Shades of Gray - Part 6

I spent a week at the beach in NC with six great sister-friends, and I realized all but one were not coloring their hair.  This surprised me, as my housemates and I were, within five years or so, the same age.  I was impressed with Mary's naturally curly mop.

I love this do.  The curls, the waves, the pattern of color.  This is what I want.  Mary colored her hair off and on for years and finally said, "whatever."  She's as down-to-earth and bubbly as her hair.

I love the patch of snowy white on the top, like the spouting of a little halo.  It cascades down to shades of silver and then ends with darker curls at the nape.  Such cool variations. 

My own silver tones are looking pretty unremarkable.

Dull, nondescript color.  But, clearly my natural dull, nondescript shade.  In fact, what looks unnatural to me now is the orangey-tawny-dark hair dye.  I have a ways to go before it's all gone, and I may hate the full head of dull, nondescript color, but right now...I'm less pleased with the leftover dye.  It looks, dare I say - fake.

Did it always look this way?  I know I've seen some heads of color that were clearly from the bottle.  Many dye jobs look artificial - too dark, too flat, too brassy. Was I one of those?  I'll probably never know.

What I do know is that I don't want to color my hair anymore.  Even if I'm not crazy about the wisdom highlights I'm accruing.  I think I've crossed the threshold from being afraid to give up the bottle, to "whatever."  I've enjoyed not having to find time to cloister myself in the bathroom while I mix up dark chemicals and gag my way through the toxic fumes.  Women, why did we ever start this?!?

If you're twenty and want to play with hair color as an accessory, that's one thing.  But, to assume (and that's what we're doing here, ladies) that once grays appear, it's time to lock into the dying ritual?  We need to break free of that notion.  I've said it before, I'll say it again: for all the hard-won freedoms women have fought for, the lie that we can't be gray is the dumbest.  It doesn't make any sense that we still buy into that one.

I'm noticing silver-headed women these days.  And I'm complimenting them for their courage and their insight.  And yes, their wisdom.

We need to do more of that.


39 Years and Counting

This week my hubby and I noted our 39th anniversary. 

1975 - Engagement year

As it approached, people asked, "Are you going to do anything special?  What are you going to do?"

The hubs and I discussed it as well.  We decided what we wanted to 'do' was nothing.

We 'do' a lot of stuff already.  He works ten-hour days as a manager; I'm a caretaker for my folks. We have a big house we're always trying to repair, or clean.  We have two cars that need maintenance.  We mow and run errands and take my folks to doctor appointments.  Most nights, we doze off watching the news.  Coming up with something else to 'do' just wasn't appealing.

We decided we'd go get a couple of soft serve ice cream cones and call it a day.

Then, Dad got sick, and things changed.  I took him for his first antibiotic infusion, and the hubs went to bed.  It was fine.  The next day my husband helped my dad take a shower, and then our daughter and I took the folks to Mass.  The hubs came home from the drug store with ten bottles of seltzer water for me (my choice of fluid these days - .99 a bottle), and I made him a pan of brownies.  We gave each other a kiss before I headed out the door to Dad's second infusion appointment.  It was a perfect anniversary weekend.  We didn't have to dress up, or overspend, or even stay awake.

We're moved with the Air Force eight times and raised three children (and a dog.)  We've invested in two weddings and buried four siblings.  We've 'done' a lot already.  In his down time, the hubs plays Angry Birds; in my 'free' time, I write.  And we're content with that.

At the 39-year mark, it's wonderful to have a guy who helps my dad bathe and brings me bottled water.  I pack his lunches and line-dry his L.L. Bean shirts to keep them crisp. These are the things we 'do.'

And it's really enough. 

Happy anniversary, babe.


15 Shades of Gray - part 5

I got my hair cut this week for the first time since I've been allowing my wisdom highlights to grow out.

If I turn my head to the left a bit, they're not too noticeable.  If I zoom into the mirror and check the top of my noggin....yep, there they are.

Still not crazy about the gray streaks, but I have to admit...it's not turning out as awful as I first imagined.

I colored my hair for twelve years, and the greatest trepidation about stopping was facing the natural (at this point) unknown color.  How gray was it?  Would it be more silver?  Would there be any brown/black tones left?  What the heck color was my hair anyway?

Now I know.  I'm happily surprised to see I'm not as fully gray as I expected.  Not that it should matter.  I'm doing this so I can face, and accept, whatever color my hair is.  It would have been fun to discover my hair was really fuchsia, but that didn't happen.

I'm also finding the hairs at my hairline are still mainly dark.  The hairs at my nape are mainly dark.  The top of my head, towards the back, is the lightest.  Maybe that's my halo sprouting.

As I get my hair trimmed, more of the dye job will disappear, and the wisdom highlights will become more dominant.  That's when I'll really know how this new do will fit my pale face.  AUGH!

So, I'm coming along on this journey of giving up the bottle.  Encountering other women who have done the same is inspiring.  Like Stacey.

I met her at the hair dresser's; she just received this cute cut.  She started dying her hair in her 20's.  She's delighted to be done with it.  "Go for it!" she said.  Her husband encouraged her, she told me.  I love stories like this!

While I'm waiting for my wisdom highlights to fully appear, I'm working on a few other things.  I cleaned out our son's old room, which had become a dumping ground for stuff I didn't know what to do with.  After a trip to the thrift shop with things I decided I could part with, I set up a crafting area.  Storing my various crafting supplies posed a problem.  I went to the thrift shop in search of a bookcase, and I came home with this.

A changing table!  It stores everything beautifully, and I can wheel it next to the table where I create masterpieces.  I love it.

The best part is that it was only $16.00!  Sometimes I hit a home run here in the Ballpark.

How's your week been?


Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm

Friday, September 19, 2014

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm
by Dr. Sharon V. King
Inspirations Imprint

Can we talk about getting older? With another Baby Boomer turning 60 every 7.5 seconds, the “age wave” has captured the attention of such diverse fields as financial planning, cosmetics, medicine, and—religion. How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?”  Life after 50 can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help 50+ women gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book format provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Book Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23236855-aging-gracefully-with-the-23rd-psalm

Author Bio:
Sharon is a class of ’69 Baby Boomer, a native of Pennsylvania, and now resident of Georgia.  The daughter of church musicians, she first worked as a music teacher and then turned her interests to writing about and working with older adults.A recently retired gerontology professor, Sharon now writes inspirational books and articles for 50+ women.

Website: www.yearsfullofgrace.wordpress.com
Twitter: @svk50plus