From birdsite 

For most of my life, I didn't give much thought to my hair. The length and the degree to which it was groomed was a function of my whims limited only by the rules of whatever group I was in. No beard in the military, relatively coifed at office jobs; things of that nature. 1/

From birdsite 

Several years ago, on a whim, I decided to go for a year without trimming any hair from my neck up. As anybody who has ever gone some time without a haircut can attest, the situation quickly became unmanageable and worsened from there. 2/

From birdsite 

Ultimately, I made it about 10 months before I got a haircut as a Valentine's present to my long-suffering wife who had quietly dealt with her husband increasingly looking like an ill-tempered wizard for months at that point. 3/

From birdsite 

If I'm being honest, I also finally relented for myself too. A mustache that hung over my mouth was inconvenient for eating, the neck beard was a continual source of ingrown hairs, and my body temperature felt like it rose 10 degrees on average beneath all of that hair. 4/

From birdsite 

In the wake of that decision, a few side effects revealed themselves to me many of which live on to this day a decade later. I cannot stand for my moustache to touch my upper lip, my beard has to be trimmed up off my neck, and I have kept my hair fairly short ever since... 5/

From birdsite 

...even a little length starts to bother me very quickly. Anything that smacks of being headed in that hirsute direction comes with an immediate, visceral reaction. 6/

From birdsite 

I liken this to burnout. Prior to having completely burned out in my twenties, I had a seemingly endless energy to devote toward whatever pursuits were before me. I'd wear down, step back, recharge, and leap back into the fray. 7/

From birdsite 

Post-burnout, things are different. I have a much more robust reaction to the things that start to feel like burnout. It's frustrating, to be sure, but... 8/

From birdsite 

...in the same way that my brain perceives the tickle of mustache hairs on the edge of my lip as an affront that must be immediately addressed, the unique feel of stress-plus-exhaustion is met by my body with an almost fight-or-flight response. 9/

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From birdsite 

As I've aged and, at least in theory, matured, I've grown to resist the warning feelings less and to accept them judiciously. I'm responding to stimulus. If my hand were on a burning stove, the reaction to jerk it away would be reasonable. 10/

From birdsite 

Defense mechanisms protecting me from more esoteric dangers are no less so.

No real takeaways here, just a lesson learned from one of my dumber "experiments." 11/11

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The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.