I’ve been sporting a somewhat new look lately.
Some have told me they like it, that “it looks good on ya'”
Others have asked “that your winter look?”
It’s a beard that I’ve had hanging around my face as of late, and I’m not quite sure whether or not to let it remain. It all started unintentionally. Over the course of the summer, I had gotten a cut of some sort on my face that the doctors thought had become infected. As it was healing, I was told by the doctors not to shave, for fear of cutting it open and starting the process all over again.
So I didn’t. And the hair grew, and grew and grew.
Now, I look a bit like I’m going to go in our backyard and chop wood. It’s a look and (sometimes itchy) feel I’ve not quite grown accustomed to over the years. With the exception of a ‘van dyke‘ (don’t mistakenly call it a goatee, I’m told) during some time in college, I’ve pretty much been a clean-shaven guy all my life. So now that all has healed and I can shave if I like, I’m not sure if I should.
Yes, I’ve gotten ‘good reviews’ so far from friends and family. But, this week, I got an opinion from my most brutally honest fan of all – our two year old son.
“No beard, dada! No beard!” he told me, firmly, then proceeding to try and wipe it or brush it off of my face.
“Me cut, dada! Me cut!”
If there’s one thing you can always count on amid the unpredictability of kids, it is that they will almost always speak the truth of what’s on their mind, what they think, in the most clear form possible.
If only we adults could do that.
Apparently, he does not approve, so we’ll have to see how long it sticks around.
Like all good things, vacation too, must eventually come to an end.
I’ve had the pleasure of being on vacation for a little over a week from the day job, and I’ve been loving it. From that extra time to run an errand or two at all the places that are normally closed before I go into or get out of work each day, to working on long-dormant house projects, and of course, spending some extra time with the family, it has been wonderful.
It’s sort of become a bit of an unofficial tradition for me while on vacation not to shave unless I absolutely have to. Not for any particular reason, mind you. I’m not fond of having facial hair or anything. It’s just that it acts as a small reminder that I don’t HAVE to shave, that I can be scruffy without the worried need of having to cut off the whiskers before showing up to work.
I refer to it as my “beard of defiance.”
Naturally, that makes “the shaving” at the end of vacation a symbolic return to routine.
It was a good run, vacation and I.
I worked on this blog, I did some writing on other projects that I’ll eventually be shamelessly plugging on here, I’m sure. Between my wife and myself, we started Phase One of our long overdue bathroom renovation, which included seven coats of white paint to cover up the Crayola Brown (or Poop Brown) color that the previous owners slathered over the fine woodwork of the bathroom. We did some cleaning, some organizing, sorting through outfits the baby has outgrown these past few months (a more emotional process for us than I would have thought at first).
Best of all, though, I got to spend those times during the day laughing with my little boy, helping my wife around the house, or just plain kicking back, watching a classic film, or working on some creative projects that have been out of reach with the everyday workload. It’s been nice, and I will be sad to see it leave my life on such a full-time basis.
However, if vacation does anything, it generates a sense of rejuvenation, reminding us of what is important in our lives, why we do what we do, and what our goals ultimately are.
Yes, I’ll return to work today and I will do my best to make it a bright, clean slate. To not let the Negative Nellies that make it their routine to criticize and pick everything apart get to me, to be a little nicer whether they deserve it or not, to treat every day with a little more sunny of an outlook, and remember that just like vacation, everything in life is temporary and to enjoy every moment of it while we can, whether it be a week at a time, an evening after work at a time, or those few moments in between.
Because, while we may shave off the whiskers of the vacation beard, you know sooner or later they will be back. 🙂