with a Bang!
It’s a new year! A new decade! A new chance to be a new you! A fresh opportunity to turn over a new leaf and do all the things you’re motivated to do upon the dropping of the ball. It’s a magical time filling so many of us with inspiration. It lights a fire in our bellies to get some big stuff done.
So today, I write to you about...bangs. That’s right. Bangs. Love ‘em or hate ‘em...they are a thing. A topic of discussion, a point of consideration. I personally have had bangs most of my life. When I was younger, my Mom probably cut them herself and they went too far back on my head...(you know the look, almost like you had a mullet.) In my middle-school years, they were practical and always short enough to stay out of my eyes. As a teen and pre-teen, they were part of the look; an important element in the overall ‘do. There was a period of time in my 20‘s where I didn’t have any at all. Partly by choice and partly because once I entered motherhood, I didn’t get to the hairdresser very often...so they grew out by default. Now they’re a fixture and I can’t picture myself without them because they help cover the “what the heck were you thinking” lines between my eyebrows that have developed from years of parenting.
There’s no date on the picture to the left, but judging from the pink and blue laser background and that particular sweater, which I remember wearing to a school dance...I believe this picture was taken in Grade 7. (1988 by my count.) That makes some of you feel old, and some of you feel that I am old. Both are probably accurate.
In Grade 7, I did what most girls my age did with their bangs. I curled them, backcombed them and doused them with copious amounts of hairspray. Anything from an aerosol can with the word Extra or Super on it. Either way, it was important not to lean too close to an open flame.
Today I do bangs a little more simply, a little more subdued...and let’s be honest, some days I forget to spray them at all. I cut them myself between visits to my hairdresser and I’m mostly just glad they aren’t too full of stubborn, grey wires.
What does any of this have to do with the New Year? Wait for it...
I believe strongly in setting goals and pushing yourself to achieve them. Life is a precious gift and we should aim for big things. But, I also think it’s essential we allow ourselves some Grace. I have come to believe we are all trying to do the best we can. Sure, there are a few who will prove me wrong...but I think most people, in most situations are simply doing the best they can. They’re working with the resources, the values and the inner capacity they have in that moment. When I was in Grade 7, I didn’t know any better. I thought my bangs were Totally Awesome. I did the best I could with the knowledge, skills and influence of my environment at the time. I’ve made peace with it. (still questioning the glasses, but hey...)
The same holds true in life. There was a time the passing of the old year would cause me to look back on the stumbles and missteps I’d made in the previous twelve months. I would question myself and wonder why I hadn’t accomplished more, been more, done more. Now I simply accept that I did the best I could at the time. Maybe you can allow yourself and others around you that same grace. Stop beating yourself up for choices made in the past. Those decisions were influenced by the person you were and everything that was going on around you. In a different time and place...with different tools, experiences and supports, you might have made different decisions. But you didn’t. You did the best you could with what you had, and you will continue to do so. You will get wiser and stronger and the best you can do will get better and better. Me too.
I like the saying that I’ve heard in recent years...When you know better, you do better. I would add to that;
When you feel better, you do better.
When you’re treated better, you do better.
When you’re in a better environment, you do better.
When you see and dream and envision better, you do better.
I think all of these statements give hope and can inspire us to move forward into 2020. I think they are all very accurate. In fact, I think they’re Bang On.