While attempting to detangle my hair after getting out of the shower one morning over Christmas break, I thought, “My hair’s grown really long. Really, really long. I think it’s time for another donation.”
I began browsing magazines and websites, looking for photos of people with short hair. I found a few pictures that I described as “darling pixie cuts” and printed out the images. On my salon’s website, I booked the first available appointment, Tuesday, January 6. And then I waited.
I told a few people what I was planning to do, and was met with responses ranging from, “Have you ever had short hair before?” to “But your hair is so pretty” to “That’ll look adorable!”
I arrived to the salon a few minutes early. When I told Jaimie what I wanted to do, she squealed. I think hairdressers like doing dramatic things.
She carefully sectioned off one, then two, thick pigtails. She cut through the first one and gauged my reaction. “Oh my god!” Now it was my turn to squeal, delighted. I shook my head, amazed at how light it felt with just one pigtail gone. She positioned the scissors next to the second pigtail. “Wait! Let’s get a picture of this!” And then the second pigtail was in her hands.
I loved the slashes of the unexpected asymmetrical bob. “This is great! Can we leave it like this?” She laughed and said no. After a wash and an hour more of cuts and snips and blow drying and more snips and some shaving, I looked into the mirror and barely recognized myself. The smile was the same, as well as the laugh, but no more long locks. I thought I’d mourn the loss of long hair, but instead I felt light. And sassy. I carefully packaged up the 14” of ponytails to send to Children With Hair Loss, an organization that provides hair replacements at no cost to children who lose their hair because of cancer, Alopecia, burns, Trichotillomania and other rare diseases and disorders. And felt great about the first donation of the year.
For the past several years, I’ve attended the Ecology Project International (EPI) fundraiser. It’s a fun evening where you can sample local wines, meet interesting people, and bid on fabulous prizes. At last year’s fundraiser I was lucky enough to bid on and win a trip to the Galapagos!
EPI is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing place-based, ecological education partnerships between local experts and high school students to address critical conservation issues. If you’re free this Thursday evening, Nov 13, please head to SOMA to attend an evening filled with fun.
When: Thursday, Nov 13, 6: 30 – 9:00 pm
Where: Gallery 16, 501 3rd Street (Corner of Bryant Street), San Francisco, CA
How much: FREE!
More info here
Today marks the beginning of November, as well as the beginning of Movember. While at our annual company meetup a month or so ago, several co-workers talked about forming a team. I listened. The premise behind Movember is that on November 1, you shave your face, then throughout the month, you grow only a mustache. You raise money for your efforts, and the money funds men’s health initiatives. I’m very thankful to be supported by so many amazing men in my life, and being/keeping healthy (physically and mentally) is of utmost importance to me. I listened to the conversation around me then said, “I’m in. I’ll do it, too.” I got a few surprised looks and a chuckle or two. I continued, “I’m not a man, but I do have a mustache (a faint one, but it’s there), so I’ll refrain from waxing for the month.” And then there were high fives all around. So, if you’d like to learn more about men’s health, head over here and if you’d like to make a donation, please do so here. Thanks!
This weekend I volunteered at WordCamp San Francisco and joined over a thousand folks who use WordPress, listening to great talks and meeting fabulous people from all over the world. In Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” he included this slide to thank WordPress contributors. It’s pretty amazing to see how many people contribute to the open source project.
I didn’t think it was that serious. I fell while hiking and figured I had sprained my ankle. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Repeat. After two weeks I couldn’t flex my foot and each morning I would wake up to find it more swollen than when I went to bed the night before. I went to a doctor, then a specialist. She said, “See how your ankle is moving like that?” I enthusiastically said, “Yes!” for some reason thinking that was a good thing. “It’s not supposed to move like that.” Oh. An MRI and x-ray revealed I had torn all the ligaments in my ankle, as well as chipped part of the cartilage. Surgery was pretty much my only option.
I had multiple pre-op appointments and learned that after the surgery I wouldn’t be able to travel for a few weeks. That I should keep my leg elevated to reduce swelling. That I should apply ice, and that I may be nauseous afterwards from the general anesthesia. That I’d be in a cast for approximately six weeks, with three of those on crutches. We talked about the procedure, who would perform it, and what I could expect afterwards. I was feeling pretty optimistic.
I groggily woke up after the surgery, somewhat disoriented, and finding it difficult to form words. My friend Warren picked me up, drove me home, and explained to my parents (who were in town visiting) all the doctors had shared. I slept.
I woke up a few hours later. Oh, my goodness. Doctor, I think you buried the lede. We talked about a lot of things pre-op, but never did you mention “You’re going to be in excruciating pain. For days.”
Maybe this seems like common knowledge, but for someone who has never had real surgery, the kind where they cut you open, it seems like kind of an important detail. Knowing I would be in pain wouldn’t have prevented me from having surgery, but I wouldn’t have questioned my sanity as I woke up every 43 minutes during the night from searing pain, wondering, “Is it normal that I’m about to go Incredible Hulk on this cast and bust out of it?”
The pain subsided around day five post surgery. Not disappeared, but subsided to the point where I felt somewhat normal again. And grateful. Being on crutches has slowed me down. I notice more details. I’m more deliberate about decisions. I appreciate, more than ever, having a small apartment. I notice so many acts of kindness, both large and small. I love that my parents left homemade chicken soup in the refrigerator before they left. I am appreciative that strangers hold open doors for me and that Uber drivers help me in and out of their cars. I love that friends stop by in the evening, just to say hi. Or to make dinner. Or to do the dishes. It’s lovely to open an email with movie or book recommendations. Or open the door and find an Amazon package there, someone sending well wishes. I look down and smile at the brightly colored scribbles on my cast, artwork by friends’ children. This isn’t so bad after all.