♫ The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be! ♫
Thus, I was serenaded by the Bear in the bathroom, who to his surprise and delight noticed grey hairs sprouting around my hairline. Even at the ripe old age of 40, the Bear still has serious lapses of judgement.
I asked the Bear today if he considered himself middle-aged. He replied easily that he did. I was reading an article in The Hoopla that said that 70% of people in the early 50s think that middle-age begins at 55. Really? Perhaps a contemplation of what ‘middle-age’ really means is in order.
True, middle-age has a decidedly unsexy ring to it – but really, so what? Who says that we have to be youthful and sexy all our lives? Why on earth would we want to? To me, middle-age is just a sign-post that says ‘middle-of-my-life’. Here I am, an adult in middle years, growing in wisdom and experience and still in good health. In my prime, really. Think of aging like a Seasonal Wheel: if we are born on the first day of Spring, then in middle life we are heading into Autumn. And what do we do in Autumn? We harvest. We reap what we sow. We have worked hard to get where we are!
So now I have a sprinkling of grey hair on the edges of my still dark hair. I look around to see if other women my age are going grey too. Well, probably, but the vast majority of women dye their hair, so it’s hard to tell. It’s a tricky thing, dying your hair to cover your greys. It’s quite a commitment really; in fact it is a total pain in the arse. A hair appointment is needed every 3 weeks to keep the greys covered, which costs a fortune in time and money. And this is the big one – when do you stop? And how? And what do you do with your hair while the colour is growing out? Perplexing.
I have been turning these things over in my mind for at least 15 years now. You see, I have never worshipped at the shrine of youth. Autumn is my favourite season, for lots of reasons. Relief from the heat of summer, the productivity of the cooler months, the sheer beauty of the changing season. When I was a child, I would gaze at women’s clothing in clothes stores and yearn to have a womanly shape to put in them. To me, childhood was that time in my life before I became an adult – an adult! When I grew up I would be able to arrange my life the way I liked it. I would make my own decisions, go my own way. Sometimes this is even true :). I knew I would like being an adult better than I liked being a child, and I was right. I do.
I love that every year I grow older, I become wiser, more more experienced and more comfortable in my own skin. I feel stronger within my spirit and I know more about what I value and what is important to me. Let’s just say I have a hell of a lot more perspective than when I was 20.
And if as part of the process of gathering wisdom and experience I also gather a few (or a lot) grey hairs – so what? Give me wisdom over eternal youth any day.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”