What, that doesn’t sound fun?
The last time I got my hair cut, I realized that, at 34, I have my first grey hair. Hairs, rather. Two of them. Right on my hairline, just about an inch to the left of my widow’s peak. And they’re not actually grey, they’re silvery white.
And they’re awesome. Barely noticeable, but awesome. In the last few weeks, I’ve been keeping an eye on them, wondering when they’ll be joined by more. I’m really really hoping for an beautiful white streak, like Susan Sontag, Bonnie Raitt, or the Bride of Frankenstein. “Pied Beauty,” as Hopkins called it. It probably won’t happen, and it’s far more likely that I’ll just start getting random wiry greys that kill the elegant image I have in my head, but still, it’s something about the aging process I’m kind of quietly excited about.
Which got me thinking about aging, and how it is reputedly devastating to women, since of course culture tells us that our shelf-life is barely more than that of a banana. (How old is “old” now?) I don’t doubt it has its challenges, because aging means changing, and changing always brings challenges, but devastating? A life-threatening illness is devastating. The loss of a loved one is devastating. Not being able to get work–despite the fact that you’re more than qualified but the poor economy and the shift in university hiring practices are preventing you from doing what you love and are trained to do so you’re facing penury and a life of jobs that require you to wear a paper hat–is devastating. (Ahem.) Aging? Not so bad, really.
So I was thinking about aging, and my beautiful silvery twins, and wondering what others are looking forward to about getting older. I know we have readers from their 20s through their 50s, at least, so I’m very curious to see what sort of range of responses this elicits. It can be shallow or profound; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, sexual, anything.
So: What are you looking forward to as the months and years pass? And/or, what about getting older has been a pleasant surprise to you?