Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Bad Hair day is not a problem.

One of my kids told me this week that my hair looked awful. She was right. So I got a haircut today, and now it just looks bad. Bad haircuts (so long as they're not expensive) don't bother me too much. Why sweat a problem that will eventually disappear?

Okay, so I am obviously not the type of woman who reads Glamour. I never was, but when you've got five kids it kind of takes a lot for bad hair to qualify as a crisis. Everything gets channeled through Mom's triage station before it merits attention.

Got an issue? Here's how I sort them:

Inconveniences require unsophisticated treatment: I shrug. (Note to young moms: learn to shrug. Really.)

Temporary Problems call for endurance, and perhaps a Tylenol. Sometimes dark chocolate helps.

Real Problems require deep breaths, a bit of time to generate a calm mind, and doing something besides posting about it on Facebook.
Lemme tell ya, you can waste a whole lot of otherwise useful energy if you get these categories mixed up.

Lately I've been re-reading Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Gosh, but it's a good book! I am appreciating one of the points the authors make: when we face a giant-hole-sized problem, we tend to look around for a giant plug to fit into it. That means most of the time we're in a panic, stammering that nothing will work. But most good solutions aren't giant, they're incremental; they fill the problem-size hole bit by bit, over time.

Now isn't that sensible and heartening? You don't have to solve the whole problem at once, with a single solution! And when you can't solve the whole thing, you can still do something. The more little somethings you do, the smaller that giant hole becomes. You make progress, AND you stop feeling quite so helpless. And that gives you the strength to do a few more somethings.

Go for it. Do something small. Take a step. And forget the bad hair.


  1. I got a REALLY bad haircut about 3 months ago and I haven't had the fortitude to go get another since. Usually it's not a problem for me either (I also have 5 kids), but this was a really, really, bad haircut that not only looked horrible but more importantly, had hair falling in my face all the time. I guess all it will take is t i m e.

  2. I recently told a visiting relative who was kvetching about dirt in my apartment that when I retire, maybe I'll be interested in paying more attention. Same category as hair: I simply have other priorities.