Shortly after my youngest was born, my mother gave me a 10-year journal. It’s a big, fat, leather-bound book with ten, four-line spaces on each page. One four-line block for each day, year after year for ten years. The idea is, you write a brief synopsis of each day, every day and each year you can reflect on what happened during the years before.
Long explanation for a fairly simple concept, but you need the visual.
So I have this journal, and every night I pull my pen off my windowsill and reflect back on my day. Was it a work day? Did we go to the playground? What sweet things did the boys do? Am I worried? Am I content? It’s a lot to fit into four lines.
I love this journal, but sometimes, as I’m recounting the events of the day, even if it’s been a perfectly lovely day, when I put pen to paper – well, the day sounds… lame. It was a work day. We went to the playground. The boys did something sweet. I’m worried. I’m content. Blah blah blah blah blah.
Now I know these things all have worth and I do love the everyday moments of everyday life, but sometimes, when I’m in the shower washing my hair, I think about those four little lines and I want to fill them with something… bigger. A summer in Europe, another degree, completing all seven seasons of Mad Men in under a month. You get the idea.
This was exactly how I was feeling last Monday night as I lathered and rinsed and thought about my perfectly lovely, perfectly ordinary day.
I ran my fingers through my long hair (subsequently attempting to free wet strands of hair from between my fingers without actually having to touch them – there’s nothing more disgusting than hair unattached to its host) and mulled over how Oliver wore his racecar driver costume and bicycle helmet to the grocery store and how Archie relentlessly grabbed at a strange woman’s toes while we were sitting on the floor watching a puppet show at the library. I thought about the work I did, the dinner I made, the run I ran – and then I thought about my hair.
“Should I cut my hair?” I asked Him, as I stood, sopping wet in the middle of the kitchen.
“I’ve already told you how I feel about that.” He said, looking up from his computer screen.
I did know. He’s always encouraged me to try new things and my hair was no exception.
“No, I mean right now. Should I cut my hair right now?”
So right then, we cut my hair. In the bathroom, with an old pair of slightly dull, blue scissors, he cut off my ponytail.
And that night I wrote about it in my journal.