First, thank you all so much for your support and comments last night and today - I appreciated them, and I felt them. Last night, I was able to work out the situation that had been the nadir of my downward spiral, and things got better from there.
This morning, the coffee shop was overrun with cruise ship visitors, and they were short one staff person. So I bussed a whole bunch of tables, inside and on the sidewalk. That was my outward-directed gift today.
I did some work on the waterfront, and a different man - a carver in an electric scooter - came up and talked to me. I don't recall ever seeing him before, though he mentioned seeing me often. I was feeling calm and centered enough that I just listened to him, and we chatted. He's been sober a year, and he had a stack of 12-step books in his basket, so we talked about spirituality (though I'm not part of any 12-step groups, I think the steps are an excellent guide to living a good and spiritually abundant life; I've approached my Financial Situation using that model). Another man in his 30s, who has some kind of moderate developmental issue, stood a few feet away and stared, smiling, at me for about 10 minutes (and said hi several times) while I talked to the first man. Yesterday - or on most days - that would kind of freak me out, but today it was okay. I know he doesn't realize it has the potential to make me uncomfortable, and if it does become intrusive, I'm comfortable speaking up gently.
(I should clarify that by "carver" I mean woodworker who creates carvings. Many of them work on the waterfront, in an area adjacent to where I sit and edit).
Late this afternoon, I went to the haircolour "class" as a model. All the regular stylists were learning the new "looks" for fall and winter, so about a dozen of us had the opportunity to get a really discounted rate on colour. This was a gift to myself, and also a gift from my sister, who gave me the money to be able to do it. I hadn't had my hair done since April, and the line between 4" of light brown roots and 6" of nearly white-blonde, sun-bleached hair was a little... can you say "bowl-cut line"? Yet it turns out that showing roots is "in" this year (who knew?), and the stylist puzzled over what to do with me, because my hair already had the effect they were practicing. Well, the "bowl cut" look of roots growing out isn't so much part of what's trendy, so she mixed it up a bit. But I still think it's funny that I came out with longer, darker roots (albeit much better-looking hair overall). It turned out to be quite a bit more expensive than I'd expected; the price they posted was "...and up" based on hair length, and I guess that baseline was for very short-cropped hair (I'd mistakenly assumed that shoulder-length hair was average). So I gulped a bit, but I'm grateful that I had enough on hand (I have to go back to leave a tip, because I'd only taken a certain amount with me). And I wouldn't have been able to get it done at all, were it not for the discount and my sister's generosity.
I sometimes feel stressed going to salons, because stylists are usually super-extroverted and talkative, and then I feel pressure to be talkative - which I can do, but then later, I realize that I exhausted myself and didn't really find the experience relaxing. This time, the stylist didn't pressure me to talk, and I was able to enjoy the experience much more. Also, she gave the most amazing head massage ever - and isn't that the best thing about getting your hair done? So afterwards (uh, while I was explaining that I'd have to return tomorrow or Friday with her tip), I thanked her for her approach (and the awesome scalp massage).
I hope you all had wonderful Wednesdays! Cheers!