new york · one little word · slice of life

Health, Peace, & Beautiful Surprises

Yesterday was “Good Riddance Day” in Times Square. The premise of the event was simple:

[D]estroy any unpleasant, embarrassing and downright forgettable memories from 2015 and pave the way for new memories in 2016.

Unfortunately, I left Manhattan 18 hours before the event began. Quite frankly, there were a few things I would’ve liked to say “good riddance” to if I had been able to attend yesterday’s event. (Click here and here for two examples.)

On Sunday afternoon, I pulled a muscle while getting onto a rather high horse on the Central Park Carousel. The searing pain that ensued felt like the cherry on top of 2015. And while I was able to walk away (in pain) ten minutes later, I was annoyed. Later that afternoon, while Isabelle and I were washing our hands in a restroom, I was shocked by my reflection in the mirror. I’ve aged this year, I thought. My skin isn’t radiant like it was back in March. just a few weeks after I started a gluten-free diet. Then I noticed my hair. It is grayer — so much grayer — than it was when 2015 began. I didn’t dare look down at my waistline. I didn’t even want to go there. Instead, I turned away from the mirror.

On Monday afternoon, around the time people were shredding their forgettable memories from 2015, I made a phone call to my hair salon where Isabelle and I were scheduled for haircuts this morning. I asked if there was any way my stylist could find the time to put a gloss in my hair before or after my haircut.  A few hours later I received a voicemail back from the owner. If I could come in a half-hour earlier, then my stylist could make it happen.

I hustled Isabelle out of the house this morning. I explained that Mommy was going to do something extra at the salon today. After I explained what hair color was, Isabelle had a question.

“Why?” she said simply.

Why? Hmmmm… What could I say that wouldn’t disparage myself while telling her the truth?

“You know how Mommy has had to have surgery twice this year?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“And you know how I still haven’t been feeling well?”

“Yes,” she said again.

“Well,” I paused. “It’s been a hard year. I want to have a fresh start for the new year. See all these gray hairs?” I pointed to my head. She inspected and nodded. “Well, I don’t want to see them for a few weeks.”

“Okay, Mommy.”

Once we arrived at the salon, I learned a gloss alone wouldn’t cover my grays. My stylist suggested a demi-permanent hair color, which doesn’t contain ammonia. It only lasts for 24 shampoos, but this kind of hair color blends away the gray while bringing out one’s natural color. Perfect.

I started a daily green smoothie this fall. In addition, I drink green juice whenever possible. Luckily, I was able to buy a green juice from my favorite purveyor in Central Market right after my haircut.
I started drinking a green smoothie every day earlier this fall. In addition, I drink green juice whenever possible. Luckily, I was able to buy a green juice from my favorite purveyor in Central Market right after my haircut and color.

My hair was cut, then colored. Isabelle’s hair was cut while my hair processed.  Isabelle sat calmly under the hair dryer while the color was rinsed out of my hair. As soon as my hair was dry, I leaned towards the mirror. I couldn’t see a single gray hair! Not a single one! It felt as though the past eight months of my life had been erased from my head. Even though my skin wasn’t a glow and my body isn’t as svelte as it once was a year ago, I felt so much better when I looked in the mirror. And right now, that is enough.

My stylist walked over to me while I checked out. She reminded me to book extra time for coloring my hair in March. I thanked her for the reminder but assured her this would be a one-time thing. (NOTE: After a horrendous experience with a Sun-In type of product in 1992, I endured a double-process and highlights once my roots became unsightly. I haven’t touched my hair with dye ever since I went back to my natural color in early 1993.)  My grays are a part of me I typically don’t mind. Sometimes I even lovingly refer to them as my wisdom streaks. However for the next month, I’m forgetting about those grays and all of the heartache they represent.

However for the next month, I don’t see those “wisdom streaks.” Covering up my gray is part of my plan to pave the way for a better year in 2016. I’ll reveal the other part of my plan, which I began working on earlier this month, over at Two Writing Teachers next Thursday when I share my One Little Word for 2016.

Earlier this evening, I read Terje’s post over at Just for a Month. She closed her post with a wish to her readers:

Health, peace and beautiful surprises for 2016

Health, peace, and beautiful surprises. I could go for all three of those things in 2016 and beyond. And that is what I wish for you, too, in the year to come.

Head over to for more slices of life.
Head over to for more slices of life.



18 thoughts on “Health, Peace, & Beautiful Surprises

  1. I love the idea of a good riddance day! Your post was beautiful, and I, too would love to wish everyone health, peace, & beautiful surprises for 2016. I think we could all use that!

  2. I color my hair and I’m not ashamed to say it because it’s a selfish thing that makes me feel better. We should be able to do these things for ourselves without guilt. When we feel better we look better. I do wish for you happiness and health in 2016.

    1. I couldn’t agree more about feeling better when we look better. That said, I don’t think I have the patience to sit in the chair for an hour every four weeks to get my color done. At least not YET.

  3. It seems that when we make choices for our appearance that will make us feel good that it’s okay, and like Margaret said, should be guilt free. I hope the new year is a lovely year full of fun and laughter with Isabel and the rest of the family, Stacey.

  4. There’s something wonderfully renewing about a new haircut (and color wash, too)! Sometimes life throws things at us that we have little to no control over, and those things can really stress us out. If, due to modern technologies, I have a little say over how much gray shows, then that maybe helps balance things a bit- ha! I hope that your wish for all of us will be a wish-come-true for you in 2016!

  5. You year included one of the most difficult experiences a woman can go through. The fact that you are able to finish the year with hope and determination shows your resilience. The moments when the mirror doesn’t reflect back what we expect to see can be annoying. Aging is not fun. Pampering ourselves (hairdo as one of them) is a necessary positive boost. i am happy that your hair turned out as you wished. I am very curious to hear your new OLW. Happy New Year! Head uut aastat!

    1. I’m trying to grow old gracefully. I’m doing as best as I can with the graceful part. 😉

      I found my OLW for 2016 suddenly. It just made sense once I thought about it. It represents my glass half-full personality. Despite everything that has happened to me this year, I have it pretty good.

  6. Here’s wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year. I really like the idea of saying “good riddance” to forgettable memories and focusing on new and exciting times.

    On another note, Stacey, now that the Call for Presenters is up for PCTELA I am hoping that you will consider putting together a presentation for up..

  7. I love the word “wisdom streaks!” I do highlight to disguise the gray but have not colored…yet. I am sure I am close to that. Wishing you the best in 2016! And I can’t wait to read about your OLW and and the other part of your “plan.”

  8. Stacey,
    Sorry this has been such a hard year. I’m glad you found something to make you feel a little better, at least temporarily. You look beautiful in the “after” picture! Here’s to a family-filled, joy-filled, health-filled 2016!

  9. Love the story–I pride myself in never having dyed or permed or anything like that. At 47, the “platinum” streaks are starting to blend less with the various shades of strawberry blonde. Reading your blog may inspire me to try a little something, something on my hair. You look young and radiant, by the way.

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