When you are an ambitious working mom with a busy social schedule, living in the moment is more like surviving moment to moment. This week I’ve been so scattered I’ve forgotten where I set down my cell phone numerous times, officially lost a set of car keys within the mess of my car, and misplaced my precious make up bag! I’ve also failed to pay attention to the urgency of a few important matters in my daily world. Like I said in my first post, I am a major procrastinator and because of that I often let things erupt into a five alarm fire! For example, my recent string of bad luck with my car. Two breakdowns that left me stranded and over $1,600 in repairs later, I’m wishing I had taken the check engine light more seriously. I also have been ignoring a flea infestation in my apartment – the side effect of letting my cat cruise around outside on the balcony. For about a month I’ve silently prayed that they would just go away but after I noticed that I was literally being eaten alive, I had to accept that I was losing the battle of the bugs. My first instinct is to blame life for these major inconveniences but I know that the blame is on me. I’ve been too distracted by things that already have happened in the past or things that I think may happen in the future, to pay attention to what’s happening right in front of me!
Whether I’m cutting, coloring, or styling a clients hair, I have to stay in the moment. If I don’t I risk hurting myself or my customer and their hair, while at the same time ruining my reputation as a master hairdresser. Once I was in a rush to add caramel lowlights to a blonde client’s hair and in my haste I mistakenly grabbed a level 1 (black) tube of color that was hanging out with the level 7s (dark blonde). Black streaks in blonde hair does add dimension, but it definitely wasn’t what my customer was looking for that day. Oops! Another time, I had my head in the clouds during a haircut and I nearly cut my finger off! I knew immediately after it happened that I wasn’t paying attention and I was thankful I had sacrificed my finger instead of my clients ear. Being out of the moment can be dangerous and its most often when accidents happen that may make it even more difficult to enjoy the next moment!
There are times when revisiting the past can be fun, like a 1960’s themed Christmas party. Last weekend I was invited to my friend, Rachel Belle’s, holiday work party. The theme was Mad Men and we were encouraged to dress the part. Rachel and I love to dress up, and more than that, we love attention! I accepted the invitation to do her hair and be her date, knowing that I had a closet full of faux furs and vintage hand gloves that would be perfect. After about an hour of prepping Rachel’s coif with a flat iron and endless backcombing, I had transformed her wild curls into a polished beehive-esque up do. Ready to take on the night, we headed out to Lake Union where the free food and fun was awaiting us. As usual, we were a little livelier than the rest of the crowd, so we left after munching and took our do’s to a small bar where we received even more attention. The night was fun and we did look amazing, but the best part of the whole night was getting to spend time with my gal pal Rachel.
Time is a precious gift and it’s the most important thing we have to share with others when we are living in the moment. A couple of weeks ago I had a cold reminder of just how precious time is; I lost a long term customer and friend, Jen, to breast cancer. A couple days before she passed away I had made plans to visit Jen because I knew she was sick. I was all set to head out to her place, when my stupid car broke down! Stranded and annoyed, I canceled our get together and rescheduled it for a couple days later, thinking that a few days wouldn’t really matter, but it did. I was so sad that I had missed our “last visit” and I felt silly remembering all the things I had complained about earlier that day – things that didn’t matter at all. When I talked to Jen’s brother to express my sympathies and heartache that I hadn’t been able to see her a few nights before, he thanked me and said, “I know, we all thought she had more time.” More time.
It is so easy to lose sight of the most important things in life like family, friends, and time. The magic of the holiday season isn’t on sale at the mall, it’s happening right now in front of you! Take a look around and appreciate all the good things you already have in your life because the future is quickly turning into the past, and the present moment is the real gift. Reflecting on the past can be a great tool to help us navigate the potential future, as long as it doesn’t overwhelm our attention and make us forget to enjoy the moment. The future is only something that may happen, and no matter how much we plan for it, we have no control over what will come to be. The only thing we can do is enjoy the moment and make sure we share it with the people that bring us the most joy, so keep that in mind this season when you’re wondering what to get that special person on your list. The gift of time is something that doesn’t cost much and it can be shared with anyone and everyone. Happy Holidays!