Friday, January 24, 2014

Gray


I found a gray hair last night. My second one, in fact.

It doesn’t seem fair, really. A gray hair? Two gray hairs?

I had hoped for a few more years before I spotted a gray hair. A few meaning forever.

My Great-Grandmother Webb had black hair up in to her eighties. Never mind that it was dyed.

Obviously.

She also had dentures, which I discovered in a most gruesome way in her bathroom at age 8.

And now I will be joining the masses of women who choose not to let gray hair get in their way, but reclaim their youth in a bottle.

Two gray hairs on my head. Unbelievable.

I’ve always talked about wanting to age gracefully, but now that wrinkles around the eyes and gray hair on my head are appearing at a more rapid pace than I expected, I’m thinking of taking that stance back. (Not really. But really.)

Last night I learned of a friend who had suffered from a stroke. Not a mild one, but one that requires daily physical therapy and relearning certain motor skills. One that could ruin your career. And possibly your identity.

I’ve been wrapped up in appearance. That’s how I’ve defined myself. If I feel pretty, then I’m okay. If I don’t, it’s a bad day. If the number on the scale reflects what I perceive as bad, then I am bad. And now that I’ve made The Gray Hair Discovery, I’m suffering a bit of an identity crisis.

I know other people who admit that they get wrapped up in the things they do, and they let them define who they are. Career, kids, appearance, grades, house, car—they are any number of things that vie for attention in our lives and that ultimately end up deciding for us how we view ourselves, for good or for bad. But those things are as unstable as shifting sand, always changing and they all have the very real possibility of disappointment. What happens when you do find a few gray hairs and you realize your youth is fading, but your identity is completely wrapped up in appearance? Or you have a stroke and your career is over, but your identity is completely wrapped up in your job? What do you define yourself by then?
 
 
24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
{matthew 7}

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