Embracing Middle Age
Middle Aged Reflections
I’m letting my hair go gray. This is a major passage in my life. I’ve been dying my hair since I turned thirty because when gray strands started to come in groups instead of singles, I was definitely not ready. Not ready to think about time passing. Not ready to embrace the inevitable truth of my moving toward middle age. The twenty-eight years since that first dye-job seems to have passed at “warp speed” and now the gray has started to resist the monthly coloring. So… I’m conceding; I am smack dab in the middle of middle age.
Middle age: According to Wikipedia, middle age is set at different ages by different sources. But if either Collins Dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary is correct (between 40 and 60), I’m almost through the period. I’m choosing to go with Erik Erikson’s scale, between 40 and 65. Regardless, it’s time to let go of the illusion of youth which coloring my hair represents.
I’m glad I can say that I’ve used my middle years well so far. I’ve done many of the things I wanted to do, purchased the things I’ve wanted to own, met and maintained friendships with wonderful people, come to know myself and made every effort to let others see me for who I am.
I’ve worked through my major demons: anger, fear of aloneness, feelings of not being loved or loveable.
I’ve struggled to become the person I could love, someone who has something positive to offer in relationships with others. I’ve made a conscious effort to let love work in my life, to give it generously and accept it graciously. That is one choice I am glad I made, for I have loved deeply and passionately… and still do. Gray hair, then, is my new badge of honor.
As I move closer to the end of my middle years, I do so with a mixture of great joy and trepidation (I’ve lost several friends who were in their 40’s and 50’s), knowing the road leading away from my 50’s will be much shorter than the one I’ve traveled. That knowledge is humbling, to say the least.
So, I’m letting my hair go gray, and promising to continue the road I’m currently traveling, but paying closer attention to the beauty and splendor and miraculous nature of my life.
As I reflect upon my life
And mourn the passing of
I recognize that
Only with the passing
Of the night
Can we awake to
The joy the morning brings,
And to the knowledge
That in You
There is no end.
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