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red clay ponderings

Hmmm… what shall I ponder on today?

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aging

Kodak Moments

One day, you’ll wake up to some unexpected news.

You’ll receive word that while you were sleeping…running…playing…working…

someone who loves you, quietly left your world.

You’ll stand in disbelief. Even though, all along, you had told yourself to expect it. And perhaps you had, somewhat. But the finality of it will encircle you swiftly and tightly, and with such force, you’ll believe it will crush you. The loss will press heavy against your heart and lungs, so mightily, that it will push the breath out of you.

Emptiness like this is something you have never felt before. You won’t be able to put words to it.

And then, the If Only Chorus will begin to sing to you.

It’s a loud, boisterous chorus, too.

You’ll mentally kick yourself.

There will be no more chances to say or do a nice thing… No more opportunities for a “Kodak Moment” photograph. No chance to say “thank you for loving me”.

Your casualness will mock you:

“Come see me sometime”, they said.

“Ok, soon as I can…”

You will long to hear those old, often told stories, just one more time.

You will replay the last time you saw them, and you’ll wish for one more day to do things differently. One more chance to be more attentive, to stay in the moment.

But one more day is done.

So, this upcoming year, let’s find time for them. Pick up the phone and call them. Even if they’re old and quirky.

Go visit them. Even if you know that five minutes from now, they won’t remember being in the room with you.

Take a minute for a photo; a conversation. Ask them questions about their life.

Right now, the gift of your time is for them.

In the future, it will be a healing memory for you.

One day, when your own days begin to slow down, you will regret all the seemingly insignificant moments of life you let slip away. Capture as many moments as is possible.

I hope you create a lifetime of memories, everyday.

Sincerely,

Danita

“The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.” M Angelou

You Do You

I know something you may not know yet…

Wearing your natural hair is a brave and empowering move.

When you choose to grow your natural crown…you remove pretense. You feel more spirited, more daring. Whether your intentions are to make a bold statement or not… isn’t important. Because regardless of intent, your decision to walk away from the box makes subtle, yet very loud proclamations…

I am confident.

I like me. No, I love me.

I’m not here to please you.

Move along with your negativity.

What happened to get me up on my soapbox today?

Yesterday, a friend showed me a video of her friend… a woman who had recently stopped coloring her hair. She told me people were telling her friend that, with her grey hair, she looks older than her mom, or grandma… (I don’t remember precisely, because about that time, my blood pressure started rising).

My friend mentioned that she was concerned with how unhealthy her hair was beginning to look, and considered the damage was caused from dyes.

She asked if I colored my hair to make it silver. I told her I didn’t, and explained the process I experienced when growing out my natural hair. I could sense her hesitation as she touched her hair and looked in the mirror. I could feel all the comments running through her head:

“she sure looks older”… “must be somebody’s grandma”…. “no longer attractive “…. “man, she aged fast”…

I’ve heard all of them. Those carelessly spoken words sting at first. But then you realize they’re spoken out of insecurities and naïveté, and you feel empathy for the person hurling the dart.

Women shaming other women for aging naturally and beautifully, exposes a dark shallowness in the heart of the critic.

You might think, “Who do these women think they are? Cleopatra? Aphrodite? Helen of Troy?”

No, they don’t feel like those legendary beauties. Most likely, they more closely identify with Olive Oil, or the Sea Hag… or the little girl on the playground who became broken and self-conscious from the taunts of an insecure seven year-old bully.

It takes a while to get to that understanding.

Not to be misleading, I’m all about taking care of my skin with excellent skincare products (you know where to find me… DanitaClark.myrandf.com ). There is nothing wrong with slowing down the natural progression and aging as gracefully as possible. But if a woman (or man) chooses to display their natural, God gifted hair… leave them alone.

Let them do them.

You do you.

That’s what sweet little Cooper said to me, “You do you, Diffy”. ~ and it was excellent advice from a six-year-old.

Listen, if you want to color your hair until you’re one hundred and three, go right ahead Sister! You do you. But don’t shame the thirty year old that chooses to let her (his) silver sparkle like diamonds in a black sky. Let it be.

You do you.

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