Thursday, May 31, 2018

Stuff



One of the bennie's of Modern Technology is that I can watch U-Tube Videos of Fav Comedian's Old Skits.  Recently I watched the hilarious 80's Video of George Carlin's skit about 'Stuff'!  Lord was he on point with that topic!  One would think I would have paid more attention in the 80's to George's observation, since in the 80's I was still Nomadic and didn't possess so much Stuff yet.   It wouldda solved a lot of present day problems... and not so much editing, culling and purging being necessary later in life!  *LOL*




But clearly I didn't, I went from being a Minimalist by necessity to a Maximalist by choice.  Once I put down some roots and quit leading the Didi Kai Life of constantly relocating and being the Global Nomad, I found myself accumulating Stuff.  I sometimes Wonder what triggered this considerable shift?  It clearly wasn't just about staying put I think?  Tho' Lord knows in my Nomad days most places I pitched my tent, so to speak, were quite small and couldn't hold a lot of Stuff.  In fact, I think about some of the smallest places I've ever lived and Holy Mother Of God, what DID I have, since practically nothing would have fit?! *Smiles*




Clearly I COULD and even DID live with practically NO Stuff at various junctures of my Life's Journey!  I don't think I even Cared about not having Stuff then, having practically nothing was very liberating when you don't stay put, a Move back then took me no time at all!   Now I am rather attached to Stuff and there has to be some kind of subliminal message in that?  I don't try to get too deep inside my own Head about it tho', because Lord knows I may never find my way out again!?!  *LMAO*   So I only casually get introspective about it and delve into the possible reasons... and not very deeply so, becoz who needs the Anxiety of self-diagnosis and the realization of how messed up you are?!  *LOL*





I speculate about some of the obvious reasons and how change might temper my urge to add to my Stuff.   So far I haven't come up with any viable solutions that actually work tho', I've become very adept at locating The Good Stuff and it's become a past-time I rather still enjoy too much to just Stop Cold Turkey!   I do think a great part of it was the Aging Process and my more Mature observation that too much of the Good Stuff with History and Value was being pitched by others and it bothered me tremendously!   So I became a self appointed Savior of Stuff!  *Smiles*




I have always had a deep Love Affair with Old Properties and so when Investors and Developers began tearing them down, I recall not being able to stand seeing the Architectural Salvage carted off to Landfills.  Thus it began, I think my greatest Hoarding and Preservationist Instincts were triggered on Saving and Salvaging these Architectural Elements so they still existed.   Even tho' the Magnificent Old Structures were gone and only remained in Memory, I had a piece of them, a remnant that they existed.




I don't recall being overly Sentimental in my Youth... or even particularly in Mid Life actually... but as a Senior I've become Nostalgic and Sentimental to a ridiculous degree!   Does that just happen to everyone growing Older I Wonder? Is there a trigger in the Aging Process where suddenly it DOES matter what WAS even if you're fully Living in the Moment and not really exclusively in the Past?  




 I don't even think about the Future very much, that was more for my Youth and Mid Life Seasons I guess, after all, how much Future do you still have left once you reach a certain age, right?  *LOL*   It's True, at a certain Season you do have more of a sense of Mortality and exiting this Life, probably sooner than later now you've enjoyed the privilege of growing Old.   Death isn't so much scary as it is giving you more Urgency to Live fully so you can cross everything off the Bucket List you possibly can now.




I'm not sure my Bucket List has a Plan for all of this Stuff I've accumulated and yet, dumping most of it is harder than I anticipated.  Yes, I have made great strides in recent years, but immortality probably wouldn't give me enough Time to get rid of all of it at this point!  *Smiles*   Just about every Senior I know laments similar concerns about what will happen to their Stuff!?  George is right, we have this urge to Guard our Stuff!  *LOL*  Otherwise, why would we even lock our doors, right?




Seriously, if I actually wanted to purge this shit in a hurry, I'd just make it available to everyone and have them do all the work FOR me, right?  *Winks*  But I'd be distraught if even one item got taken without my permission, even if it was the shit I probably Need or Want to get rid of, so WHY IS THAT?!?  Honestly, the thief would have probably done me a big favor carting some Stuff away and minimizing my workload!   But that's not how it works... coz as George so aptly noted, they always take the Good Stuff!  *LOL*




  Nope, even tho' Donating makes me feel Grand and very philanthropic, I have placed Value on most of my Stuff... either actual or perceived!   And we don't Value other people's Stuff as much... as George also aptly noted, why is their Stuff shit and your shit Stuff?  *Bwahahaha!*  True that, I could help you purge your shit faster than I can ever purge my Stuff!   You could probably help me purge my shit faster than you could ever purge your Stuff, it's just how it goes.




Ask any Adult Child trying to assist their Elderly Parents purge, about how freakin' difficult it is.  I've done it with two now dearly departed Parents and Jesus on a bike it was brutal!   And my Dear Dad was a true non-materialist Minimalist, and it was still simply overwhelming and a task I dreaded!   Now with Mom it was only a little easier coz she had REALLY Good Stuff and I was able to convince my Dear Brother to haul most of it with her to Cali where I didn't have to Deal with it again!  He clearly took one for the Team, Thanks Syd!  *Whew!*




Because Lord knows if all her Good Stuff had combined with all my Good Stuff, I'd have such a shitload of Good Stuff I'd be losing my Mind completely at this point!   And that brings me to our Adult Children and Adult Grandchildren, Pray for them all, they're gonna Need it if I don't manage an Epic enough purge of my Stuff before Death!   Granted we have a shitload of heirs to leave all this Stuff to, so perhaps they can spread it around sufficiently that it won't become burdensome to any one of them?





I mean my Stuff does mostly have actual Value, so Sold off en mass, well, that's their Inheritance... and a LOT of Future time spent on Auction Sites, planning Estate Sales and the like!  *LMAO*   But the pay-off should be handsome, I ain't gonna lie, if I sold all this Good Stuff I could probably enter full time Retirement rather well.   And that's key too when you Age, you know that your earning potential has now dwindled to where what you have already accumulated probably cannot be easily replaced, if at all, on your now fixed income.  It is your Investment for Old Age potential Needs... it has liquidity and better returns than the Banks nowadays, so therefore you hold onto too much of it too tightly. 





My Corporate Lives are over, for The Man and I there will never be another Career... for him not even another Job... and for me, Full Time unpaid Caregiving aside, I just don't know yet?   We've contemplated whether or not once The G-Kid Force are grown, could I return to the actual work force if he became more independent to stay Home alone without a Full Time Caregiver while I worked an actual Job?   And then there is that Reality of... when The G-Kid Force are finally grown, I'll be freakin' ancient my Friends, so who the Hell would hire me really?  Shit, I Need a restorative Nap after doing anything longer than about four hours!!!  *LOL*





I just don't see a lot of demand for the employment of the 70+ crowd anywhere!   Plus, I almost feel pity for those who are still working long past 70 because you're not sure if they're Wanting to or Having to?   When I walk into most McDonalds now I don't so much see pimply faced Kiddos behind the counter working the minimum wage Job, as I see Seniors they've been replaced with!  That's very telling my Friends... about whose probably the most desperate for Work!   I can't help but Wonder what their Career was before the great decline to "Will you have Fries with that?" Season of employment?!?!!





But God Bless 'em, at least they always have the pleasant attitude towards providing good customer service and get my order right, so that's a Plus!  *Winks*  Most have the Work Ethic of bygone times, which have clearly fallen by the wayside in recent Generations, that's for sure!!!  Most don't Need to be tied to their personal Cellphones while they're actually doing their Jobs... or pretending to be actually working!  Most will likely go Home to all the Stuff they got while they had a Good Income at a real Career that Valued them and what they could contribute!





Yep, Stuff... it's a double edged sword isn't it my Friends?   We have Stuff and sometimes Stuff has us... and that revelation can be quite sobering and a little bit disconcerting actually.   Where to put it... the containment of it... the protection of it... the disposal of it or the keeping of it being burdensome... and the sometimes considerable expense given to find sufficient Space for it to just BE should we Need or Want to Keep it in this Lifetime!!!  Because there are a whole lot of things we can thoroughly Enjoy, but that doesn't mean it's always ultimately Good for us, does it?



*******

Blessings, Love and Light from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Reflections



A Lifelong Friend and I had a conversation about what has become more important to us now that we're in our Golden Years.   We both decided it's not so much about whatever we own, property included, but more about who we're spending time with and around now.   The preferred Lifestyle and Community is now taking precedence over how nice a Home we own or what we're accumulating in the way of possessions. 




You reach a certain pinnacle where you have probably achieved all of those things you intended to for whatever measure of Success you Hoped to attain in Careers and attainment of The Stuff of Life, you reached the top and got The View and satisfaction from it.  Then at a certain Season of Life the shift comes where okay, crossed all that off The List, now you have a totally different List, The Bucket List.   The Bucket List rarely has any similarities to the Lists you had in Youth or Midlife.  Mine almost certainly looks like Lists made by totally different people... and really, it kinda is.




With every Season of Life there is a metamorphosis going on and stages in your own development and maturity that just happen and you are indeed different.  Your outlook has usually refined to where priorities have definitely shifted in what you want and what you Hope now to achieve in the Final Seasons of the Aging Process.   Contentment comes from different Sources now and evaluating that and deciding what to shed, to give up, becomes your new focus and goal.  Every Senior I know is shedding and giving up The Stuff of Life as they Age.  It becomes rather a Mission Statement this downsizing thing going on.

   


You might still think it's all very Nice and you can still Appreciate much of it, you just don't necessarily Need to attain it anymore, or at least less of it.  You realize you're not taking any of it with you when the Transition from Time into Eternity comes and so the disposal of much of it becomes a new priority.  What to Keep... how much of it to Keep... detaching from sentiments, nostalgia and attachments to Stuff.  Some inner conflicts can wage as you are going thru that metamorphosis to the new stage and phase of Life and wanting or requiring less.




For those of us with Maximalist tendencies the Simple Life can be a Desire, but actually reaching that Promised Land of Simplicity is a Journey, sometimes a longer one than is comfortable.  I'm at that juncture where a Lifetime of accumulating The Good Stuff and having the Luxury Home has been attained, enjoyed... and now considering the Simple Life later on is definitely on The Bucket List.  That along with having the Freedom to Travel Light again... like before... so you almost come Full Circle!




My Friend already shed a bunch of The Stuff of Life, including The Home... and is truly The Nomad right now and rather enjoying it... a part of me has the Wanderlust itch to join in and participate.  She and I go way, way back... when we both had practically nothing, yet much contentment and adventure going on.   Contentment, how much of that has been Lost along the way?  You begin to realize that often you reach certain pinnacles and the view from the top ain't all that, to whom much is given much is required!  You might have been more content in the Valleys of Life in the Journey that is Life.




It's all rather a Learning Curve along the Journey... what you have, what you lack... and how much of any of that is either adding to contentment, not phasing the level of contentment or taking away from it?   How content are you she asked... THERE?   I had to admit that the restlessness in me is revealing... it's very telling that contentment here has not been achieved at all and a part of me realizes no matter how fab Villa Boheme' is, it's not enough to bring contentment back.  I was more content before the Move here, I was grounded to my Community and in Love with my Historic Home, it was supposed to be my Forever Home, I intended for it to be in fact.  But shit happens... did happen... move on and try to get Over it.




I can only describe owning this as like having that temporary Love Affair... with the Lust of the Eye driving the decision to possess it and The Issues of Life and circumstance making it the best Investment decision at that place in Time.  Perhaps you once dated that super Handsome Guy who was visually appealing but lacked substance and so you knew he wasn't The One, he wasn't Mister Right he was just Mister Right Now.  *Smiles*   Villa Boheme' has served Purpose and enjoying Luxury Living has had it's perks, it's a Lovely House... HOUSE... it just doesn't always feel like Home... HOME.  There is a difference, I Love staying at Luxury Hotels too I just don't know I'd be content Living in one permanently, you know?  Afterwards you go Home, where ever that is.




The G-Kid Force and I feel AT HOME in our Old Neighborhood, we Miss it terribly.  No, we do not miss some of the Urban Issues that still exist in The Hood, but when we're there it's like being Home again.  There is still that strong connection to Community, everybody knows us, Misses us... there is Fellowship among those in the Community that is sadly lacking in the affluent burbs of Subdivision Hell.   If you buy another Home I told my Friend, consider everything very, very Carefully... sort out the Illusions from the substance of the Community.  On the surface some things look Idyllic 'til you're Living with it daily and it ain't all that after all, just a pretty or fancy facade!  She's looking at Rural Living as Idyllic but I know she's a City Girl like me... it might not be a Good fit!?  How much Boredom and Isolation can you handle I ask her?




She laughs, she tells me she's already Wondering the same things when she Scouts these small Towns with cheap Real Estate and no Action!  She misses her Old Community and Wonders if she should go House shopping there again to find The Forever Home to grow Old in?   She's traveling to discover if Forever should be here in Arizona or somewhere else?  I've contemplated leaving since Real Estate elsewhere is sometimes a much better bargain for sure and on fixed incomes you think about that more.   But... I know I don't want to leave and start over somewhere foreign to me.  I've been Nomadic most of my Life and traveled extensively, I like this region best, Arizona is now Home, it's just finding the right Home Base spot in it, a Community I will connect to again.




She's on her way back to Arizona and we'll be looking at Real Estate again together... over the years we have been Neighbors before, perhaps that could happen again?  How long before you will ditch the McManse she asked?  I truly don't know, I think I'd want Princess T to have grown up first since this is a good place for her to finish growing up.  I'd also probably need at least that long to de-stash enough of our Hoard of Stuff to fit into somewhere very Modest and travel Light again.  It's rather a huge undertaking and quite intimidating to also make another Big Move even later in Life I says, shit Girl we ain't getting any younger!!!




  We both laughed, don't go extreme she warned me, she's known me long enough to realize I'm prone to extremes!  *LMAO*  Well, I was totally diggin' this Historic Home that only had 980 sf and Wishing I already had shed enough to just get it I says!  *Winks*  It's cheap enough I could consider paying Cash with the equity from the McManse and a part of me really digs THAT since I prefer paid off Homes I own outright.  I always have the regrets of giving up the paid off Home and starting over with a loan and debt... groan.




But smashing the entire Family and all my present shit into 980 sf from 4350 sf would take some serious Magic unless I buy a Warehouse too!  It was difficult enough to go from Acreage with three Cottages, several Outbuildings and a Main House to this monstrosity of a House!   But it IS downsizing I suppose, my way... which is rather slow and steady, but Lord Jesus will I have to become an Immortal to finish The Process in Time?!?  *LOL*  Well, you sure have amassed some impressive Stuff over all these years I've known you she admits, True that... and clearly I'm not Over ALL of it just yet either.  *Winks*




Several of my Friends have a running joke that when I AM completely Over it ALL, I must give them first options to relieve me of much of it.  *LMAO*  But you know what I won't EVER be Over I tell my Friend?   She knows before I even tell her because she's similarly afflicted... THE THRILL OF THE HUNT... we just can't seem to Stop... and hey, we're so damned Good at it by now aren't we?! *Bwahahahahahahaha!!!*   Well, perhaps we both just Need that Simple Home but with a big damned Barn in the back she says... she could be right...



*******

Blessings, Love and Light from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day




When I went in to our Antique Mall to Score this Beautiful Antique Asian Goddess Porcelain Statuary of Guan Yin Goddess Of Mercy {Bodhissatva} pictured, I had a couple of my Male Vendor Friends jokingly ask me why I wasn't Home for Memorial Day instead Celebrating The Man?  Ummm... because he's not Dead...  *Dead Silence... then Laughter*   Sometimes people get mixed up about the Celebrations of Veteran's Day and Memorial Day Holidays and whom they Honor and more importantly why!  Lemme give ya a refresher:

Me·mo·ri·al Day
məˈmôrēəl ˌdā/
noun
  1. a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

*******

Vet·er·ans Day
noun
  1. a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. It replaced Armistice Day in 1954.


So NO, we will NOT be Celebrating my Old Veteran on this day, because he's not Dead!  He will not die in Active Military Service even when his time comes!   The Man used to think it very creepy when anyone would acknowledge him on Memorial Day, he's had a lot of very close calls during his lengthy Military Career during Wartime for sure and Survived them all, but he didn't die in Active Military Service Thank God!  He's still among the Living, pretty worn out, 100% Service Related Disabled and beat up from 39 Years of Service, but still Vertical nonetheless!  We don't even Celebrate our Dearly Departed Dads on this day, both Heroic Military War Veterans who Served in War Time and were awarded Medals of Valor, since they didn't die in Active Military Service either, so we still Celebrate and Honor them on Veteran's Day instead.




I suppose I just think it's important to know why we're Celebrating any Holiday or Holy Day and not just going thru the motions in complete ignorance or not Caring at all to understand why we're Celebrating or whom we're allegedly Celebrating or Honoring.  It doesn't take much nowadays to do a moment of research if you're not entirely sure, Google is pretty fast.   For many perhaps it's just another Holiday, another day off, another long Weekend, another Sale Day, whatever... and I'm not sitting in judgment, I just find it trite to get it wrong when acknowledging the wrong people for the wrong reasons.   It's like calling every individual in a Uniform a Hero, that bugs The Man, who IS a highly decorated War Hero... it bugs me too!  Because it diminishes and devalues the Earned Honor of the bestowment of the Title if it's just randomly given to anyone who perhaps never did anything particularly Heroic in their Career Field.  I think the term is thrown around too casually nowadays and it has rendered it virtually Meaningless, when it shouldn't be!   Any Military recognized War Hero will have received a Medal for the actual Heroic Deed(s), it has significant Meaning and it pays due respect and Honor to that individual's act of Bravery, impact and Sacrifice!  The Man will say, I didn't get all of these for doing NOTHING or just putting on a Uniform!





It's akin to the Modern practice of awarding a ribbon, award or trophy to every Kid in School just for participation, whether they were first or last, or even just sat on the bench... whether they had academic excellence or barely made it.  You know, just so nobody feels bad or gets jealous of whoever did Earn the ribbon, award or trophy.   But even a Kid is aware of how Meaningless it is when it's just a Token and not really Earned.  Princess T came home from the last day of School with a Made-Up Award, she laughed, we laughed, it was rather a Family Joke.   It was one of those Most Likely To Awards in which the Teachers have to get pretty Creative to find some attribute for which to print out an award and present it so that at least she got one!   Princess T is not a very good Student academically, she is painfully aware of it, but it's rather condescending and patronizing to pretend otherwise.   When a Kid finishes last in the race or has a crappy report card it stings enough I think without making up some fake award to present for failing and pretending as if it's winning or succeeding.  Nobody is being fooled, and you know, it's Okay not to always get it right or be the Star Athlete or the War Hero.   If you did participate that IS enough and so we don't have to exaggerate it all and call you something you might never had Earned the Title of.   I mean personally I wouldn't want to be called something I didn't Earn the Title of and never was, it's embarrassing to be bestowed a Token Honor and I'd know it to be fake and a lie or deception!





If I were not actually deserving of a prestigious Title or Honor I wouldn't want to be standing next to someone who was and who legitimately Earned it and was The Real Deal!   Okay, Rant over... Smiles... I can get pretty worked up about things I'm Passionate about.   The scourge of faux Patriotism is a topic of considerable interest and debate lately.  What sometimes becomes PC to appear Patriotic and a substitute for substance... the absence of Love of Country while wearing a Flag Lapel Pin, shit like that.  Tossing around whose Patriotic and whose not... personal Greed overshadowing The Good Of All... there's just a lot of that going on nowadays and it really diminishes the huge Sacrifice many made by Giving their All in Service to Country... those who we should be Honoring Today, Memorial Day.   Those would fought for the Freedoms we aspire to implement in Society and make available to it's Citizens.   Often even abroad, in Countries not even our own, but who we Hope might enjoy a measure of those Freedoms and Rights that will make oppression and suffering lessened.   No Society is perfect, the Ideal and the Reality are sadly not always lined up as they should be and could be... mostly because People are involved and we are a flawed Species aren't we, still working things out.




I brought my Antique Asian Porcelain Goddess home and marveled at the incredible Deal I got her for... she is the Goddess Of Mercy.   Mercy it seems is in short supply nowadays, many don't bestow it upon others and we really should practice it more.  It is more revealing upon our own Character when we can't or don't... rather than a reflection upon those whom it is within our power to punish or harm.  Leniency, clemency, compassion, charity, Grace, pity, forgiveness, humanity, forbearance... these are Positive energy traits and are fruits of the Spirit.   I don't want any who died in Service to Country to have done it in vain, the very best way we can truly Honor them is to preserve those attributes and Ideals they fought so hard for, DIED for!   Not for themselves of coarse because they didn't even live to Enjoy it... and the ultimate Sacrifice made for the benefit of others, for us all, should not be taken lightly, not tritely or casually.   Every single individual who died in Active Military Service should be remembered, many left Loved Ones behind and their Sorrow is never ending over that incredible Loss and Sacrifice to Country for the Love of Country.  My Gratefulness knows no bounds, Thank You I know is not nearly enough.




*******

With Thankfulness and a Grateful Heart from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Celebrating My First Year Dreadaversary



So Monday, Memorial Day, I'll be Celebrating my First Year Dreadaversary!  I had always intended to document my Journey here in the Land Of Blog, to talk about the experience of having Dreadlocks.   People seem to have a lot of curiosity or questions about them and so perhaps this will answer some from my own perspective during the Journey.   And a Journey it is, since unlike other hairstyles this one is definitely different and requires Patience and is more a Lifestyle choice than a Hairstyle choice.  Did I ever tell you I needed to develop more Patience since it doesn't happen to be one of my Virtues?  *Smiles*  It also tames my OCD, because there were a lot of things I needed to get Over about my Hair, Locs have already helped me thru some of that in just a mere Year, so it's been like Therapy!  It has given me a Peace about my own Hair and how it chooses to Be and to Behave, I always fought it before, now I don't at all, that's Progress of epic proportions my Friends!




I always pretty much Hated my Hair, how straight it was, how thin it was, how fragile it was, how slowly it grew, how opposed to Styling it was, how freakin' High Maintenance it was!  Since daily Care of it was exhaustive and it didn't look good anyway no matter how much time or pampering was given to it, I was always frustrated and had to just Live with it being less than the Hair I Desired!  Before Dreadlocks I simply had no choice but to over-work it and so Hair damage was my Norm and Styles were severely limited to either Up or Down!  Accessories would not stay in it and I had to deeply commit to any cut since it would grow out at the speed of Death!   It needed daily washing because it got greasy so quickly and conditioner weighed it down and immediately made it look greasy even after having been washed thoroughly!   ALL of that is now a thing of the Past, who knew Dreads would immediately solve a multitude of my Hair and Care Problems!?!  Now I Love my Hair and the longer I have the Locs the more in Love we become as they Mature... and I Mature along with them.




But there were some Adjustments and a Learning Curve about the Journey and about Locs themselves, how different they would be to have.   Lucky for me I'm already a Woman of advanced Maturity... Dreadlocks would be my Sixties Adventure and Journey, by the time you reach your sixth Decade, shit just doesn't bother you so much anymore.  Any Journey you take by your Sixties you are more All In about than perhaps you would have been in your Youth.  Most Dreadheads I've met, with only a few exceptions, didn't hang with the Journey for long, each had their own reasons for ending it.   Most miss their Dreads tho' and that's how I heard about their Journey, they always approach me and just talk about it.  Those who still have Locs are like an extended Family and they will connect to you in camaraderie, I didn't expect that, but I like it, it's being something larger than yourself in a way I didn't anticipate.  I had to get used to daily compliments about my Hair, that NEVER happened before Locs, I was surprised how broad a demographic give the compliments and don't have bias.  I had been told to expect some bias and stereotypes, it happens, but infrequently.




The biggest stereotypes seem to be the automatic assumption you're Rasta and you are a Pothead who can get the good Kush!  *LOL*  The Grandson's peers probably held that stereotypical opinion strongest, none Believed his Gramma didn't indulge in Cannabis.   She has the aroma of Nag Champa or Patchouli, she has Dreads, so it's a Given this Old Hippie has to be getting High!  *LMAO*  Luckily I never get approached by those Wishing to Score their own, perhaps they think I'd be using it all myself, I dunno?  *Smiles*   Other Rastas do Greet me now with, "Hey Rasta..." and rather than explain I'm not, and get into all that... I just nod in mutual Greeting and Smile, whaddya gonna do?  *Ha ha ha*  I have been warned by non-Rasta Dudes wearing very long Dreads that once your Dreads get long, some peeps get very upset if you are NOT Rasta, who knew?!?  Since apparently there is some mysterious 'Rule' that ya hafta be if your Dreads have been worn for beaucoup Years?!  Don't know who made up that Rule, it's just very proprietary on a Style many Cultures have actually worn for Centuries.   I can see why many Cultures have adorned themselves with Dreadlocks, I happen to Love mine so much they will stay with me to the grave.  I apologize for the crappy Dreadlock Selfies, I suck at it... all of the above are a Year in... most of the below were "In The Beginning" for comparison sake or at various stages of the Year long Journey.




As you can clearly see "In The Beginning" mine were tidier, that is due to the Method I chose to have them installed, which was Crochet Method at a Salon. Since all my peers have Arthritis so an 8 hour installation Dread Party would have taken way too much Wine to get thru and God knows how they would have turned out?!!  *Bwahahahahaha!*  Besides, not a single Senior I know knew anything about Dreadlocks, I had to spend a Year of due diligence myself before taking the plunge just so I'd know what I was really getting myself in to!   Thank God for the Internet and Dreadhead Groups Online and the Dreadhead folks I happened to already know who were all so informative on my behalf and Schooled me.   There is a lot of misinformation about Dreads and the Care of them because it is not a Style even most Salons know a damned thing about.  Perhaps that is why so many peeps who don't have them ask such questions as do you wash them and the very invasive can I touch them!!!   Yes, you have to get used to random people asking if they can touch your Hair, it's not as creepy or awkward now to me as it was at first.  Now if they are particularly personable I will oblige and then they usually want to talk about Dreads and the secret Desire to have them.  Most folks are concerned about what other people will think, Social backlash and judgment, Family pressure, regrets and what to do if it was a mistake to get them, or if it will affect their employment, I 'get' it.  Socially conforming IS a Big Deal sometimes.




One handsome Young Man who used to have the most luxurious Nine Year Old Locs down to his hips told me he cut them off to get into the Medical Field of Employment he wanted as a Career.  He keeps them in a bag in his closet and misses having them every day, he preferred having them and is still attached to them.  I could feel the heavy lamentations he had about the difficult decision to Conform and detach from the Lifestyle and end his Journey.  I remembered him with his luxurious Locs, they were striking and he wore them Well, he was one of a group of long time Dreadheads who convinced me to get mine actually and has given me valuable information about the Care of mine and the myths and things you shouldn't do.   Yes, there are things you shouldn't do, tho' opinion is divided and varied about many Loc Care or Installation and Maintenance methods.  I have decided never to Crochet mine again, just to avoid damage and it more resembling Braids.  I don't mind my Crocheted lengths of Dread, they're doing Fine, but I prefer my Natural and Neglect formed Dread length best, it looks and feels way different and IMO Better.   I now have four inches of Natural Neglected formed Dread length in just a single Year, tho' I did experience the usual shrinkage too as the Crocheted sectioned lengths tightened and locked up.  Who knew my Hair actually did grow quickly, it just used to break off or I'd have Hair loss... neither happens anymore... Problem Solved!!!




My baldy looking sections "In The Beginning" are gone now, as I have tons new Hair growth too which hides the initial Sectioning.  The new growth which is the Lion's Mane effect you see going on closer to my scalp, I got used to it and got Over having or wanting tidy Dreads.   I no longer worry about my new growth locking in right away, often it doesn't, I just occasionally try to Guide it into a nearby Dread when it's getting long and just hasn't yet.  Wearing Wool Beanies helps, Thanks to a tip from long time Dreadheads, or just gently massaging the roots with the Wool Beanie.  I quit Palm Rolling, waste of time IMO, tho' some are Devoted to the Practice, it wasn't necessary and I have Arthritis, nuff said.   I do not do Wax, I do not do regular Shampoo and avoid Conditioners completely now.  I buy Dread specific Shampoos, my two Fav Brands are Dollylocks and Lockin Up Shampoo which I buy Online.  I was guided to these brands by long time Dreadheads who were 10-27 Years into their Journey so I've never used anything else on my Locs.  I buy the Liquid and the Bars tho' the Bars are better when your Dreads are more Mature and not so Untamed looking.  You have to NOT be bothered by the Process your Hair will take to Loc Up, which will initially mean bumps and loops, with some crazy angles and paintbrush ends... I embraced all of that, it just doesn't bother me.  The Natural Neglect forming lengths have none of that on mine, so it just goes away as the Dread grows out.




Which brings me to the fact that hair does not come out of your head Dreaded, it takes time to knot and Loc and so 1-4 inches of Undreaded Hair at your roots is perfectly normal, don't sweat it.  I'm no expert just a Year in, but I heeded the advice of Sage Dreadheads with many Years in and Trust their advice more than any Salon.  Salons which will tell you Maintenance is crucial... and expensive... it's not and I'm usually too broke anyway... Problem Solved!  The Methods to start Dreads is controversial too and everyone has their preferences for their own Lifestyle and Look they Desired.  Rip and Tear, it just sounded too painful... Backcombing just sounded very damaging and like what Teased Hair in the 50's looks like... Neglect Method takes too long and I'm Old already... Crochet can cause damage but I liked the results of it not looking dreadful for the first few Years, which might have been off-putting to me personally.  For me the installation by Crochet Method was expensive but worth the Investment, my Dreads I've Loved since Day One and Love them all the more as they keep Maturing so I've never had what I'd call a Bad Hair Day again!  *Whoop Whoop*




What I'd call Maintenance of my Dreads consists of keeping them Clean and Separated so they don't Congo... that's about it... very easy peasy and low Maintenance with results I prefer and costs me almost nothing.   The Dreadlock Shampoos are spendy but a little goes a long way and should last a very long time, so are cost effective actually.  I Love that the two Brands I use come in Nag Champa scent as an option, tho' many of their other scents are sublime too and they've generously provided Free Samples for me to try when I place my Order.  Itchy Scalp, I had it for a single day very early into the Journey and bought a spray called Rasta Jamaican Mango And Lime No More Itch And Gro Spray... it soothed the itch and worked right away tho' the Name is a mouthful!  It's in the Black Hair Care Section of most Grocery Stores around here.  I used it one day and haven't had to use it since.  Because I don't suffer from itchy or dry scalp or even itchy feeling Dreads against my skin, since my Hair Type is quite soft so my Dreads aren't particularly scratchy feeling against skin.  My Hair is no longer oily tho', so washings can be way less frequent than before Dreads and my Hair looks just fine.  They are getting mad thicker tho', so now I actually have thick hair for the first time in my Life, Loving that!   I used to have Thick Hair Envy... now I Love my own Hair's thickness and how is just IS... Problem Solved!   Accessories now stay in my hair nicely because Dreads are rather like Velcro, everything will stick to them actually!  *LOL*  Invest in high quality Towels, so you don't get lint in them when drying your Hair! 




Just about everything has been Upside for me to have Dreadlocks, but I guess there could be some Downside considered.   When they get really long and heavy I might not be able to take them Swimming lest I sink and drown?  *LOL*   When you do get them wet or wash them, drying them takes Time, which is why I opted for thinner Micro-Dreads rather than thick Festival ones.  Also, thinner ones are easier to Care for and don't get moldy or smelly, but I do typically wash mine in the Morning to help them dry before bedtime.  Also, if you have thin Hair like I did, Micro makes sense since Phat ones would use up too much Hair and you'd have like three Dreads or something!  *LMAO*   I have forty-nine from what The G-Kid Force have counted for me, which is a reasonable amount of them to Care for and looks full enough and is manageable enough for me.  I wanted to wear Beads and Cuffs on mine so Micro allows for that, tho' already my Neglect Natural Forming lengths are already too Phat for the Beads or the Cuffs now.  I could order Dreadlock specific hand-made Beads and Cuffs Online which come in larger sizing.   




I have some Cool Exotic Fabric Cuff ones coming from Hong Kong or somewhere afar actually, they look like the pix above tho' those aren't mine... they haven't arrived yet, slow boat from China I guess?!   The Young Prince says these look like a Pre-School Project his Little Brother would have made for me... don't Care, I Like them and will wear them Proudly as if he did!!!  *LOL*   So... some other things you might have to Get Over in the early days before your Dreads Mature sufficiently.   Some being flat and compressed, they'll eventually round and bulk out, a few of mine already have within the Year as they become denser.  Blunt ends will take time, I used to try to keep mine blunt but the paintbrush ends would just come back so now I don't bother and waste my time and energy.  I actually don't mind how messy or wispy the ends are anymore, I have become very Laid Back about my Dreads which has eased my OCD compulsions considerably.  Will having Dreads Cure my OCD, who knows, but I'm mos def less Obsessive or Compulsive, about my Locs anyway, so it's Progress and a Start!  *Winks*   Crazy fly-away Hair not locked up yet, it's annoying but it happens and at least it's new Hair growth, which only serves to strengthen what you already have so I embrace that.  Don't cut or trim unruly Hairs, I think it would only weaken what you have and every Mature Dreadhead I've seen has less of the unruliness so I'm assuming it eventually self-corrects if you're Patient enough.  Rubber Banding the Ends or at the Scalp to keep things tidier and Controlled... I don't do it... too much Work and potential Risk of damaging my Locs rather than helping them.  I did see a Child Dreadhead with Awesome Dreads that his Mother used torn Rags at the scalp as either adornment or to Control Lion's Mane {the Kid had thick Hair}, I've thought of trying that, but I don't think I'd look as Cute as he did.  *Smiles*




I like perusing the Web and seeing what Loc Accessories I might try next, these Cuffs look Promising, I might Order the one on the Left and the Middle ones.  Accessorizing my Hair with all kinds of Wonderful objects has been a real Joy of having Locs since I Love Accessorizing!  *Smiles*  All said and done, a mere Year in and I think my Locs are coming along nicely, way better than I ever expected so I'm totally Jazzed and absolutely Lovin' them.  Zero regrets for having taken the plunge, when asked if I'll ever want them out, one can never say never, but I suspect I'll Enjoy them for the rest of my Life as much as I do now.  I have no intentions of wanting them out and going Mad Max as an alternative Style if I did want or need them gone.   If they get too long or too heavy they can be cut and trimmed, many long time Dreadheads do that with no ill effects.   The too long doesn't bother me as I doubt I'll live long enough they're Nine feet long and a nuisance, but ya never know?  *LOL*  I like long Hair so I'm looking forward to mine becoming longer and more luxurious actually, but I will not do extensions.  Just a personal choice, I've seen extensions and they're Cool, but I'm not trying to speed up my Process and Journey by prematurely lengthening with synthetic Hair... plus they're expensive... and I'm mostly broke... Problem Solved!   Some decisions are easily made when financial options are more limiting.  On a fixed income you tend to weigh financial options carefully to stay within budget and be prudent. 


via: Pinterest credit Carlos Pinto Photographer


Be realistic about your own Dread Journey, mine are likely never going to look like these luxurious Dreads but I can aspire to look and Age as Gracefully with mine as she clearly has.   I see less Seniors with them but oddly a lot of Seniors have approached me and told me they have considered getting them or secretly like them.  I don't know why it has to be a Secret if you do, perhaps Social conformity and opinion to NOT like Outsider Hair Styles, I dunno?  Almost every Young Person tells me frequently that they like mine so I do think the Younger Generation is less judgmental about extreme Hairstyles and a lot more accepting and respectful about the personal choice to wear one's Hair as you want to.  Because after all, it is YOUR Hair, your personal choice of how to wear it is deeply personal and shouldn't be unduly influenced or coerced by others IMO.  It's just Hair, it's not even permanent, it is subject to change without notice if you want to change your Mind and Style or length.   I didn't go into having Dreadlocks casually, I pondered it actually for several Years and did research and due diligence first, my ONLY regret, that I didn't DO it Years ago!  




I'm Celebrating my First Year Dreadaversary, I may even throw them a Party!  My Family think I'm totally Nuts of coarse... *Winks*  I might even Dress them up for the occasion and buy them Pressies... so many Online Inspirational Imagery about Accessories to buy for your Dreadies.  It's almost as Fun as buying for my Grands... who am I kidding... it's MORE Fun!  *Winks*  I actually ordered some of those Fab Turquoise Buddha Charms for my Dreads from Purple Finch on Etsy.  Tho' the Wood Beads are Awesome they are too bulky for immature Baby Dreads, mebbe in a few Years when I have to go larger...   I do have Dread Favorites, some just Mature better than others or Behave better than others, but they're always Evolving so that can change as Maturity developes each and every one of them.  I haven't been plagued by any Congos, my separating has been very successful because I keep up on it, which you have to or they will want to combine and meld with one another... another personal choice you'll have to decide for yourself along the Journey as to what is best and healthiest for strongest and best looking Locs.  Hope my Post has been informative to any of you who are curious about or considering Dreads and want to become part of the Tribe?

*******

Blessings, Love and Light from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian
A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl