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.

Dear Lord, 
As I reflect upon my life
And mourn the passing of 
My youth,
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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Comments 9 comments

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Lovely Hub. No matter our age, we are always young in our hearts :)

jdove-miller 7 years ago

Thanks, Lady_E. You are so right. My next hub will reflect just that thought. Be on the look out!

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

I must sign up to your fan club then. That way, i'll receive an automatic email whenever you publish a new Hub.

Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

Two months ago, I also made the decision to stop coloring my hair and just go gray. I cut it short and just let it be. It was the first time in 20 years that I didn't wake up and "check for roots." Everything has grown out and what is, is. I wish that I'd done this 10 years ago.

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

You have made my day - to discover I am not old, but middle aged. At least according to the Erik Erikson’s scale. Yippee!!!!

Jameen 7 years ago

I love to read what you write ... you do it so well. I don't faithfully dye my locs ... maybe every 5 or 6 months. I am embracing being a child of God ... He makes perfection! I am "seasoned" perfection! I am a little slow ... what is a hub? purpose?

Dorothe Orr profile image

Dorothe Orr 5 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks so much for your article Jackie. It's a wonderful reminder to celebrate what we have over what's no longer.

My worst birthday was a NYC suprise party when I turned thirty. I had the flu & was flying home from a business trip. My partner, had let in a catering girlfriend who stayed in my apartment and cooked gourmet food for 2 days. When I walked in the door my nose & eyes were swollen, red, and running, hair was dirty, and I was wearing my travel sweatpants and unmatching shirt. Twenty-plus of my "all that" fashion industry friends were assembled and waiting. When I look back at the photos (I did run past everyone,change clothes dab on lipgloss). I looked fine. So much for youthful perception. Sadly, because of my discomfort I can only recall 3 of the people in the room.

It was all uphill after that,and just got better. Not life neccessarily. but my perception of it. I now consider the wrinkles a decent trade off for self assurance, and peace of mind. I'm near the age my grandmother was when she passed. I could worry about tomorrow, but then I'd miss today. At 56 and three quarters and I've earned every second of it! My family and friends love me, and the insecure clutter in my brain has gone by the wayside.

Life is great and this year I will actually try on that swimsuit in the horribly lit dressing room before buying it... I will!

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Loved this Hub! Just did the same thing. Check out the blog.."Rockthesilver"..it was very inspirational...think of the money we will save. :)


smbloome profile image

smbloome 5 years ago from Chicago 'burbs

Great minds think alike..

Check out my new hub... more to come... all from a book I am writing.


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