This Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for my beautiful gray hair, white, in some areas. For over 30 years I have been coloring my hair and never realized the gorgeous gray tresses that were hidden all this time. Women often comment to me, “how liberating.” Yes, it is, but more than that and because of my thinning hair, gone are the days when I would spend sprinkling brown fibers to hide my shiny scalp. Now my gray, softer in color, blends in with the shine of my scalp. That, is truly liberating!
It has not been an easy task on my part, but realizing that I am presently working towards my 80th birthday, something inside of me kept nudging me to do it. So I did! The procedure happened very quickly. Thanks to my colorist, Tia. I was instantly stripped of all the dark color. Too late, to have second thoughts, job was done, finished, and going back is NOT my style. I braved the shocking comments from friends, but the most shocking was of the image I saw and continue seeing in the mirror. “This is really me,” I often say. Regrets? Only in passing. My fighting spirit encourages me to forge ahead with “gratitude, confidence and style!”
The thoughts of dealing with the labels that go with being gray have haunted me and I do not like that, plain and clear. “Vulnerability” stands out for me, “old” is the judgment call for anyone with gray hair. I can no longer “fool” others with what I am not. I have been blessed with perfect health, a young spirit, and a zest for life, often passing for less than my calendar years. Now that I am gray, will that change? Thus far, it has not. But, I do fear the label. Why do I dislike it so? Why do we as a society dislike the word and spend millions of dollars avoiding nature’s process? Am I allowing myself to be caught up with the words “age and gray” to define me? It remains my work as I share.
I personally judge the word to mean decaying health, low of spirit and watching the world pass by with regrets of days gone by. All that I am not. The book I wrote, “Be The Rage at any Age” has suddenly appeared to be questionable and more meaningful at the same time. What did I mean when I fell in love with those words. Were they only to be a shallow catchy phrase? Or, did I understand their meaning? I admit, the phrase is becoming more real to me as each day passes. I continue to learn and dare to live my life as the divine has so decreed with all the grace I have been given.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2013, I want to express my gratitude for my wonderful family, particularly my son, Mark who admits he is having difficulty with his mother going gray. My perfect health, beautiful life, the ups and downs, the laughter and the tears that I have personally experienced in my 79 years. I would change nothing, for they have made me the woman I have become.