Have you ever had one of those “OMG!” moments when you caught a glimpse of yourself from a different angle and you realize something about you has changed? It happened to me today in an elevator in Glendale, California. The elevator was walled with mirrors, brightly-lit and offered more reflections of myself than I really needed to see at 8:20 in the morning.
Usually those moments have been reserved for weight gain, as in “How in the world did I let my butt get this big again?” But on this particular morning it was all about my hair.
I’ve been salt-and-pepper gray for over a decade, now. This morning I realized that I am approaching all salt! How could I not have noticed before now? I decided long ago that I wouldn’t be dying my hair. After releasing myself two decades ago from straightening my hair, I knew too much about hair-freedom to even consider going back to the stranglehold of the beauty shop. So when the gray started coming in I just told people that “gray is the new blonde” and kept on stepping. With so many boomers turning gray, it actually seemed kind of trendy.
But when I saw the gray-haired ladies encircling me in the elevator, I swallowed hard. Now in all fairness, the lighting was such that it highlighted the gray. But there’s no denying I am a gray-haired woman.
As of this writing, I have on idea what I’ll do. Accept it? Change it? I don’t know, but I do know that this is another bend in the road on the journey.
Hmmm…. What I need to do is be grateful that I still have a head full of healthy hair. There’s a concept. Thank you, Lord.
“Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward Into the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.” • Orin L. Crain
Visit me on Facebook, Eleanor Brownn with 2 N’s
Journal entry January 28, 2013. It seems so long ago:
The “O” wasn’t available when I got custom plates for my brand new car eight years ago. After I got rear-ended at a stoplight last month, the insurance company thought they might have to total it. But I got her back the other day. ELEANQR’s been repaired and looks perfect — that is, if you don’t know what that car went through. Imagine sitting completely still when out of the blue you are slammed by a moving tank. It was an incredible shock, figuratively and literally. It looks all pretty now, but that car is not the same. Neither am I.
Spending the last 5 weeks trying to navigate getting healthcare while recuperating from a concussion — and whatever else is wrong with me — has been one of the most exhausting experiences of my life. I say “whatever else” because part of this whole ordeal has been frustration getting adequate information about the problems I’ve been having with vision, speech, memory and balance. I could go into a critique of the healthcare system, but that wouldn’t be good for my health. Besides, there also have been some amazing angels who have come my way to help. I am blessed.
Included in my self-prescribed therapy has been continuing to post on Facebook. For awhile the headaches and shakes were so bad I couldn’t even do that. It was really awful. I make FB posters about hope and healing, as much for myself as for the people who read them. We all need to know that we are not alone.
My condition is improving, but I am not the same person I was before the evening of December 19, 2012. Like ELEANQR, I look the same from the outside. I am not the same on the inside. Time for me to start counting my blessings and look for ways to share them with others. I don’t know a reliable place to turn, except to the Lord. He’s a pretty good healer, so I’m going to keep the faith.
I hope to be old for as long as possible.
I don’t care much for the phrase so-many-years-young, as in: “She’s 62 years young!” Young at heart? What’s wrong with being old at heart? I mean, really, what’s wrong with that? Our society is so gerontophobic, it’s as if we must even avoid using the word old in a sentence.
Which brings me to Rod Stewart. Nothing personal, but you cannot be Forever Young. However, you can be Forever Old, because while you cannot stay young forever, you can be old forever. I mean, until you’re Forever Dead. But let’s not go there.
Youth ends. Old age does not. You know, until THE end. So if we must be old, why not get into it?
Finding light in the darkness and showing the rest of us the way…
I’ve avoided the term “Senior” like the plague for several years. “Midlife,” mature,” “seasoned,” is okay, but not “a Senior!” Besides, I’m a Baby Boomer. My generation is being dragged kicking and screaming into elderhood.
It’s humbling to accept with the arrival of my 62nd birthday last week that I am, in fact, a Senior. Not only am I now 62, my doctor classified me temporarily disabled in the aftermath of a car accident I had a couple of months ago. (Just for the record, it wasn’t my fault; I was rear-ended at a stoplight.) I’ve had an array of unpleasant physical issues since then that sometimes make me feel as though I have turned into a little old lady overnight. I’m getting stronger every day; but right now the healing is on God’s timing, not mine. People keep telling me it takes longer to heal “as we get older.” (sigh)
Buying a bus pass is no big deal — unless it is. When I got my driver’s license at 16 it was the beginning of freedom. I love driving and I’ve always joked that I will be one of those people the authorities will have to pry their hands off the steering wheel when the time comes for me to turn over the keys. Aware of my recent challenges, my friend Ivy suggested I get a Senior bus pass. Huh? Senior bus pass? What make’s you think I’m a Senior and I should be taking the bus? Hello? Excuse me?
On February 14 I faced reality…sort of. I drove to the metro center on Wilshire Boulevard and LaBrea Avenue. I wasn’t concerned that I didn’t have the required ID photo for submission, as I was only going to pick up an application and get information. Turned out the pass is a pretty good deal economically. Apparently, being a Senior has its privileges.
I decided it wouldn’t hurt to have the pass in the event I needed it down the road — you know, just in case I ever became a real Senior and had to take the bus someday in the far off distant future. I was leaving the center with the thought that I’d fill out the form at home and get a photo “later” when I noticed they had a little photo booth off in the corner. That meant (if I chose to do so) I could walk out with a temporary pass in my hand and the official one would be sent in the mail. Six poses for $3.
I went over to the booth. I sat down, drew the curtain and inserted the money. Gulp. Smile! Flash! Smile! Flash! Smile! Flash! Smile! Flash! Smile! Flash! Smile! Flash!
And on Valentine’s Day, 2013, I became a card-carrying Senior.
We have entered the Easter season, which is all about the Son. What I like about the Son is that He suffered. He understands my sorrows. The other thing I like is that He’s available 24/7. I need a lot of help during off-hours!
I’m still church shopping and half the time I don’t even know what the ministers are talking about. I’m no Biblical scholar. If it weren’t for the cheat sheet at the front of the Bible that tells you on what page the different books begin, I’d never find anything. It would be so much easier if they were in alphabetical order, but I guess that wouldn’t work. At two years, I can’t call myself a baby Christian anymore, but I’m a slow study. During service, I don’t know when to stand up or sit down; I have to wait and watch to see what everybody else is doing. When the singing starts, I read the words in the hymnal and move my lips like I’m singing, but usually I’m not because I don’t know the tune. I call myself a Christian but official Christians might argue that I don’t believe all the things official Christians are supposed to believe because I think God likes non-Christians, too.
I like having a personal savior, but if someone else finds something that works better for them, I just can’t get too worked up about it because I don’t think God gets too worked up about it either. What I’m writing is probably blasphemous! I hope He has a sense of humor. Lord, I’ve got a lot to learn.