So, since the whole purpose of my dreadlock journey is so that I can learn to just 'let things go', I figure I better start on it now that my lockes are fairly fully established. The locks were my first step in this process. I know it's confusing that I started with such a huge step, and now I'm keeping it small again, but it's how I had to do it. I had to prove to myself that this was possible in the biggest way I knew how.
The biggest 'physical' change that I wanted to see when I first started this journey is in my home. Being a sahm (stay at home mama) means that this is my job. My career. It includes caring for the kids, doing the laundry, making meals and keeping the house clean and picked up. Among tons of other things but you what I'm saying. And I take it seriously. Too seriously. To the point of it causing me anxiety. It's crazy and stupid, I know that. I feel that just as how my children behave are a reflection of how I've done as a Mom, so is how the house is kept. It's my job. Simple as that. Would I go to a place of business that I was employed at and leave my office trashed? No.
My point. If the house isn't relatively picked up, at (most) all times, I can't stand it. ( I'm talking the daily toys and clutter, NOT the cleaning. I will continue to be a cleaning freak :) I like that trait in myself, Lol) I can't think in a messy house. I can't do anything in a messy house. A messy house puts me in a bad mood. Stupid. And the odd thing is, it doesn't bother me at someone elses home. Only mine. Pretty sure it's because it is MY responsibility to keep MY home clean.
At least I've figured myself out without help :)
I decided that I needed to be less worried about the small stuff. Like the bathtub toys. The girls play with them every.single.day. But every day, when the baths are done, we scoop up the toys and put them all back. And if, for some reason, we don't do it right after bath, I'll do when I'm going to bed.
This is my first step in changing things:
Yes, that is from last nights bath and it's 3pm the next day and I haven't picked them up yet. usually I have to play the 'out of sight, out of mind' game with myself but not this time. Today I was even able to take a photograph of them and walk away.
This is HUGE for me.
I am really really proud of myself.
I just keep telling myself... 'baby-steps', 'I think I can, I think I can'.
My goal is to just be able to let the mess linger a tad bit longer before picking up.
I've gotten a few emails and a few comments left by readers that wanted to know more about my dreadlocks, how it all started, what they mean to me, and also wanted to see some progression photos. So, here it is. Almost 2 years of dreadlocks. My journey, thus far, as simple as I can make it right now.
And I can simply say, best.decision.ever.
I've had my locs for almost 19 months now. I started them June 21st of 2010.
I've dreamed of having dreadlocks ever since I can remember. The biggest reason that I never just did it was perception. 'What would people think?' Yep, that was my biggest fear.
This is what I've learned.
Dreads are not:
*Black. should be number one actually. Yep, really. I just would like people to do their research before labeling and stating 'facts')
And yes, these are the things that I hear. I see the eye rolls, I hear the whispers. At first, it bothered me. It made me sad. It takes longer than a day to un-learn what you've seen and done for 37 years.
At about a year into this journey, I would be offended and angry at the comments.
I would be most horrified when these people would show their distaste and horror over my dreadlocks, in front of their children. Hell, it was bad enough in front of my kids too, but at least I could talk with them and answer their questions.
Way to 'set an example'. Great job showing your kids acceptance and tolerance. Nice work on showing them how to tease, belittle and laugh at someone elses expense. Awesome work on showing them how to judge someone based solely on looks. Because yes, that IS what your child is learning. Yes. Children do learn by example.
Now? Now I smile. And laugh. And smile even bigger. My dreadlocks are for ME. I'm not 'doing this to my hair' so that I can have opinions thrown at me daily. I started this journey to better myself. To learn more about me and to finally really start LIVING how I feel. Not, FEEL how I should live. Live how I think others want me to, or how others think things should be. And how does this all relate to dreadlocks? I was always 'messing'; with my hair. Growing it out, cutting it off. Coloring, perming, highlighting. You name it. For some reason, I needed the constant change in my hair. I think it was some sort of oddly placed control thing. I am a bit OCD. I wanted that to change some, so I took away from my control the one thing I always used. My hair. I had to just 'let things go' 'let it be'. I had no choice. This was a huge step in bettering me as a parent, a wife, and a person. For me. I was ready to take that step. I NEEDED to take that step, triplets were kicking my scheduled, planned, list-making OCD butt.
So, I smile at the lady trying to whisper something incognito, you know the one, where she leans in to the side with her hand kinda over her mouth. But just as a shield, (because you know, lip reading is another one of my hidden talents) to her husband who, believe it or not, looks like he might just think they are kinda cool. And I will add the disclaimer that it could very well be the triplets that people are oogling over. But usually not. You see, I've also learned in the past few years, that people will express their opinions on your children, whether nice or not, much more readily than they will talk with you about your hairstyle.
Totally something to think about huh?
I've changed so much in the past 2 years and 11 months. And I'm really happy, content and proud of who I am becoming. And the best feeling is that I'm not afraid to show it anymore. It's a nice feeling.
The following what I hope I am portraying to my children. Because so much of this whole process is about them, for them and because of them. Without my babies, I wouldn't be who I am today. And I like what's happening. I kinda love it actually.
-Soaring Eagle (owner at www.dreadlockssite.com)
dreads are freedom. they are deep personal and intimate connection to
the true self, the earth, to life force of the universe. dreads are a
connection to the true self because all your lifes experiences are
recorded in your hair. when the hairs locked all experiences intercept
all others creating a oneness that can be called wisdom. they are
pure natural beauty. they allow you to be your most natural self, free
from the artificial cosmetic reality of grooming and dressing to impress
makeup and fashion reality
you are simply you. nothing more. nothing less.
dreads are strength and healing.
lets look for a second at anorexia and body image issues that come from, pressure to be perfect, and sensitivity to what others say (youre fat
and worthless. ugly etc etc etc.) when you dread you must stop caring what others
think and only find the strength to know your true worth. and true
beauty does not require validation from shallow narrow minded people.
dreads give you confidence in yourself. in your worth. in your beauty and
value. and that your true value does not lie in your looks but in your
heart. dreads literally are wearing your heart on your sleeve. letting your
soul shine forcing people to look deeper within you...or look away.. it
repels the shallow while attracting the deep..
to dread you invite criticism. you gain the strength to not be so hurt
by ignorance. you find your own bliss and in that bliss you are
protected and cannot be easily harmed by the misery of others
As for my kids?
My kids have learned how to respond and react to both the negative and the positive comments that I get about my hair. The littles will pat my hair or play with my dreadlocks while saying 'Mama beautiful'. The older kids will smile and laugh and usually start a conversation that is pretty opinion seeking. Just because they are teenagers, I suppose. They gotta get a jab in here and there.
But, they have all learned by example.
So, in a nutshell. I started my dreadlock journey to teach me patience, acceptance, and letting go of the little things. Picking my battles. Whats important and what isn't. And it's going really well. I feel a better parent. I know I'm calmer and more patient. I feel things so much deeper and with more thought. It has truly been a journey of me. A look inside my soul. And of who I really am, who I want to be and what I want my children to learn from me.
What did I 'do'? Nothing. No chemicals. No hairbrushes. I use baking soda, apple cider vinegar and peppermint essentials oils on it about twice a week. Every other day, or whenever I'm bored and just watching TV, I separate the locks so they don't 'congo'. If you don't tear them apart they can all grow together and that would be really difficult to care for.
And that's it. Simple and beautiful.
Now, if I could just kick the ocd-ness of always having to have my house clean and picked up, I would be complete :) Oh well, I'm definitely a work-in-progress.
I meant to write this last night but completely forgot. I thought it would be cool since I started this blog on NYE 3 years ago. Oh well, maybe a good 'overview' post is waiting to climb outta this one. :)
We had no older kids at home for NYE so the 5 littles went to bed at 9pm and we pretty much vegetated on the couch until 2am. Watching 'Parenthood' (if you haven't seen it yet, DO. It's wonderful. We watch it on Netflix) and playing with Hazel (our bunny).
It.was.awesome. And even awesome-r is that I didn't have to worry about the older kids at all. They were all safe at friends' homes'. No driving at all after 9pm. Best gift for the New Year for me, EVER.
So, back to my story.
Ever since I was a little girl I wrote out my 'New Years Resolutions List'. Every year. I even have most of them saved still. I love to look at them. Pretty funny, the resolutions of a 13 year old girl :)
This year, I decided, in addition of course to my regular list, to focus on one major thing that I wanted to really work on, for myself. Something that was just for me. I have a hard time doing that usually. I mean, of course, on my list is the usual 'be a better Mom, be more patient, spend more individual time with each of the kids' but that all involves others too. This 'resolution' doesn't.
I am going to learn everything that I can about photography. I want to make beautiful, artistic photos more than anything else I've ever wanted to do. Second only to being the best wife and mother that I can be.
I really want this. This photo that I took 2 days ago made me want this even more.
I had a session with a client, a friends sister, right before the New Year. It went amazing. This is one of my shots of her daughter, Katie. I'm usually pretty critical of my work.
Not this one.
I am so dang proud of this photo. I've been pretty much literally showing everyone (and yes, posting it on Facebook is the same thing as showing everyone these days :)
So, what do I think of the New Year?
I think that 2012 is going to be amazing, beautiful, calm, loving, peaceful and happy.
And that my house is going to be full of alot of photographs.
I ♥ photography.
And I've said it before, but this time I'm doing it. I'm ordering myself a tee shirt.
'Photography Is My Prozac'.
If you haven't yet seen my photography blog, check it out :)