This year things have sped up with my work. Firstly, I’m writing full length novels, so that in itself takes more time. Secondly, I am disorganized with LIFE, so that’s also pretty hectic. With writing, marketing the books, edits, and also my lovely family; karate, swimming, and Lego building, things have taken a toll. On my hair.
The other day, in my usual rush, I drove like a madman (metaphorically) to the boys school swimming lessons, after a last minute decision to go and watch them. Their whole class goes and a bunch of teachers, so it’s not like I need to be there. And I’m on a deadline (aren’t I always?!) I can go on the weekends when they do their regular swimming class. But, mother guilt crept up and tapped me on the shoulder, so off I went. Not to mention the swishing of the blades, that accompanies a true blue helicopter mother, like myself. I had to hover over them, it’s my job!
It was about ten minutes into their lesson when I realized my dash to the centre with the car window down had ruffled my already dishevelled bed hair. It was one big wind-blown crazy mess, and not even sunglasses perched atop my head, and a winning smile could hide it.
I ran a nervous hand through the tangles, only making it worse, and mumbled to my mum friends, oh I have crazy writer hair, hoping they’d understand. I don’t think they did. I think they were mentally rolling their eyes, and going what the actual hell does she DO all day? I know some unnamed family members think that. Like, I’m home ALL DAY, surely I can wash my hair, maybe throw a bit of hair product through it? But no…I’m knee deep in a scene, and writing wins, my friends. It’s most certainly not because I spent too long laughing over the latest Buzzfeed post or investigating a possible intruder in my bedroom, and then seeing a blissfully empty bed, and tumbling into it for a five minute nap. Nope. Not me.
Then there’s the house coats I’ve taken to wearing. I do try and take these pilled, pulled, granny cardigans off before school pick up, but sometimes I forget. They’re like a warm hug when the words won’t come, and I worry I’m one step away from morphing into Johnny Depp’s character in The Secret Window. And let’s not mention the time I was running late and wore my penguin slippers to school. And for the record, the patterned colourful pyjama-esque pants are actually Peter Alexander DAYWEAR. I’m fifty percent sure of it.
I don’t know who to blame for the me, that’s not really me anymore. I’m a bedraggled, day-dreaming, messy version of myself. Writing is hard! Maybe it’s that. The constant clutching my face, smudging whatever make-up I managed to apply when the mini-me’s were moaning about lost shoes, and spilt drinks, and something-er-other. Then there’s the gesticulating. When I write a scene, I act it out, live in front of the curtains, who I’m sure sway when they approve. All that running fingers through hair, and biting nails, and stuffing hands into pockets can take its toll on a girl.
In my former, pre-writing, pre-children life, my appearance meant a lot to me. These days, if we are all alive at the end of the day, and I haven’t forgotten anything, except to wash my hair, I count that as a win.
Surely, the words on the page are more important than my hair, or the fact I’m turning into my mother?
And really, once I’ve washed the five million pieces of swimwear, and said house coats, removed Lego from the soles of my feet (damn you, Lego squares!) and fed the family, and drank the wine there’s just not enough time to do anything else – except chat away to my besties, those fictional people I ADORE, and who think I’m fine just the way I am.