Three Bald Women

Back in March of 2020, I started working from home. You all know the story of the pandemic, so I’m not going to rehash it here. Suffice it to say that my hair was not exactly my top concern.  I decided to let it grow.

Me in Feb. of 2020

As it progressed, I had it dyed and trimmed periodically, seeing my stylist as the pandemic safety protocols allowed. Eventually it was past my ears. Then it became jaw length. Finally the day came when I was able to put it up.  (I had to buy myself elastics and a brush and everything!)    


Since I have enough hair, I have become a fan of ponytails, headbands and, my personal favorite; adorable wee little space buns. It’s been a big change for me. Up until recently, I’ve pretty much always had short hair.

My sister, on the other hand, has had long, beautiful,  dark red hair for a long time. It is very feminine, it suits her well, and I haven’t seen Alli truly chop her hair short in maybe…ever? I mean, would ya just look at that hair?

Alli is the fiery redhead. I’m the space cadet in any colour of the rainbow!


Hair can be a powerful signifier for who we are as a person.  How we choose to wear our hair can be deeply linked to our perception of ourselves.  


Which is why it can suck so much when cancer patients lose their hair. 

 The doctors told mom that she would most-likely lose hers. She didn’t relish the idea of experiencing her hair falling out, so she decided to go ahead and just shave it. She decided that she wanted to lose her hair on her own terms.

So, the three of us went to our favourite salon to see longtime family friend and hairstylist Trish Molloy to have her shave mom’s head. Trish also dyed, cut and styled mom’s new wig.

All the same, we know that bald is not a look my mom would have gone for ordinarily. My sister and I were afraid she’d find it hard. Seeing herself bald might come as a shock. Maybe make her feel more like a “cancer patient.”

Well screw that. More like, “Cancer patient, but make it fashion!” We decided not to let her do it alone. (What, you think I’d let her have all of those “Borg queen” vibes herself?)

Mom, who looks pretty great to me!

 

Alli, who kept a little hair, but lost a lot!
Won’t be needing those scrunchies for a while!


When she looks in the mirror, she might be reminded of the disease.  But she can also be reminded of this moment; and that she’s not alone.

All of us with hair! (That’s mom with her new wig!)
Three bald ladies and the infamous Trish!

(To me, we either look very punk rock, or like a modern version of Macbeth’s 3 witches.)

Mom had her first round of chemo Friday.  One round down, five more to go!

Onwards and upwards!

-Jennnq

Cosmic Reminder Re: Attachment

I am a witch. At this point, I am old and bold enough that I don’t care how it sounds. Lots of people don’t like it, or they think it sounds crazy. Sure. Whatever. Believe what makes you happy. I will continue to do the same. ūüôā

Being a witch is a defining part of who I am. Not everyone knows that, of course. Because of this, I have had friends tell me that I should be more out about it, or that they hardly knew about that side of me. That said, there has always been a contingent of others who could smell it a mile away. It’s funny how some people are attuned to it.

I have a confession to make. As a witch, I love the stuff. I am big on candles and incense. I adore the ambience they create. I believe in making a magickal space before any action takes place. Why not? It helps, and it feels lovely!

As you know, I am all about ways of deepening happiness, and this is one thing that just works for me. Soothing music, the dim light of candles and the waft of a little incense smoke…they certainly don’t hurt to get the stink of the mundane off you.

But yeah, it’s easy to get hung up on the stuff. Crystals and dramatic candle holders are great, but they don’t create the magick within.

That’s been an important reminder for me today, although it’s taken me a long time to finally get there.

Remember how thrilled I was about us donating a bunch of stuff? (See my last post with a picture of me taken leaning against blue bags of stuff to donate.) Well, in the tornado of movement from one house to another, something special that I had set aside got moved into the donation pile.

And then it got picked up.

That something was my little case of Wiccan paraphernalia.

Candles. A chalice. My favourite tarot cards…this wasn’t news I took well. The thought of losing all of those deeply personal things felt a bit like hearing, “oopsie, we’ve donated your journal.”

So, with shaking hands and my heart beating a mile a minute, I started dialing numbers. I would up having to explain what I was looking for thrice, which was super-fun, as you know how everyone is totally knowledgeable about neopagans and their various practices. (AKA I got to sound crazy three times in a row.)

Eventually I made contact with someone who could get in contact with the driver. I got a call back within about 20 minutes. The driver has my little mini-trunk now, and I can pick it up this afternoon. Ok.

Not as good as having it back in my hands right-the-fuck-now, but much better than it being missing-in-a-donation-pile.

This has been a big reminder about stuff. Yes, it sucks, but if all of my pretty things go missing, I am no less a witch. I am just a less-encumbered witch. Something I wish I had remembered in the heat of the moment.

Truthfully, I am also amused at the thought of my trunk rocking someone’s world at the receiving depot. Maybe even making someone a little curious about all those collected bits and bobs? Who knows! Folks have started down this path on lesser inspiration than that.

Still, cosmic lesson or not, I will be pleased to have it back again!

Don’t be dumb like I was and leave your important stuff next to the donation pile!

Your in witchiness, even without my accoutrements,

Jennnq

P.S. I am at the new house right now waiting for heat. The oil technician is on their way to help us out. It’s been 13¬į here all day!! Brrr!!!

Critical Happiness

Hello, and welcome to my brand-spankin’-new blog! ¬†ūüôā

If you’ve been following me for a while, or if you’ve ever read a “garden variety punk” post, then THANK YOU. ¬† (If we’re completely new to each other, that’s awesome too…no presuppositions!)

If you want to know more about me, you can read what’s in the craftily-titled “About Me” section above. ¬†Really though, I’m just another carbon-based life-form riding along on this tiny blue-green marble, hurtling through space at ridiculous speed, trying not to trip over my own shoelaces. ¬†I’m no super-athlete. ¬†Or super-genius. ¬†Honestly, I’m not even that great in the kitchen either. ¬†What I AM is someone who isn’t afraid to work hard, and who is driven by natural¬†curiousity.

This leads me to my goals. ¬†What am I hoping to accomplish here? ¬†What’s the purpose of “Critical Happiness”? ¬†Why is this site called that? ¬†Why do l have to be so critical of happiness anyway? ¬†I mean geez, what is my actual problem? ¬†Why am I continuing to write these rhetorical questions to myself? ¬†Will Tom marry Sue, or finally leave her for Rachel?? ¬†WHAT IS ANY OF THIS EVEN ABOUT???

*Ahem* ¬†I do have a couple of ends in mind when writing to you, actually. ¬†Firstly, I am a huge nerd, and I miss the work of blogging. ¬†It’s good practice. ¬†It’s fun. ¬†It’s personal. ¬†(It’s amazing how much better it looks by the third edit.) ¬†¬†I also know that I’m a sucker for genuine feedback, and that’s part of what makes blogging more exciting than writing in your diary.

Secondly, I need a way to represent myself that allows me the freedom to write as I please. ¬†Here, I can create writing reflective of my ideals and visions. ¬†Who doesn’t prefer their own rules to someone else’s agenda? ¬†I get to be as rant-y as I want and that’s cool because it’s my blog. ¬†In fact,¬†I can talk about all the baddies if I feel like it; religion, politics, even about how funny pictures of Donald Duck with Donald Trump’s face are. ¬†(Hint: very)

donald-trump-duck

Thirdly, and most importantly, I am back, writing in this new blog because I want to share this crazy happiness-chasing life-journey thing with you! ¬†As cheesy as it sounds, it really is a journey, and I don’t have all the answers, but I am at least open to sharing, and to connecting with other happiness-seekers. ¬†You know who you are.

Critical Happiness

Now that you know a bit about why I’m here, what’s the deal with the name anyway?

On the most basic level, it means what it says. ¬†Happiness is critical. ¬†Life kinda sucks without it. ¬†This blog is part of my belief that working to create and preserve happiness is absolutely vital. ¬†It’s arguably the most important pursuit of your life. ¬†If you don’t have happiness, you don’t have much. ¬†If you live in a giant mansion but you’re miserable, you may as well be in any old hut. ¬†Simple enough.

To get deeper into the “critical” thing, I also believe that thinking critically is a path to better understanding. Understanding leads to increased control over personal circumstances, and that personal autonomy leads to a better chance at happiness. ¬†If you have at least some control over your life, you have a shot of feeling good about it. ¬†That’s why a part of my concept behind this blog is an element of deconstruction. ¬†Blind acceptance is dangerous. ¬†Don’t assume the prescribed recipes for happiness are the right ones for you. ¬†I believe in the validity of questioning them, testing them, and observing what some of the greats do. The better we become at taking in and evaluating information, the better we can be at unpacking real habits, ideas and ways of living that promote lasting happiness.

Lastly, I am keen to link the concept of happiness to the idea of critical mass. ¬†Simply put, if you manage to do the right stuff, in the right order (e.g. good food, adequate sleep, reasonable exercise) you might just find that you wake up happy. ¬†I love this idea of being able to push yourself, bit by bit, and piece by piece into happiness. ¬†Like, if you lead the best life you can, you eventually just won’t be able to help it!

It’ll happen, like some kind of a happiness…

EXPLOSION!!

 

download (1)

(Honestly though, I hope it’s somewhat less violent than this.)

Let’s have some fun,

-Jennnq