I have always considered time the biggest luxury. As I age and look back at a 30-plus-year career in the salon industry, it is ever more valuable as well as elusive. Over the last month, time—which was always so scarce—is suddenly abundant. To call it a “sea change” seems a most ridiculous understatement. Remarkably, the question seems to be “What shall I do with all this time?” instead of “Where will I find the time?” I view this as the silver lining of our current predicament.
In a way, it’s a gift I dared not ask for. I love the variety of my career; I am a behind-the-chair hairdresser, educator, platform artist and fashion show coordinator. I’m never bored—always managing multiple projects while simultaneously and perpetually seeking new ones. As much as I relish this frenzy, I also find it perverse—admitting to myself that without a shoot, show or new endeavor, I feel worthless. I imagine that I might cease to exist (or at least exist in any meaningful way). I have been a driven workaholic since the day I stepped out of beauty school.
Miraculously, my life has been automatically simplified for me in the most profound way. Most of the cherished components of my beloved career have been eviscerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t get me wrong; I am more than a little worried about staying healthy and making enough money. But, I also feel liberated. As much as I adore creative flurry, I have pursued the next thing to look forward to so ferociously that I have forgotten to enjoy the things that are happening now.
I have set up shop for my clients at home, where I thankfully have no overhead other than product. Since I will not be traveling or doing any shows in the near future, I have opened my very part-time schedule to new clients. Even the very prospect of doing a photoshoot seems for now out of my grasp. And I’m ok with it. A clearing of the psyche feels as freeing as cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer.
What will I do with this time? I will think, strategize more carefully and make more conscious decisions. I—we—have no clear path ahead. Absolutely none of us knows for sure what will happen. We will ultimately get back to a semblance of our former lives. But if we are lucky, it will be without nearly as much noise. A life we savor more and move with more lucidity, clarity and hopefully (as the famous TV host says) a whole lot more joy.
Finally, what I have already discovered is that I needed far less than I thought I did to make me happy. The simple life will do… for now.