I was down all day...knowing what was ahead of me, wondering if I would be able to find the right words...wondering if I would be able to explain myself and my reasons clearly enough...hoping there would be no tears.
The overcast day matched my mood and added to the melancholy. It's so sad when a relationship comes to an end.
I was nervous when I entered the little house. Was it obvious something was wrong? I thought about waiting until the end, but I felt it was only right to just get it out in the open right away.
"This...I...this is my last visit," I sputtered to Michael.
"Why?" I could tell he wasn't expecting this.
So I explained it all: the hulking college loans breathing down our necks...the shuffled bills on my desk...the growing guilt from this self-indulgent pleasure... the mounting tension in my neck that even Clint's magic hands can't massage away during those wonderful shampoos.
Oh, how I'm going to miss those shampoos!
"I understand," he said, relieved that it wasn't because I was unhappy with his work.
Heavens no! Michael's been cutting and coloring my hair for over two years now and I've never been happier with a hair stylist...or a shampoo-ist. It has been such a relief to have such consistency...such care...especially since my hair stubbornly continues to thin despite my best efforts of eating right and all the other tricks I've read about.
Visits to Michael's house were my splurges...my dessert after years of "dieting" - I've had one manicure in my life, two massages and I can count the number of pedicures I've had with one foot. For several years Tom cut my hair and he did a wonderful job! But the thinner my hair became, the harder it was for him to cut it...plus standing up in the kitchen while it's cut and then having to do all of that sweeping...well, let's just say it wasn't really a pamper-session.
I tried my best to hold on to my time with Michael and Clint. I looked for other ways to cut back, even "dropped out" of college again. And as far as stylists go, the cost isn't extravagant. But with one more student in college, that hulking federal-loan-monster has grown larger and more menacing, and I want to take him down. I'm ready to fight and I think I'm up to it. I remember when I first quit my job to be a stay-at-home mother and all of the ways we learned to cut corners to make that work. I don't regret that decision now or the fact that we have to continue cutting corners to finish what we started - doing what we felt was best for our kids.
So I'm giving up Michael and Clint...my college class (again)...my nightly glass of red wine...my daily Diet Lipton Citrus-flavored Green Tea and red grapes (until the prices go back down)...and I can't think of any other splurges I even have to give up. I'm not ready to give up my rare night at the movies with my kids or get-togethers with my friends. I hope we can tackle this giant without resorting to such drastic measures!
This quote popped out at me earlier this week. It helps make these changes a little easier for now - I'll keep it close by if I start feeling mopey...
"You may have a desire for six double-chocolate donuts, but hopefully, you have a deeper desire for health and well-being. The deepest desires have your destiny all over them." - Matthew Kelly
Right now my deepest desires are to see all three kids graduate from college (one down, two to go) and to be debt-free, as much as possible. I'd like to at least have some breathing room. If it means I have to give up the donuts, I'll do it gladly. For now.
Next week my "class" begins again and I will have even more incentive to finish my book, sell it and become a millionaire: I want to return to Michael's house!
For those of you in the Austin area, I highly recommend Michael Smothers. Yes, I'll be jealous, but when you find something good it's just not right to keep it to yourself. You can find him at the Mark Thomas studio. Click here for more info.
Yesterday evening, I hugged Michael and Clint goodbye and walked away...looking fabulous, I must add. Yes, I'll be back...one day.
I'm curious to know how other people are cutting back. If you have any ideas, please let me know - leave me a comment!