My sweet husband looked me in the eye one day and said, “Honey, please stop coloring your hair.”
I’d thought about it from time to time. But it was always “out there.” Maybe when I’m fifty, or sixty, or sixty-five. I didn’t want to push it too far because, frankly, I hated coloring my hair.
Then I realized – I am fifty! I’m on the other side of the proverbial hill. Am I ready to face all that comes with this stage of life? Going gray seems to be about a lot more than my hair.
My hair has always been my crowning glory. It’s the physical feature that has garnered the most compliments over the years.
Now that I’m sporting silver locks, each look in the mirror cements the fact that my long and, at times brown--dark brown--red brown--nearly black hair is simply part of my past. It’s who I was physically.
When I think about my past, I typically think about two time periods: my teenage years, and my thirties. Probably because these years were the most fun for me. These were times when I had great friends and celebrated this with great experiences.
These days, busyness and family obligations have butted their way into my life. Travel, dinner parties, and late-night partying are rarely found on my calendar anymore. Between crazy work schedules, keeping tabs on kids, and caring for animals, nights out – or away – are few and far between.
However, my husband and I still share our love for music, movies, reading, and each other. I still have my love for all things domestic. Physically, I’m starting to take better care of myself.
My going gray wasn't so much a good-bye to my past as it was an acceptance of my evolution. I look fondly - and yes, sometimes longingly - at my teen years and my thirties. But the life I have now was created by my decisions. When I pass by a mirror and see the woman with gray hair, I think about how far I've come and how much I have accomplished.
And, honestly, I’m liking my hair!
When I was a make-up artist a few decades ago, I taught my clients to always accentuate their positive features. For me, this was my lips. They may be more mature now, but they’re still plump and curvy. Still one of my best features.
So why not make a bold statement with silver hair and red lips? Especially since I’m beginning to live more boldly. These days I’m saying “Yes,” and “No,” and meaning it! I’m making priorities and letting go of what’s not important – both the tangible and intangible. Rather than just winging it, I’m living on purpose.
It's been said that growing old isn't for sissies. This is true in a way. But perception is key here. I prefer not to focus on the "old" and keep my eye on "growing." As long as my mind continues to grow, so do my horizons.
The first four decades of my life were fun – and even a bit adventurous. For a time, I was wondering what the last several decades of my life would be like. Now I can see that, if I choose, they can be just as fun and adventurous as I want them to be.
I may be older. I may have gray hair. But I’m also wiser, young at heart, and still discovering new things about myself and the world every day.
As long as I know how to love and learn, I can keep my heart and mind young. Going gray is just a reminder of how far I’ve come and how much I have to share.