In conversation with my woman friends, the topic of “How to handle the grey hair” comes up. We speak of the ones up top and the “oh no” ones down below. “I thought it was lent,” a friend told me over the telephone once. Notice I said, “A friend told me” and not the other way (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). She went on to explain the terror she felt physically – as there was pain in her attempts to pull it out – and emotionally because she’d thought she was way too young to be handling this type of issue. At 35 years old, she had not expected to find a grey hair on top of her head and surely not below the belt. This was a shock to her as it probably is to many of us. The first time I noticed a white strand of hair in my head is a time that I will never forget. (read below).
As we age the changes that we see can sometimes crush the idea of how we think of ourselves. While the aging process is nondiscriminatory – affecting both men and women – it seems that women experience the aging process differently. There is a biological, emotional, and societal part to aging and it is consistent between both genders. The adjustment process for women as it relates to the societal component of aging is crucial and can determine whether the woman makes a positive or negative transition through this particular stage in life. A woman’s perception of what is happening as they age is the key factor in determining how the woman will progress.
Here are a 7 questions/statements to get you to thinking about the aging process? It is a good idea to discuss the questions and answers with woman of different ages and to use your answers to build a positive perception of aging that
- How important is it for you to be thought of as beautiful? sexy? physically attractive?
- What determines attractiveness? beauty? Where did you picture or idea of beautiful come from?
- What does it mean to be old? What does it mean to grow old?
- What were your thoughts when you noticed your first grey hair?
- How do you feel older people are treated in your family? Your community? The society in which you live? The world at large?
- Can you name any activities where older people are more proficient than younger people?
- Do you fear getting old? Why? Why not?
- Did you know that children, even babies, can have grey hair and in these cases greying has nothing to do with age.
That we are to grow old is a fact of life provided to all who continue to take in air. It is a chance to redefine ourselves for ourselves and to enjoy the process every step of the way. So at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you dye it, cut it, or keep it. What matters is that you use it as a stepping tool that elevates you to your higher self.
How I developed my perception of the “Grey”.
At 28 years old, I was in the mirror getting dressed for my son’s funeral. Initially I thought my blurred vision was causing the distortion in the mirror. After closer inspection, I noticed not one but two gray hairs in the front right side of my head. I paused to take in the fact that this one big moment – discovering my first grey hairs- had been lodged inside of an even bigger moment. Whoever said life is measured in moments was right on point because in that particular moment life became a little clearer to me. It was as if it all made sense, the connection between finding the strand on a day that was so painful. I perceived the experience as a sort universal sign – that one of life’s developmental stages had faded and that I had entered into another stage of life’s game. I decided then that I would keep those two grey strands as tokens of a full life lived and a constant reminder of that life and that love.
I would like to hear how you view the appearance of the grays. Is it to be treasured? or changed?