Executive re-style please

So today I have time to myself. Husband goes to work for a few hours and I go into solitudinous mode. But what to do?

What needs doing? Oh nooooo… Here be dragons. Everything needs doing. From cleaning the bathroom, (which really does need a clean, really, like soon), to doing some washing up, checking out whether or not we qualify for help with insulating the house, potting on a load of baby plants (I think it’s too damp for that) to the thing that held me up earlier: my hair. It needs cutting. To me it needs cutting anyway.

I hate making appointments to get my hair cut, I nearly hate getting it cut at all. If I was brave or stupid enough, I’d probably shave it off… Oh bliss! It itches me, it flops in my eyes, it hangs around doing very little other than irritate when it gets to a certain length. It’s short now, but I want it really short and one reason for my quandary is that the last hairdresser I saw didn’t cut it short enough. They use different language in each hair salon, for the same equipment. Clippers didn’t mean the same to her as it did to the last person who sheared my head. That’s what I want: shearing. I love seeing my hair falling away from me, taking all that irritation with it. Gah! As they say in the US! Buggrit, for the Brits. Bah Humbug too!

Picture of Deb with irritating hair

Me, hair at an irritating length – about where it is now

See, if my hair gets to a certain length, it starts to fill my consciousness. I obsess about who might cut it for me, or where to get it done. The latest hold-up has been the young woman who did a brilliant job a few months ago, but is totally unreliable. My preference is to have my hair cut at home, where I can be comfortable and wear a shabby top, drink my own tea and pay a bit less! But finding a home-hairdresser that is reliable and cheap, as well as friendly and easy to chat with is hard. I didn’t realise how hard until recently. I used to go to the same salon each time for a shearing, got used to the person who did the job, liked her enough to make sure she did it the way I wanted it (that is, felt safe with her), then she upped and left. I haven’t felt comfortable since.

Now, by this time, I imagine you’ve glazed over. I would if someone went on quite so much about not getting their hair cut. But that’s the point of today’s waffle. The issue with my hair gets in the way of all sorts of other activity. I thought it was procrastination, that I’d got some neurotic anxiety about my hair born of bad haircuts in childhood. But since discovering all this Aspie business, I can see a weird sort of comic strip image of me over the years; not getting my hair cut and finding it hard to sort out. Spending too long thinking about how or where to get it done… Looping, I think it’s called. Constantly re-thinking the same thing over and again, returning to the same thoughts in obsessive little cycles. Running in hairy little mental circles!

Deb with short hair and glasses, good hair

Good hair length, barmy expression

There was a time when I was considered ‘very organised’. I’ve taken charge of organising events, spaces and gatherings; very practical, me. I can see how things need to be placed, what people will need, how long things take; all the business of the conference or party organiser. I have a drawer in my kitchen where all the stuff of baking lives, in floury order. It is quite organised I suppose, baking is quite an orderly activity. But I get distracted by this looping business in daily life. Without a structure to my day, I spend too long just thinking about what to do next. I’m starting to feel hungry now, recently I’ve found myself ignoring hunger to carry on writing but am not sure if that’s a good thing!

I’m the organiser in the house, mostly. It has to do with something called ‘executive function’, which is the part of our mind that does the organising internally. Routines and rituals require good executive function, planning events does too. But without a shape to my day, other than this is a work-day and hubby left at 12.20pm for his afternoon at Homebase, I am left to my own devices and end up loopy-looping about my hair, the bathroom, the baby plants…

Deb, with good hair and dirty fingernails holding broccoli

Me, good hair, dirty fingernails and the first broccoli harvest (August). None of the broccoli has actually been any bigger than that. Tastes alright though.

I don’t have good ‘executive function’ in the sense of a disciplined day, or regular routine. Mostly I like it that way, it feels like freedom until a deadline approaches, like a visit from someone or the need to attend an appointment. I have always been either late or barely on time for appointments of any sort, often arriving sweaty and breathless, disadvantaged by some almost physical elastic band that stretches behind me from the point where I knew I had to ‘be ready’. This has been quite a revelation. Others know me to have poor time-keeping, it used to be an in-joke with friends. But it was also deeply upsetting. I’ve been in tears many times about attending some event, because planning it for someone else is one thing, but for myself is another. What to wear is usually one of the biggest issues. Follow this along the lines of (just saw the time, should I go and have lunch now it’s 2.30pm?) critical path analysis, I need my hair to be right too. So the meeting or gathering I am attending suddenly fills me with utter panic as I think about how to get a haircut in time, what to wear (I said that already, just repeating for emphasis), whether I’ve done a thing for it, that I said I should do… Even visiting family will send me round in these circles and always has.

I don’t just want a haircut. I want an Executive re-style please. That would come with a chauffeur, a nice cup of tea and very comfortable clothing which I can change out of afterwards, to avoid the itch of freshly sheared hairs. Oh and a PA to set it all up for me too. Payment? Well, I bake good cakes…


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