I was lucky enough last week to enjoy a rare, lavish moment with my 6-year-old daughter. In this magical moment I sat comfortably reclined upon the family room couch, supported just right, between two pillows with a great, perfectly weighted and fluffed blanket—plus freshly laundered I might add—lying serenely atop my very relaxed self. I invite you to visit this moment with me—you can sit right there beside me and buff my nails if you like—where I am the fairy queen of Some-Place-Or-Other and my fairy assistant is carefully arranging my hair. I must look more royal and fae and less mom and mushed. She is meticulous in her arrangements and expertly bosses the 3-year-old in how to prop my feet upon another cushion so that my comfort is secure.
Despite the occasional overly hard yank on my scalp, and the need to wipe the nose of the said 3-year-old every 137 seconds, I do feel quite relaxed and the actual role of queen feels quite attainable. I’m just sure that the yellow bow she’s just added makes my eyes look quite bright and majestic—yes majestic, quiet down over there and keep buffing.
Yes, I could be a fairy queen, I am regal, I am young, I am adored—
“Mommy, your hair is like Elsa’s!” My young daughter declares, with much excitement and more than just a little awe at the prospect that I may in fact be turning into the surprisingly charming ice queen. She’s pointing to a specific spot on top of my head, and , I am not in awe. I am not charmed. My hair is decidedly brown. In fact it is decidedly described as dark brown. Elsa hair sightings can only mean one thing…there is an imposter hair, which is trying to take root, and I’m certain it brought friends. Gulp…and its surely grey in nature!
My good and regal feelings are gone now. Replaced with all the steps involved in the grieving process. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. All of them except the last and most fatal of all the grief steps, acceptance. As I lay in my fairy bower and play it cool that yes indeed, I knew all along I was endowed with special hair that sparkles only when I am mostly blissfully contented, which most certainly can only occur when all children have finished their chores and I am fed, rested and well-pampered. I know one thing for certain. This absurdly unfair event of grey hair atop my head is due to one sure fact. There are 7 days in a week and I am stressed out during 9 of those 7 days.
Yes, that math is correct because Monday’s stress counts as 2 days worth and while Saturdays have no school—that means there is no school on Saturdays, if you get my meaning. Accompanying this phenomenon of 9 days in a 7-day week is the acknowledgement that in those 9 days there are an infinite number of to-do list variables circulating my brain at any given moment. Even this moment. A relaxed and pampered moment when I should seemingly be at complete ease. During this moment I am in fact tallying the number of hair elastics that my assistant has dropped into the carpet, and how many of those I will have to pick up, and how many will be lost, sucked into the vacuum, accelerating said vacuum’s already short life and causing some future morning’s mayhem when there are no more elastics and someone has horrible bed hair. Better order some more tonight.Accompanying this incessant tallying as my assistant drops the elastic container under the couch again, is the wondering if I actually volunteered for the Valentine’s Party in fourth grade or if I just think I did. I had been electronically signing up while affixing piggy tails to this sweet 6-year-old who has retrieved the container of elastics, which is now covered in dust bunnies and dog hair—ick, better vacuum under the couch. Actually, now that I think about it I should probably volunteer to do carpool next week too so I have more time the week following to prepare for Sunday’s lesson discussion. If I’m doing that then I need to find someone else to do dance pickup so I can still have time to feed the Nelson’s chickens while they are gone. Chickens? Oh shoot. I forgot to thaw the chicken for dinner!Why am I sitting on the couch like some grey haired lady of leisure?! I have things to do…but what to do first? Or should I sit back down and have my hair finished? Will she feel abandoned and less than supremely nurtured if I get up right now?!
Grey hair. Or gray hair if you’re of the U.K. persuasion. It happens to all of us eventually, but stress encourages it right along. Which is why, I always use the LTTP lined pages, graph pages, or matrix pages to dump my thoughts out on. Be it on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis I unload all the things swirling around in my brain that I either need to get done, or think I need to get done. If it’s a thought worth popping up in my brain I dump it on that page in a fun color with a pen that writes just right. No editing. No filtering. Just pure unloading of the mind. After my mind is unloaded and unburdened of all those swirling variables I am able to focus, and determine what needs to be done and when or if it needs to be done at all…and then I go sleep. In the morning it’s all there before me, no need to worry about forgetting because it’s all there on paper, in those aesthetically pleasing colors with those pens with the ink that glides just so.
Then, in those moments with my kids—even if they are pointing out those sparkly hairs—I can relax a little more and focus on my littles while they’re little.
Did you know that a daily planner could stave off grey hairs? You’re right, it can’t, that’s not scientifically proven in the least but I’ll tell you this, daily planning and mindful unloading can make you a better and more contented fairy queen, with or without sparkling hair.