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the tide keeps turning

I saw an old picture of myself today and thought, “Hmm, I like that photo and that haircut looked good on me. Maybe I should go back to that look, longer bangs, shorter in the back.” Of course, my hair was a different color since the picture was taken at least 20 years ago and I stopped coloring it years ago. Come to think of it, I was also 20 pounds lighter so maybe my face looked thinner because of that. Indeed, maybe my overall expression looked different because it was a good day. Come to think of it, maybe it’s not so much the haircut.

In fact, let’s be clear-eyed about this; here I am, 20 years older, 20 pounds heavier, gray hair and older skin, but a very similar haircut, and I’m looking at an old photo thinking I should go back to that – comparing now to then. Silly me.

I’m reminded that life is like the tide. It comes back at you every time. Life is here for us over and over again. It comes consistently, at regular intervals, like mornings, like weekends, like decades. And it goes just the same way – at regular intervals like evenings, like disappearing memories, like missed opportunities. In between the coming and the going, we are busy with our livingness. We age, we have children or new jobs or live in new places. We experience the death of people and pets and ideas that we love and the grief that goes with that. We eat. Sleep. We work and we play.

All the while, we compare. We compare our current self to our old self or, worse, to others. Our failures to our successes. Our disappointments to our joyful celebrations.

I want us to be more like the tide. Let’s greet our mornings with innocence, with vigor, with the full-throated determination that it’s another swing at the bat. We've already swept the beach clean. Let’s recognize that it’s the same, but it’s different. This morning, we can tweak things. Keep our strong focus there; adjust our ambition here. As long as we live, every return, every morning – indeed, every breath – brings a fresh, never-existed-before wave of potential.

Bring your best self to that moment. And wear your hair the way you like it.


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