Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scrap yourself ... truly, madly, deeply

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror, gasped with horror, and then run 500 miles in the other direction all because of a bad hair day???  I have.  Correction LOL ... I do!!!

Nearly my entire life I have had short hair.  I loved having short hair.  It was so 'manageable' ... quick and easy to style, fun and funky (or elegant if I wanted it to be), cool in summer, fabulous for wearing scarves in winter, cheap on the shampoo and conditioner.  I loved it!

Several years ago, for reasons which escape me now however, I started to grow it long.  Really long.  I think the more GB loved it the longer I grew it.  Eventually my long hair became 'manageable'.  In fact to my utmost surprise it became more manageable than the shorter hair had ever been.  All I had to do was put it up in a ponytail or my 'version' of a bun (picture a 100 years old, barely holding itself together, bird's nest LOL) if I couldn't be bothered getting out the hair straightener.  I didn't have to wash it every day.  In fact often it would look better the next day ... perhaps because it was flatter and smoother from being slept on?  Whereas with short hair, the constant 'bed heads' necessitated constant washing and styling.  It was more expensive on the shampoo and conditioner because obviously there was a lot more hair to wash, but I didn't have to go to the hairdresser every six weeks to have my style maintained.  All in all I grew to love my long hair.  The longer it grew, the more GB loved it.  The more GB loved it, the more I loved it.  My hair was beautiful.

Eventually, sadly, it had to go.  As the extreme MS heat intolerance worsened and my wrist and hand problems continued to deteriorate, suddenly what had been surprisingly 'manageable' became high maintenance and entirely impractical.  So ... around September last year I went from this ...


to this ...

OMG!!!  What was I thinking?!?!?!?!?!?!  Clearly it seemed a good idea at the time but later it felt as though I had had something amputated.  Although nearly six months later (where has that time gone??) I'm still struggling with having lost all that hair.  Until it was gone I had no idea how much emotion I had invested in those lovely, long locks.  The long hair had become my one last 'vanity' and without it I was lost, almost bereft.

So along I'm plodding, trying to come to terms with my new short hair, when a scrapping buddy of mine (hi Manda!) sets a challenge at ScrapChat to "choose two different scrapbook styles and complete a 'mash-up' layout on a topic of your choice".  I love a good challenge and this was a goooooooood challenge.  I've no idea now what I particularly wanted to scrap about, but I remember I needed/wanted a current self-portrait photo.  So out came the camera.  But before starting to take shots I thought I'd see how I was 'doing' in the mirror ... did my hair need brushing, for instance?  Talk about ROFL!!!!  Did my hair need brushing???  It was beyond salvaging.  What to do?  What to do?  This was sooooooooo typical of my hair at that time.  Bad hair day after bad hair day.  I remember being so disheartened.  I remember telling myself that I needed to move past these long/short hair issues (literally ... it was only hair and would grow back) and I remember feeling the need to express all of this. To get it out so to speak.

If I was the journal writing type I most likely would have written about my 'despairing' state (LOL) in a journal.   But I've never really been able 'commit' to writing in a journal.  I've tried.  I have hundreds of half started journals in a box somewhere in the garage waiting to be sorted through.  I can start a journal tomorrow (or today) just as quickly as the next person.  But seeing it through to the last page and starting another volume ... no can do.  Mind numbing.  It's just not for me.  I'd much rather spend the time creating.  I'd much rather express myself creatively.  I feel I can say more on a 12x12 page layout about how I'm feeling than I could in an entire volume of journals.  So I did.

I took a self-portrait photo, bad hair day and all.  I scrapped that photo and I shared it publicly.  In the process I gave myself the permission to have a bad (in this instance LOL, hair) day.  In the process of creating the layout I accepted that some days just weren't going to be great days, or even good days, but that those days weren't going to be the be all and end all.  In the process of creating the layout I resolved something.

So, the next time you have a bad hair day, burn dinner, get nothing done, feel at a loss, receive some bad/sad news or just generally feel down and out, why not scrap about it?  It may just be the answer for turning around how you're feeling about something and help you to put whatever it is into perspective.  I know it did for me.  Hugs ...

BTW I was inspired to create a 'mash-up' of Leanne Stamatellos' block/clean KISS journaling style with Louise Nelson's grunge/seemingly effortlessly thrown together/mish mash on kraft style.  Please note these are only my perceptions of their styles from a certain time in their scrapping lives.  Products used include Basic Grey's Nook & Pantry range, and a Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz stamp 'spills & splatters' ("embrace imperfection")... could it have been any more appropriate??!?!

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