When someone uses the phrase “aging gracefully” I usually cringe. Knowing my limitations and recognizing as Elaine Benes admitted in the “Jackie O” episode of Seinfeld “I don’t have grace, I don’t want grace, I don’t even say grace.” (Actually, we do say grace, we’re not ungrateful, just klutzy.) But having grace? Gaaaagh!
Two years ago it was my dear husband’s time to celebrate this passage. Since that time, I’ve watched him transform from a cool confident state of mind into a man determined to embrace aging with faith, friends and family. Together we decided to engage in living as organically as possible within the boundaries of our responsibilities. Turns out, turning 50 is not as fearful as I thought, in fact, it’s proving to be quite liberating.
Where my husband has turned into a silver fox with his lengthening platinum hair, mine is growing in sporadically with more wisps around the ears and brow than I once found comfortable. I originally began coloring my hair when a young clerk offered me a senior discount at the ripe old age of 39! Now, ten years later, I’ve grown weary of coloring my hair and want to apply the organic life style to the way I style my hair. But I’ve got a secret weapon with a hair stylist that understands my desires and fears. She recently blended in my growing roots with silver highlights giving me the confidence to keep moving forward together, me and the hubby can go gray together.
Something happens to our eyebrows when we age, as least it did for me. Back in college, I had eyebrows to rival Brooke Shields but as I aged, and they continued to grow unruly, I submitted to removing (plucking) any offensive or wayward growing brow hairs. Eventually, my brow line became so thin and adding brown liner looked worse and worse (like painting clown lines across my forehead). Now, I’m in the patient process of letting them grow. As difficult as it was to get started and succumb to the pressure not to pull stray growth, I left them alone. Organically, they began to grow into a defined brow line.
Why do I bother sharing these observations? Because it’s the type of personal editing we all face. Think about all the re-edits you’ve undertaken over your lifetime (young or old). We can’t edit our age, but we can always edit our choices. And the wisest choices are those that help us live an authentic and organic lifestyle.
I have no intention of meeting the conventions of aging within a market that places unrealistic expectations on beauty. Are you in a similar place? Let’s journey this transition together, as gracelessly as possible.
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