When you reach milestone birthdays you start to think about your life.
Recently I turned 50, and it had me thinking about what I had done with those years, compared to what I had thought I might do. I imagine most people probably have moments like this in life. It is both depressing but also quite rewarding to think about your path even if it was not the one you had expected to travel.
Two days after my birthday I received a letter from the NHS Scotland with the kit to do the bowel cancer screening – for those that think the NHS is not organised I was impressed at this level of efficiency to receive it so soon after I was eligible for the test. Receiving this, of course made me think about my Dad who died 20 years ago from a secondary liver cancer resulting from spreading from bowel cancer. I do wonder if this type of screening had been available in his time then the outcome may have been different as it would have been discovered before it was too late, but what ifs are no way to move forward. When Dad was dying, he was cared for at home, and this included Macmillan Nurses. These amazing people come into the home to care not just for the person who is ill, but the whole family. Knowing my Dad was looked after at night-time, meant my Mum could get rest and recharge herself to cope with the horrible situation she was living through. I have a great deal of respect for these amazing people.
About the same time I heard about the Macmillian Brave the Shave campaign -https://bravetheshave.org.uk/ The purpose of the campaign is for people to shave their heads and raise donations for the charity. One thing I have said for years is that I would like to do was shave my head. There was a major lightbulb moment, as I thought what better excuse to cross something off my bucket list and raise some money for an amazing charity.
When I told Hubby I was going to do it, he wasn’t phased at all, as it is a charity I have previous raised money for. He was extremely supportive, as were the boys.
I signed up.
When I shared the link to my donation page – https://bravetheshave.org.uk/?post_type=ignition_product&s=jane+ritchie, to friends via social media, there was a general response of “you’re doing what?” I had several conversations with people about why I was doing it. I think once they got over the shock of what I was intending to do, everyone has been totally supportive. I have some amazing friends who have sponsored me, and shared the information about what I am doing.
The reasons I have given to anyone who has asked is very simple. It is in memory of the wonderful ladies who helped my Dad, and I don’t have lots of money or time to give, but I have always had lots of hair!
Today was the day of the big shave. Somehow I managed to get talked into letting D do it for me. Hubby recorded the whole event and it will be uploaded to D’s YouTube channel – I will leave the link when it is available.
Hubby took a before picture to show the amount of hair I actually had – I was a teenager of the 80’s and my hair hasn’t forgotten that and has always been a wavy mass.
As there was so much hair to remove, D started with a pair of scissors to get rid of some of the weight. He then attacked it with the clippers. It took him a while to get used to what he had to be doing, but he soon got a rhythm going. He did get Hubby to finish tidying it for me. The whole time it was happening I had no access to a mirror so had no idea what it was looking like. I had insisted before he started that I would go no shorter than a #3 and was just hoping this would be listened to. When I put my hands up to feel the result, it felt lovely. Almost velvety! I was then allowed to look in the mirror. It was a shock by I love it!
D is of course really proud of what he has done. I don’t think he will be the next Vidal Sassoon, but he did a great job in helping me.
My Mum said she had never seen me with hair this short, as I was a hairy baby, born with a mop of curly locks!
I can’t wait for the shocked reaction from people I see. The good thing is as we enter autumn, I can pull on a hat if needed. It is also going to save a fortune in conditioner!
The one thing about hair is that it grows, and mine has always grown really quickly, so I am not that worried about it. I am nervous to see what colour it grows in, as I don’t think I have been my natural colour for over 30 years, and there is going to be more grey than anything else – grey hair is still fashionable right?
If you would like to make a donation to this wonderful charity, the link to my fundraising page it –
or why not sign up and do it yourself? It really isn’t as scary as you might think.