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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My biggest character flaw…

Everyone is good at something. We all have an area in which we excel. Some are extremely creative, organized or out going. Others are great at hosting, event planning or dealing with financial matters. It’s important to know where your skill sets are, and how they can help you succeed. On the other hand, it’s equally important to know the areas in our lives that need improvement. I am AWFUL at asking for help. Really bad at it. Seriously, I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than admit I need assistance or can’t handle something. Being stubborn only makes this worse, and gets me in more trouble. Every. Time.  I have several examples of situations that should have changed my mind about asking for help from others. But apparently, I’m a slow learner. I need to be repeatedly shown that I’m not capable of “going it alone”, nor should I even try that route. God provides these opportunities for growth frequently because He knows this is my weak spot.

Despite my inability to request help, one of my very favorite things to do is offer help to others. To see a need and fill it. To witness a struggle and make it easier for someone else to bear. The world is chock full of chances to assist others, and I love to jump right in! So – if I find joy in helping others, why do I refuse such help from my friends? Crazy. When I see the question on paper, I feel silly and shake my head. But still, I struggle. To bring a meal, pick up a child from practice, watch a toddler so a sick mama can rest – all of that would be appreciated … but would it be accepted if offered? I know I’m not the only one that tries to do it alone.

Pride. It’s a dirty word. It’s my biggest character flaw. I’m too proud to admit when life is indeed getting the best of me, or when I’m just trying to keep my head above water. There have been times that I didn’t know how I would possibly juggle all that needed to be accomplished. Those that know me, understand this – and help anyways. Their help is given in various ways. A text that contains a funny meme or an instant message that insists I am stronger than I believe.  Sometimes, it’s a meal delivered when I am unable to care for my family. Please note – help with my family and I will NEVER forget your kindness. These gestures mean the world to me, so why do I feel like sharing my burdens with those that love me is selfish? Why can’t I accept their love, smile and hug them and move on? How do I so easily forget the joy it brings me when I help others? The best part of friendship is helping each other through our most difficult days. The sickness of our children, the stress of marriage, the caring for our aging parents, the chaos of our typical Tuesday. We all have areas that we could use help in.

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Let’s make a deal. Let’s all be more honest with each other (especially on Fakebook, oops, Facebook).  Let’s try our best to be open about what we encounter that is threatening our sanity . We could even admit when we need an extra set of hands, or one less day of carpool commitment. Less guilt and less perfection. More community and more compassion. I can’t wait to help you out! My guess is that we will all benefit.

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My word for 2015…

YOU CAN COMPLAIN

A few years back, I heard about something interesting that I decided to do at the start of each new year. The concept of making resolutions for the New Year has always been a negative one for me. Call it what you will – lack of will power, too high of expectations, big dreams and smaller amounts of motivation – but I never quite made it through January the end of the year with my list. It all seemed too daunting. So, needless to say, I was über excited to learn about a new way of doing things in order to get the positive results that I desired.

Basically, I choose a word. A concept that I’d like to focus on through out the entire year. A word that I can work into my daily life – my relationships, my struggles, my schedule. A word to meditate upon instead of a list to “do”. In the past, I have chosen the words peace, service and contentment. I go to my fave place, Pinterest, and create a board for my new word. I include quotes, articles or pictures that “speak to me”, that encouraged me to keep my word in the forefront of my mind. This year, I have chosen the word perspective. The photo quote above is one of my pins. And by the way – if you are not yet on Pinterest – please go and sign up. Now. I can wait. It will change your life  (in a good way). But, I digress. 🙂

Choosing your word has to be well thought out – it can’t just “happen”. It’s something I usually start thinking about during December, so that I will be ready  once all of the cookies have been eaten, the tree is down and the calendar flips, beginning the New Year. Typically , it will be a word that I feel like I need to understand more, connect with more, have in my life to a greater extent. A word that naturally intrigues me. I chose perspective as my word this year for several reasons. First, because of its basic definition. I am – please note the blog name – a lover of words. I like to learn new ones and then throw them into every day conversations. I like to use “big ones” and sound smarter than I actually am (we called those 50 cent words when I was growing up – as in “Don’t come in here and start throwing 50 cent words around here, Buddy!”) But I digress. Again. 🙂  Dictionary.com defines perspective as “a mental view or prospect”.  I feel that I did indeed need a change in my mental view.

Next, I truly felt that I needed to be reminded that my view was up to ME. The things that happen to me, rumors I hear, reports from news program … they are legit – but I get to decide how to react or “feel” about them all. And finally, and most  importantly, I wanted to start focusing more on the positive. Even in the worst case scenario – there is hope, and I wanted to train myself to look for that silver lining. I want it to become more natural. I know that there are still going to be  moments when I will want to sneak into the pantry, shut the door and enjoy a few minutes of solitude and M&Ms. I am definitely not saying that because I am focusing on the good that the bad will just disappear (don’t I wish). But during 2015, I am choosing to look for the good and see if that helps me to find it more than when I am grumbling around feeling sorry for myself.

I have mentioned this on Facebook each year and love it when my friends post their words for the year as well. It’s very interesting and motivating. So – what do you think? What is your word for the year?