a lovely, professional, stylish cut (I’ve grown out (and grown out of) the graduated bob and it isn’t coming back) and then dry it properly and get out the straighteners (“Do you straighten your hair at home?” “Erm… my hair has never, ever seen straighteners before, ever in its whole life…”), felt incredibly self indulgent. I felt as though I was treating myself to a wonderful present. The whole experience in itself was very relaxing, quite apart from the way I felt when I looked at my gorgeous new cut!
I would love to say, in conclusion to this post, that I have now seen the light and will always get my hair washed and blow dried when I have it cut in future. If I have it done at the college it will still cost less than a dry cut did at my previous salon. But I know myself too well to make rash promises like that and I know quite well that I will probably end up leaving it for months again before getting a ten minute unsatisfactory dry cut ‘because I am on benefits and can’t get a job and therefore don’t deserve to have posh hairdos’. However, I would like to think that next time my hair needs cutting, I’ll maybe look back at this post, remember how I feel today, and remind myself that I am lovely, and special, and definitely deserve to feel pampered and fabulous and smart and stylish! I would love to start blow drying my hair the way she did it today. I might even invest in some straighteners at some point. Possibly. Maybe.
Today, I did something entirely for me. I was proactive. And it paid dividends.