It started a few months ago when I decided to stop coloring my hair and to embrace my grey. Friends, shocked, asked me why. Part of it was the time and the expense, but mostly it was about being authentic. It didn't feel like the "real" me. The fact that there are a number of women at work, my age or younger, with gorgeous grey hair didn't hurt either. It will be a journey of a sort, getting to grey. I didn't want to stop cold turkey. I am a bit vain after all and didn't want to show up at work with a stripe of grey down the center of my scalp, looking like a skunk. So, I've added some ash colored highlights. The grey will blend with the highlights as it comes in. So far, I'm loving it -- and people compliment my new "fun" hairstyle.
I'm also moving toward cooking and eating real food. I've increased fruits and vegetables and decreased processed foods. We eat local fish and produce. Of course our eggs are very local. I'll never be able to fully give up refined flour completely, but I'm going to try to make French bread a treat instead of a staple. I could eat an entire baguette with good butter or cheese.... Control, Annette, control. Get a grip.
Lastly, I think I have always worried a bit too much about what people think. Maybe its my upbringing, maybe its just me. The funny thing is that my job involves a fair amount of confrontation; something I hate. I don't want to be more confrontational and I'm not interested in standing on a soapbox, but I do want to be true to my values and emotions. I am my mother's daughter in the stoic German way I hold emotions in -- and that isn't healthy. I'm not talking about raving lunatic rages. I'm talking about telling those I love how happy they make me; about laughter and tears and not hugging hurt to myself.
Horses have helped me on this journey. Horses don't do fake. They see past the surface and respond to the core of a person. At its best, riding is all about an authentic relationship and unspoken communication. That's been my goal with riding. Every horse I've had has taught me about myself. I've found peace and harmony; I've faced fear and frustration; I've learned to embrace "try" and let go of perfection. Jackson, in particular, taught me that one. Lucy, I think, is teaching me about joy.