My hair dryer exploded once. Literally sparks came out of the little box. I really thought the whole thing might start a real fire. I smelled that weird electrical fire smell and sniffed the outlet several times, in between applying concealer and mascara.
I stopped short of texting my husband, who was traveling for work. Because what could I say?
“Hey, honey. There might be fire in the wall.”
There wasn't. I'm lucky like that.
Even luckier, my hair was about 98% dry when it happened.
Best of all, “buy new hairdryer” finally made it to my list.
The thing had been broken. For a while. Like at least two years. And I'm not just talking about that melted part where it got overused while defrosting the freezer (because household appliances must multi-task to earn their keep in this house). Or the mechanism, which holds the handle together, that broke after one of the many, many times I dropped the dryer.
For a week or two after I broke the handle, I was determined to get a new dryer. But that task never made it to the list. Because, in time, I learned how to hold the handle just right so that drying my hair was almost the same with the damaged tool as it had been before.
I spent all those years accommodating something broken, holding it just so in order to make do. Not only because buying a new one never made it to my list, but also because why did I need a new one when this one still worked? Change can be hard.
I take a certain pride in making do. It's seeded deep within me. Which is why it took an explosion to make me take action. An interior designer once assessed my house and declared, "Well bless your heart, you're just using what you have." I didn't know there was another way.
And I'm not alone. I have a friend who asked a group of us to hold her accountable for buying new shoes because, although she went back to work nearly a year ago, she has been "making do" in her wardrobe.
My new hair dryer is slick. It's very light and it has fancy red lights where the air comes out that make it look like a heated up burner, which is actually kind of terrifying, but also makes me smile. The hair dryer incident made me think about other things in my life I'm just making do with, and what I might want to replace before they threaten bodily harm.
Sometimes I make do because I'm lazy or attached to the way things used to be. Moving beyond making due requires facing change. And change is hard.
When you're merely making do with the physical objects in your life, you might be doing the same with your creativity or your ambition. Think about it. Do something about it.
Where are you just making do?