Life lessons I’ve learned from my hair…

I’m pretty sure that most would agree with me on this point – our hair usually doesn’t do what we want it to do. I️ was born with some THICK hair. My mom kept it short when I️ was little, because she just didn’t know what to do with it. I️ don’t blame her now, but I️ sure wanted it long when I️ was little – so much that I️ would put pantyhose on my head and swing it around like it was long hair – if you have never done this, try it, such a good time! But, when I️ did let my hair grow out, the tedious chore of brushing through that mop got old REALLY quick. I️ envied those with braids and buns and piggy tails. Although I️ soon found out that sitting still while my mom coated her hands with “dipity doo” and tried to work some magic was a tad bit like torture for me. Later, in 6th grade, everyone was feathering their hair. Hard as I️ tried, my hair would have nothing to do with it, resulting in a daily battle in front of the mirror.

In addition to being thick, my hair has a ton of volume. For years it was more of a “wave”. Just enough to NOT be straight. Just enough to make me mad. I️ found that using a flat iron worked well to control the beast – so I️ used one daily for years. While on a Spring Break trip with our family, after going into the ocean and letting the wind dry my hair – my children were taken aback. ‘‘You have curly hair?” It was a bit like I️ had just introduced them to a long lost sibling. What a secret to hide from your children! From that point on, no more flat iron… I️ was determined to let my hair be “natural”. At this point in time, to me, my hair looked like I️ had an old perm. Many declared it looked like I️ had created beach waves with a curling wand. Beach waves?! I felt more like I️ had been caught in the Big Kahuna and dragged in the sand a few miles. Yes, the grass is always greener – but I have learned a few lessons  through the years from my crazy hair that I’d like to share with you 🙂

* Less is more ~ With all of the new tools and products out there, it’s easy to get sucked in. Less frizz? Amen! Bouncy waves? I’ll take two! Relaxed curls with no stiffness? SOLD. Yet, I have found, that once you find something that works, stop. Don’t keep looking. Use what you have and let that be enough. You know, don’t re -invent the wheel and all that. What you have is enough. Being content is difficult but awesome!

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* Try new things ~ Sometimes, we need a little something different in our lives. The same ‘ole, same ‘ole just isn’t cutting it anymore. Don’t go all drastic and quit your job or shave your head, or tell your neighbors what you REALLY think (now THAT’S just crazy talk!) Change just a simple thing – and see what happens. Part your hair on a different side, add a braid, air dry if you normally blow dry. Small changes can do wonders for pulling you out of a funk!
* Celebrate small victories  ~ This is a favorite of mine. On special occasions and days that I’d truly love to look good, my hair turns out like a used mop. But, on any random Tuesday , when I had already vowed to stay home all day and do laundry, it’s as cute as can be. What to do? Don’t EVER waste cute hair! Go to the grocery store, go to the bank… BE SEEN – I mean, we really never know when this is going to happen again!

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* Ask for help ~ As with most things in life, if I see something that impresses me, I ask about it! If I see someone that has amazing hair, a beautiful headband,  or a style I admire – I inquire about it! What’s the worst that can happen?! Stick your neck out – being curious and asking questions is a good thing!

* Focus on the good ~ We all know that no matter how hard we try, there is usually something that isn’t “quite” right… the left side is curlier than the right side, the front dried funky, our barrette won’t stop sliding out – whatever! Focus on what is good! If the volume is there, but the style isn’t, grab a headband that matches your outfit and move on. If your hair is especially shiny, but won’t cooperate, slick it back into a pony and hit the road. Work with what you have 🙂

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* This, too, shall pass ~  I’m pretty sure we have all had one of “those” hair cuts. You know the one… the “ I can’t believe I sat in that chair and LET THIS HAPPEN!” one.  The cut that had us threatening to not leave the house for weeks. But guess what? We lived to tell! It grew! It probably took much longer than we’d like, but it did grow out! And we learned a lesson about a hair length that we Never. Want. Again.

In the end, just like life, we have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst with our hair.

Wishing all of you a good hair day – EVERYDAY!

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Recalculating…

nsew Recalculating. This is a word that is very real in my life. Commonplace, used daily.  Most people think of it in terms of directions and being corrected by your Garmin. I am direction-ally challenged and have no qualms at all discussing it. If you need me to get from point A to point B, please don’t use silly words like “East” or “South West”. Shake my head. Just give me a solid “Turn left at the McDonald’s and if you pass the big tree on the left, you missed it.” I feel completely at ease when I am driving to a new destination and have my Garmin along for assistance and support. When it announces “Recalculating…”, I hear “Don’t worry, all is not lost, you will still get there – we have options!” It gives me great hope that God gives me the same guidance in my daily life.

Quite often, my own personal plans must be rearranged in order to accommodate a new errand, unexpected sickness or someone else’s “emergency”. I could let it bend me all out of shape, or attempt to keep my grumpiness under control. As most of us would agree, it’s difficult to keep smiling when a wrench has been thrown into our schedule. Recalculating my day in order to feel accomplished works sometimes, but when unscheduled chaos sneaks in, it’s best to simply shoot for survival and hope that the next day doesn’t come unglued as well.

On other occasions, I change my course willingly. I look around and acknowledge that my current path just isn’t what I thought it would be. I consider my options, pray for discernment, write a pro/con list, talk to my hubby, sleep on it, chat with my friends, read blogs on the topic, and THEN, once I have put the decision off long enough,  change directions. I switch gears. Try a new path. This type of recalculating feels less difficult because I am controlling it.  * The irony is not lost on me here. I am fully aware that I’ve included 27 other people into “my” decision making process. It’s all good – as long as I am the one to pull the trigger, it’s legit. *  Being the one to call the shots helps me to breathe a little easier. I also know where to look if I’m still not content… in the mirror.

Sometimes our circumstances change without any warning at all. A loved one falls ill, we lose our jobs, or our long term plans suddenly fall apart, due to no fault of our own. Then what?! We must adjust our thought process, find new resources and plot a new course. This creates awful feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Thankfully, we are never alone in our fear or confusion. God is forever available with a new direction to suggest, a shoulder to lean upon, and hope for the future.  We are reminded of our strength (through Him) as life has brought us to our knees. God also provides angels on Earth to lead us, or better yet, accompany us along our new paths.  He opens our eyes to options that we might not have considered and opportunities that may be the perfect fit. He is forever present and eternally aware. With His help we can survive – even thrive – during each and every season of life that we encounter.

Recalculating doesn’t have to be a negative word. Sometimes, we don’t see the danger that is right in front of us – or we convince ourselves that we can get through it unscathed. Others really may know best on some occasions. Being flexible and willing to try ideas and avenues that were not our original choice could possibly benefit us more than we could ever imagine. Remember, we all have options, there are several courses available to each of us. So long as getting to my new destination doesn’t involve heading “Due North”, I’m all in!