The Art of Going Gray

Mrs.Pickles
Mrs.Pickles

It has taken me 60 years to learn to live within the skin I was given. For various reasons, I was never appreciative of what bits of beauty I had received from The Maker. One of the things I took for granted was glossy dark hair. For 30 years I have fought the scary, devouring monster——-gray hair. I used to discuss making the best of yourself-whatever your age-with women in the dressing rooms where I used to work. We all decided that the single factor that kept us younger looking than our mothers’ generation was-modern hair colors. We vowed we would be youthfully colored for the rest of our lives. I was wrong.

We make a lot of the cleaning and personal care products that we use out here in the pasture. We eat primarily grass fed meats and locally grown produce. But here I was-once a month- slathering a concoction of unknown chemicals on my head-to cover the gray. I tried to let the color grow out once before-but I got cold feet. This time I did it.  Here I am.

I’m gray. I have a double chin, crow’s feet and a flabby tummy. My skin is no longer clear and smooth. But I kinda like me.  The tough years have left indelible marks that tell their own story. I held my only sister’s hand while they turned off her life support-there right there, in the bags under my eyes-you can see how that felt. I struggled to help my aging parents stay safe and die gracefully-you can tell, it’s there in the sag of my jaw and the slight roughness to my skin.  I’m not fooling anybody, but gosh darn it-I made it. I have stopped measuring myself against the models in the magazines and started measuring my life by the triumphs over fear, terrorism, prejudice, etc.

Get your own measuring stick. That is what my Grandma Olive used to say. That’s a back country way of saying you can only measure yourself against-yourself.

 

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