The last thing I do before I leave my house for any activity, is apply hairspray on my unruly locks in an attempt to make them behave. This is vital when you consider I live in a state where wind gusts can be over 50 mph, making my hair look like a concoction from a food processor. Although I do not spend a great deal of time on makeup and hair each day (ten minutes is my max), I try to honor my mother’s request that her girls never leave the house without looking “put together.”
Because I have a very busy schedule, I often use my grooming time to mentally inventory the day’s tasks. Yesterday’s primping routine was no exception. This Christmas Season, it seems like I have more obligations on my plate than could be considered manageable. It has become easy for me to lose my peace and create such a hectic situation that I am literally running in circles. I have falsely believed that if I mentally organize every little detail, I can prevent being derailed by unexpected inconveniences.
In an effort to reduce my stress, I am trying to purposefully slow my body down and manage time so I am not trying to beat an Olympic record for forward progress. Many days I am successful, physically. But slowing my mind to less than warp speed is proving to be more difficult.
As I put myself “together” yesterday, prior to leaving for a book signing event, I noticed the scent of bathroom air freshener was particularly strong. The antiseptic fragrance followed me into the kitchen.
While grabbing my handbag, I complained to my husband that our current air freshener is overpowering and we will have to change brands. To my horror, he sniffed in my direction and smiled. My eyes popped wide open in surprise as I realized what he was not saying.
I quickly moved to the bathroom, jerked open the vanity cupboard door and stared at the air freshener sitting right next to the hairspray. Apparently I had, in fact, sprayed my black and silver crown with Lysol™ instead of hairspray.
I moaned out loud, “Oh that’s all I need. I have no time to wash my hair and fix this. Here I was trying to keep calm, get ready without a rush, and look what I’ve done.”
As I performed a sort of mental foot stomping, I was suddenly overtaken with laughter. I stopped my moaning and just let the humor of the situation roll over me. Oh what a great lesson God gave me in the art of truly pacing myself.
It is not enough to slow my body down. I must pay attention to the pace of the little grey cells too. Distractions are part of life, and I am not going to pretend I will in future be a poster child for intentional mindfulness.But I couldn’t help admitting that the busier I let myself get,the more potential I have for making mistakes.
I will say, the Lysol™ made my grey hair shine. And no doubt I was protected from any germ that dared venture into Jefferson County. But sporting air freshener to a public event is not my first grooming choice. I guess I could blame the incident on getting older (more forgetful), or on putting the hairspray and Lysol™ too close together in the cupboard. But after having a good laugh, I realized the truth. I need to slow down, relax, and take things a little easier all around.
Keith and I processed the incident and decided we are just caught up in the rush, rush, rush that represents our world in general and the holidays in particular. I offered God a prayer of thanksgiving for the lesson I learned about being distanced from the here and now. I resolved to make this Christmas Season one where I intentionally notice what is going on around me, adjust my pace on all levels, and make room for His blessings to flow in my life.
I wish the same thing for all of you. May you have a peaceful, moderately paced season full of wonderful memory making. May you be blessed with less hectic schedules, obligations, and demands. I pray you will take in the sights and sounds of a season that reminds us of the true gift given to humankind through Jesus Christ. Mostly, with all my heart, I wish you Lysol™-free hair.
Copyright December, 2015
Laura L. Padgett
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