Reset


Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.  –Clint Eastwood

To be clear, I do not think I am old.  I also do not think I am “getting” old.  Age happens and everyone does it.  This is why I struggle with some of the things people say to me when they hear I have grandkids or when they hear how old I am.  Things like, “WOW!! You have grandkids, you do not look like you could.”  “Hey, you are 50!!! No way!!” “You do not seem to act your age.” “Incredible, I would not have thought you were older than (give any age younger than what I am)”  They say it like it’s a shame that I am so old. Or like I must be depressed about my end years.  I mean.. seriously, these days my age (51 now) is barely middle age.

Yeah.. yeah… yeah… my joints sometimes hurt, I am sometimes shocked when I think about my oldest child being 27 and my youngest being 25, and sometimes I forget that I am not the exact same age as everyone I am standing around.  However, I am not really old. Or at least I do not feel it.  I’m sure I felt the same way about the older generation when I was part of the newer generation.

My dad put it best about 20 years ago when we were sitting in a local dive.  He said to me, “Sami, you see that guy that just walked in here?  How old do you think he is?”  I looked over and nodded and said, “Well, he’s at least 21.”  Dad said, “Yeah, yeah, but how old do you think he is?”  I looked at him and the scraggly group he was with and said, “Well, he looks to be about 24-26 years old.”  Dad said, “Exactly… and that’s how old I think I am in my head!!! Then I walk by a mirror and I am absolutely shocked.  I can only think to myself, who is that old bastard staring back at me!!”

Well, I am now the age my father was then.  Even though I got it at the time, I really get it now.  I don’t give age a whole lot of thought usually.  But every once in awhile it sort of just hits me.  Lines around my face, grey hair coming in, the above mentioned joints giving out on me when I least expect it, and the amount of time I spend thinking BAAACCCCKKKKK on the follies of my youth.

About a year and a half ago, my younger sister was talking to me and indicated she was going to let her hair go natural and that I might want to join her.  I had been dying my hair since I was about 18.. just for the heck of it.  I no longer had any idea of what the actual color of my hair was but knew that over the past few years, I was starting to see some grey roots. I thought to myself, why not.  I was actually tired of dying my hair.  Further, living overseas it is often hard to find a quality product to use and it can get very expensive to go into a salon and pay someone every few weeks to dye your hair.

I’ve never been a patient person so I did the most natural thing for someone like myself and just bleached my hair white.  I really, really, really thought that it would grow out completely grey.  That is exactly what did not happen.  So for an entire year I looked..uh.. fresh.. recognizable.. kind of cool… and it WAS pretty cool for about 2 months.

Apparently I was not as old/grey as I thought I was and that unless I did something drastic, I would be bleaching my hair every 2-3 weeks for the rest of my life.  My hair was really being destroyed and the chemicals were actually doing more damage than any normal dye.  UGH.. what to do?  Well, not wanting to deal with the grow out and realizing that my hair was completely destroyed at this point anyways, I did the most natural thing for someone like myself… I had a friend shave me bald to reset this entire mad process and for the first time in over 30 years, I saw the true and natural color of my hair.

I’m not going to lie.  For the first 20 minutes it was shocking to see myself in the mirror.  After that, it was liberating.  I LOVED it.  Not always how I looked but how I felt.  I had several women say to me, “Wow.  You look amazing!!”  “At least you have a nicely shaped head.” “I could never do that, I sort of hide behind my hair.” “You will have to start wearing some bold makeup now.. or at least makeup, otherwise you will look like a boy.” Yeah, sometimes women can be harder on women then men.. but I understood the sentiment.

Well, it grew on me.  The look and yes, even my hair. It was a complete reset with my mentality, my awareness of self, and how much I had used my hair as an impetus for how I felt about myself.  Though I didn’t feel old, I guess I was sort of trying to hold back the years from the top down to the bottom.  The reset really worked.  I had not planned on a reset.  Didn’t even know I was doing it when I was doing it.  But I did it and I felt it.

Now, nearly a year later, my hair has actually grown back.  I was slightly concerned at times.  As liberating as it was, it was also a bit intimidating.  At this time, I mostly do not feel any different than I did before the bleach and the cut.  I sometimes miss having no hair.  I have not dyed my hair again and LOVE the look and feel and, to be quite honest, the cost and time saving experience of just being au natural.

I still do not feel like I am that old, despite my half century on the planet, but I accept that I am closer to a century than to zero.  I also feel the words my dad said to me nearly 20 years ago in a more profound kind of way.  Who is that ol’ lady staring back at me … and how in the hell did she become so… amazing… !!!

OK.. OK… sometimes I do end that thought with the word “old”.

I hope you enjoyed the read and the memories…

“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”  ― Jules Renard

“Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”   ― Lynsay Sands

Peace out – age gracefully – live long and prosper! – lil ‘ol me and Spock

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Other places to view aging gracefully

The first silver strands, As birthdays go, Beauty of aging, accepting, seniors in the garden, never too old, change, transiliencechange the conversation, Let your wrinkles be your roadmap, fifty and vanity, self loathing to self love, Connected, graceful aging, change, blessings, come dance with me, reinventing ourselves

 

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Beauty in mud


Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.

Roger Miller
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If the rain spoils our picnic, but saves a farmer’s crop, who are we to say it shouldn’t rain?

Tom Barrett

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Rain is grace;

rain is the sky descending to the earth;

without rain,

there would be no life.

John Updike

I’ve always found the rain very calming.

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.

The way I see it,

if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Dolly Parton
after the rain

after the rain

Other beautiful posts

People that you meet in your neighborhood


It is interesting here for sure.  One of my past posts spoke of the “masks” we wear. Though the following photos do not represent the same types of masks I spoke of in my last post, they are masks just the same.

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The word Sadhu is a Sanskrit term that means “good man”. Sadhus are people who have chosen to live on the edge of society in order to focus on their spiritual practice. The base of this word is supposed to mean to let good happen.  It was interesting walking through this area and having these Sadhus beckon you over to get your photo taken with them.. for a small price.

The Sadhus lifestyle does vary from place to place.  Some live in caves or huts in remote areas, some live in Ashrams or temples in large cities while other Sadhus roam from place to place throughout their lives.  The Sadhus of Pashupati seem to live in this area and depend upon the photo taking of tourists and the brotherhood of each other.  I have visited Pashupati several times and for the most part I see what appears to be the same group each visit.

Regardless of the “masks” they wear or their actual purpose. They leave a lasting and haunting impression.  I hope you enjoy the photos.

Other people from this area.

Other haunting posts.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You

  1. What a character! | LauGraEva
  2. Characters Haunting Middle Earth | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  3. Our daimon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  4. Vanquished | Master Of Disaster
  5. This Baby Continues To Haunt Me | Not the Family Business!
  6. “Return of the Obamacare Jedi” Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  7. With Time Comes Grace | Real Life Co.
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You: Vetfaan. | Rolbos ©
  9. the name is bond, james bond | Musings of a Random Mind
  10. DP: Writing Challenge: You never know… | Mainer Chick
  11. Characters that Haunt You | Parchment Pressed
  12. She | wrappedinmystery’s Blog
  13. WWC: HE LEFT THIS SILVER BULLET | SERENDIPITY
  14. Templed Genie | Saying Everything
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters That Haunt You | Ashley Reavis
  16. Silent Worlds | Let me tell U a story
  17. Heartbreak Hotel | Pen and Pixels
  18. Bookworm | Bellyaching: From the belly and the heart
  19. Silent Worlds | Let me tell U a story
  20. Oblivion | Words from the heart
  21. The Crone of Lake Cowichan | The Crone’s Apprentice
  22. Characters That Haunt You: Justyn | emilykarn
  23. “Characters that haunt you.” | mroziuk 1
  24. the name is bond, james bond | Musings of a Random Mind
  25. Fire Woman | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  26. DP: Writing Challenge: You never know… | Mainer Chick
  27. Characters that Haunt You | standinginthestorm
  28. Character development exercise: At the airport | Mother Bear
  29. Vanquished | Master Of Disaster
  30. This Baby Continues To Haunt Me | Not the Family Business!

All it took was ….


When Ailsa posted her travel theme clean this week, my first impulse was to focus on the dirt and grime I’ve been surrounded with lately.  Instead I let her post speak to me and inspire me.

I’ve been traveling for five weeks through Vietnam and Thailand and even Nepal.  Directly after returning home I had guests in my home for two weeks.  I’ve been playing a crazy game of catch up at work, hosting guests and being sick.  Yesterday I spent ten hours at work on a Sunday just to catch up and I did indeed do that.  Today I spent the entire day cleaning my home, rearranging it, organizing my mess and disinfecting the place from sickness.

After cleaning my home I began to feel a bit inspired.  I had a fresh look on my house, my work and now a painting project.  There is a quote about a clean house equating to a clean and uncluttered mind.. to me it means freedom and comfort.  So with this new freedom and inspiration I decided to create an interpretation of my time in Vietnam through paint.

I hope you enjoy.

My representation of Vietnam.

My representation of Vietnam.

Ok.. just two more shots from Pokhara, Nepal.  I was there for one week on a work function and talk about clean air compared to Kathmandu.  Hope you enjoy.

Fewa Lake Pokhara

Fewa Lake Pokhara

View of Himalayas from my hotel door.

View of Himalayas from my hotel door.

 

Kirtipur, Pharphing and other day trips


Kirtipur (Nepali: कीर्तिपुर) – This is an ancient city that is about a 15 minute to 1 hour drive from my house depending on traffic. This little city was clean, charming and had a beautiful view of the mountains.  It was a tranquil place in comparison to Kathmandu city.  There were so many places you could just sit and watch the people and enjoy the scenery with no horns honking.  Even the dogs were not barking.

A little further south is Pharphing, a different Newari town where you can hike, visit temples and see some great monasteries.  You can stay at a small hostel or attend yoga retreats. My personal favorite thing though was to watch the people.  Again, in comparison to Kathmandu the people were more relaxed and seemed to smile more often.  The pace was much slower for sure.

Even though the Newari culture is still alive and well the culture and language are apparently fading away.  Despite most everything being written in Devanagari, many English words have invaded the language.  The Newari language is also being forgotten and there is a movement to try to bring it back.  I provided a few links that further explain the culture and the language.

“Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed. With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.”
― Dan ThompsonFollowing Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas

The following are some of my favorite photos from hiking in areas nearby Kathmandu.  I found it interesting that for the most part the women are the ones hauling, pulling and planting. Despite some of the disadvantages of being in Nepal, the daily load-shedding, the unfinished roads and terrible traffic and the constant sound and stimuli that surrounds you every day in Kathmandu, driving even 15-20 minutes from Kathmandu Valley brings you to some peaceful and beautiful surroundings that truly calms the spirit and eases the mind.  I hope you enjoy.

Interesting follow-up on the areas:

  1. Newari people and culture
  2. A degree among deities 
  3. Celebrating Tihar
  4. Newari Culture
  5. Pharphing
  6. Pharphing Caves
  7. Nepal Travel Guide
  8. Frugal Travel
  9. Offbeat Nepal
  10. Nepal Travel blogs
  11. Travel Snapshots – Nepal
  12. Nepal Life
  13. Travel Agency in Nepal
  14. The roofs of Kathmandu
  15. Driving in Nepal
  16. American Nepali
  17. About Nepal
  18. Trekking in Nepal