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Time in a (hair dye) bottle

Updated: Jun 28, 2018

I don't know if I'm the only one that measures and counts in many different ways. I'm not talking about creative math or alternative facts, I mean subtle, subconscious ways that I use constantly.

Kids When the kids were little the easiest way for me to measure time, and make it understandable for the kiddos, was in the number of sleeps, i.e., how many sleeps until Daddy gets home from his business trip, or how many sleeps until Blue comes and lives with us. We used this a lot though there was the time that #1 took such a hard nap that when he woke up, he was convinced that we had knocked another sleep off the countdown; that meltdown was epic.

When the kids got older and school became a dread, replacing the number of sleeps was the DTW (days-to-weekend) or DTB (days-to-break).This is similar to number of sleeps, but in reverse--how many more days do we survive school before we can get to whatever-we-are-doing-that-isn't-being-at-school.


I noticed the other day that, even though I had 95% of my kitchen reset, I still felt the discomfort of it being a complete mess. Digging a little deeper into why, I realized that I measure packing by room. When a room is packed up, I feel peace because the work is done. Right now, it's not truly the kitchen that has me feeling off-kilter, it's my dining room. I still have all my china and crystal that needs to be packed up ahead of the floor refinishers. But, I haven't started on that yet since that there are things that need to be returned to the kitchen that are still in the dining room, and those things can't be put away until the kitchen drawers are brought back.

It's all getting moved into the sunroom today--that way I'll have the mess contained to just one space.


My work time is measured in projects. For example, I used to do sales tax reporting and I knew it took one day during the first work week of a new month. With my new consulting gig, it's been harder to measure time because I am not as fluent in the projects yet. However, now that I've completed about 80% of the work that I need to get done, I'm starting to get my feet underneath me and time is making more sense. Oh, and I got to that 80% by breaking the whole job up into, you guessed it, projects.


Maybe it's a function of age, or maybe it's socio-economic status, or maybe it's just vanity, but for a long while now, my hair has been one of my most consistent measures of time; ridiculous, I know.

Back in the early-aughts, I wore my hair straight which was a total pain in the ass since I had a lot of thick, coarse, curly hair. I started using keratin straightening treatments and those changed the daily, hour+ fight for dominance to an acceptable 30 minute skirmish whenever I washed my hair. To maintain that ease, I would go every 8-12 weeks for a treatment and cut, and I lived like this for years. Then I went through chemo, lost every last bit of hair on my head, and decided if my hair grew back that I was going to embrace my curls and stop straightening my hair.

Shortly after chemo stopped, my curls came back and though it was short, it was thick and the world felt right...except that my hair grew in much grayer than it had left. I was 42 with a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and hysterectomy under my belt. I didn't want to feel any older, so I began dyeing my hair. It's now 8ish years later, and I haven't stopped going for my cut and color every 5 weeks.

Because I am a planner, I always make my next appointment while I'm at the salon for my current appointment. When I know about an upcoming event, 4 or 5 months out I begin calculating my appointments backwards instead of forwards--sounds familiar, no?.

At my September visit, I knew I would be going to Valencia. I put my February date on the calendar, and then my January date, and then figured out how to schedule in December, November, and October so that they weren't too far apart nor too close (1 week +/- from my 5 week schedule, and I'm not too nuts).

Which brings me to why this post about timing is at all relevant for Spanglish Y'all.

Today is my haircut and color. Scheduled specifically around this trip. Yeah, I know I've got a plane ticket for Friday, and that classes begin on Monday, but--for whatever reason--those still seem make-believe.

This haircut is actual, and what it signifies is too.



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