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  • Becky Adams

Meditation at the Salon

What do you muse about when you're in the stylist's chair? I find that being forced to sit still for 2 hours on a regular basis is good for the soul.

I'll admit it, I'm vain. Every five weeks I rush to the salon to cover up my gray hair. I know that in 2020 it was cool to let your hair grow out and your grays grow in, but I couldn't do it. I'll try not to be one of those people with an 85-year-old face and 25-year-old hair--but I can't guarantee it.

I spend most of my time on the move. It seems like every hour of my day is slated for a specific purpose or chock full of all sorts of little tasks. Even as I'm completing whatever I have assigned to myself, I'm thinking about something else that I should be doing. I know they say, "Don't should yourself," but sometimes I really get bogged down in should. It gets all over my shoes, I track it into the house....

When I go to the salon to get my hair colored, it's like a mini-retreat. I simply cannot multi-task; I can't load the dishwasher or throw in a load of laundry from the stylist's chair. And I can't waste my time worrying about the day's unfinished tasks because my stylist simply won't tolerate that kind of behavior. How grateful I am that I walked into her shop 10 years ago looking for a hairdresser and found a friend.

There is no rushing hair color; fake youth needs a certain amount of processing time. I love catching up with Mila. (I needed to give her a fake name for my blog and I thought a witty actress with long dark hair was apropos.)

Mila is my age but has the wisdom of a century-old philosopher. We settle right into our routine, moving from topic to topic like the agenda of an executive board meeting. We cover old business, finances (find any good bargains lately?), social matters (seen any friends lately?), current events (did you hear about..?), and new business. Before I know it, my roots are covered.

Then there is nothing to do but wait for the chemicals to work their magic. It takes about 40 minutes, which can feel like a very long time. Mila is a multi-tasker like me; rarely does she just sit in the next chair over to continue conversing. She cuts people's hair; she sweeps the floor; she folds towels; she answers the salon phone; she fields calls from her family about dinner. I, however, am stuck in that chair.

Sometimes I read a book, and it's heavenly to get lost in a story without interruption. Other times I get caught up in whatever kids' show is playing on Mila's salon television. The tv occupies the youth in the waiting area and it's a guilty pleasure to giggle at silly humor directed toward little kids. This most recent visit has been spent writing this blog.

Staring at your harshly-lit face without your hair to soften things up really makes you feel your age. Wow, I look old. Do I feel old? Hmm, let's see. My back feels good today. My elbow only aches a little bit, and my knee doesn't hurt at all! I understood the joke told today by my millennial co-worker. Conclusion? Once my hair is back to frame my face, I'll feel reasonably young again!

And now that I think about it, I feel reasonably young most of the time. I still wake up in the morning feeling curious about the day's possibilities. I have a long commute, but I enjoy the time it gives me to listen to funny podcasts. I feel energized when I do my best at work. I dream of connecting with people of all ages through writing. What does all that have in common? Finding something good in what's happening right now. That's my interpretation of "living in the moment."

Right now in the salon I can appreciate the fact that hair color requires pressing the pause button on life--the frenetic pace simply must stop. I appreciate how haircare brought Mila into my life; we have much in common, but we probably wouldn't have met otherwise. When I'm answering Mila's question, "How is your daughter?" I am reminded of how grateful I am for the super person my daughter is (and always has been.)

Often at the salon, conversations become a group event. It's the kind of environment where you can trade advice with complete strangers, and nobody bats an eye. How grateful I am for those interactions! It's a reminder that everyone has some type of struggle in life. It's reassuring to see how people navigate the rough waters of life. It's comforting to offer and receive support. We all benefit when we share our burdens.

My Christmas wish is that this blog will ease the weight of your burdens, inspire hope in your heart, and remind you that we are all connected. My advice? Meditate on ways to find those connections next time you're at the salon.

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