Every Monday a new word is posted on the Improgging site. Visit there to read how others have blogged about this week's word, ponytail.
Too bad this wasn’t the improg word when Child Two donated her ponytails. The Improgging Fool does allow links to previously written posts, but since that post was done for an improg word, I’d better do a new one.
Although my hair is long more often than it’s short (due to my inability to remember to get it cut on a regular basis), I don’t wear a ponytail unless I need to keep it out of my face—or out of the cookie batter, the bread dough, the paint, or the potting soil, or away from the fabric shears or the sewing machine mechanism (I learned that one the hard way—ouch!).
I used to put my hair back so often that I kept a ponytail holder in my pocket all the time. It’s not that I wasn’t busy with other things. I was a full-time student for a ridiculous number of years and I worked part-time and did volunteer work; I had a husband and friends whom I spent lots of time with. But somehow, no matter how busy I was, I sewed for an hour almost every single day. I baked several times a week. I did all sorts of crafts and potted up baby plants and worked in the garden. And my trusty ponytail holder was always at the ready.
The activities I tied my hair back for were the things I loved to do, the things that gave me a break from the reading and writing and working I did most of the time. The very act of putting my hair in a ponytail was a signal that it was time to relax, to have fun while still getting something done. And somehow, no matter how busy I was with work or other people, I made time almost every day for those things.
Now I hardly ever put my hair back. Even when my kids were small and needy, my hair was in a ponytail more than it is now. It’s been a gradual shift from having that holder always in my pocket to having to scrounge around the house to find one on the rare occasions that I need one.
Why is that? My “spare” (i.e., non-work) time now is usually spent taking my kids to an activity or running errands or getting caught up on the work that didn’t get done because my mother wanted me to do something for her—or collapsing on the couch or in front of the computer because after spending the day working and running around, I don’t have the energy for much else.
Slowly, though, during my Year of Living Differently, I’m starting to shift my time back. My kids and I are fixing up the “sewing room” (= room where we put everything that doesn’t have a home) with a table for each of us so we can be together while doing our own thing. I’m trying to spend a little bit of time each day—even if it’s only 15 minutes—doing something creative. I’m rethinking how I run my business and am putting together ideas for some major changes once my current batch of work projects is done. It’s a real challenge and it’s not happening as quickly as I’d like it to, but sooner or later that ponytail holder will be back in my pocket, ready for anything.