Today I had to put on reading glasses to decipher the directions on rug cleaning foam. I literally could not see the small letters on the package. Oh, that’s different. I remember being 14-years old, a sophomore in high school, and being convinced with all my teenaged wisdom, that I would never live to be 30-years old. I wasn’t a sad child or a Goth teenager, but I remember that I always felt doomed, like a quick flame that bursts into light and runs out of energy. I thought I wouldn’t last very long in this world.
At age 25, I got involved in the “New Age rhymes with sewage” community. That’s just a pun my friend, Notelrac, used to say. The Neo-Pagans are delightful people and mostly harmless. Anyhow, at that time, in the early 1990’s, Croning was a fad. Croning is to celebrate a woman’s 50th birthday as the rite of passage into the age of wisdom. The pagan community was trying to reformulate the entire American society to value senior citizens and the wisdom of older women. Twenty years later, this has devolved into the Cougar culture, which is totally about sexual hedonism. That is not our fault. We only wanted respect and to share our gifts with future generations, not just our sexual prowess.
So, 25-year old me said as I puffed out my chest:
“When I’m 50-years old and have grey hair, I’m not going to dye my hair. I’m going to wear my greys with pride as a symbol of my wisdom and life experience.”
Silly Rivka. One morning in my early 30’s, I woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw a large patch of snow white hair right in the middle of my forehead! It looked like I had seen a ghost. There was brown hair when I went to bed and a white, skunky stripe when I woke up. I still wonder what happened to me in Dreamland that night. So weird.
Of course I dyed my hair. It never turned grey; it went directly to white. That was cheating and I wasn’t prepared.
Almost twenty years later, I still keep trying to let my greys come out, but I have too many friends who are hair dressers or estheticians. They convince me to color, but it doesn’t take much prodding and I always feel so youthful afterwards. Why is that? I would like to be a silver-haired Crone instead of a Chestnut-haired
Maiden Matron, but I worry about looking spent.
The good news/bad news is I have at least 30 years left. That’s a whole lifetime. That’s enough time to find a mate, get married, and raise a family. That’s enough time to earn a new university degree, begin a new career, and become successful. That’s enough time to write a best-selling book and become famous (and hopefully, wealthy). Thirty years is enough time. Let’s go, Rivka! Turn off the television and make that next resume. You can do it, girl! If I could just find my reading glasses…
“Growing Old Gracefully Or Else.” is copyright © 2014 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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