I have curly hair that I usually wear straight because I like it better, I have to wash it less often + of course the grass is always greener, right? My straight hair sisters wish their hair would be curly or at least hold a curl.
So I usually try to keep my hair from getting wet, which is hard living in a city that gets into the triple digits in the summer and with that big swimming pool in my backyard and also during those 3 years I spent living in Seattle.
Last week I was about to hop onto my pool raft. I had my hair up and my sun hat on.
As I climbed on I seemed to slowly roll right off. Toppling hat first into the water.
Then Jack and I started hysterically laughing + I felt a wave of tension leave my body. My heart was open and my hair was wet, I surrendered to the water.
For the next hour or so I swam laps, jumped off the diving board a million times and even got into character playing “shark” with Jack + the unsuspecting pool sweep.
It quickly occurred to me this was WAY cooler than floating around complaining when I got splashed or snapping at Jack for squirting me with water. It also occurred to me that he doesn’t really care about my hair because kids don’t live like that: worrying about their hair or whether or not they’re eating enough kale.
It’s funny to witness these little rules we create + how we try to follow them.
It’s a popular strategy in the dieting world. I once walked through life with a long list of CAN’T EAT’s, sitting on my food raft, following rules I slapped together to keep myself from true pleasure. Going out to eat sounded exciting but quickly turned nerve wracking trying to figure out what I could eat that wouldn’t make me feel terrible about myself. How to order the vegan thing or the big salad when that avocado BLT sounded perfect.
Terrified of the toxic, fat making foods we have all been warned about, I spent SO much time avoiding them, trying to make perfect decisions only to come home and secretly eat them when nobody was looking.
It’s never really about the hair or the food or whatever we make it about.
How much pleasure are we letting into our lives?
What are we afraid of that requires a list of rules to follow + break?
How did we all end up so serious about everything? I think it’s possible that if we can truly enjoy a swim, a vacation, a slice of pizza or cake we might actually be adding years to our lives + taking a page from our kids + pets by living in the moment instead of in our judgements.
There are plenty of things to be serious about, let’s put our energy there. If you tend toward the intense and serious like I do, let’s get curious about that. Where can we lighten up? If you lean more towards the light + humor to avoid the intensity, get curious about that too.
Am I now required to ALWAYS get my hair wet when I’m swimming or order dessert? Nope, just trusting my gut, which sometimes is to float around relaxing or eat a big green salad. But not always, it’s not a rule.
So, before you make a new rule for yourself, stop, because noticing goes a long way. Don’t forget to have fun…and get your hair wet.