I’m not too sure when it started, but recently I’ve been feeling my age.
My hair started to truly “go grey” ten or eleven years ago in my forties. There had been strands of grey all along, but I really started to notice the changes then.
I started coloring my hair. Sometimes the color was great: I got along with the stylist, and she had magic touch with coloring. There were several shes, mind you, as over eleven years there have been countless different stylists.
Other times, the stylist wasn’t so skilled, and my hair would have no depth or interest.
This summer, I’m transitioning from fully colored hair to straight up grey. I totally trust and love my stylist, and am ready to embrace all this grey hair.
The grey reflects the inside changes that have been happening throughout menopause. This menopause feels like a great turning or moving a lake one teaspoon at a time. The ‘maiden’ part of my life is long over, the ‘mother’ part is ending, and the ‘crone’ part is just beginning.
Slower Recovery Time
As I shared on Facebook, I recently hurt my back. Sure, I’ve hurt it before, but I recovered quickly.
Over the last few years, recovery times take longer – for everything. The nights of staying out late or having cocktails for dinner are long gone. I hesitate with one glass of wine because even that can make me feel hungover in the morning.
And mornings? Coming up and out from the depths of sleep takes longer. Getting this beautiful body out of bed and moving takes a little longer, too. Once up and going, I’m usually good to go…unless I hurt my back.
Then it’s PJ’s and books or streaming videos all day. And – as it happens – the occasional blog post.
But feeling my age isn’t all about turning grey and slowing down. That great turning is unfolding a greater awareness of everything: of me, my world, others in my world.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve meditated and practiced mindfulness for so long, I don’t know. But there is such a deepening awareness it’s hard to put into words. It sounds poetic or hokey, like this:
I walked around my yard not long ago and said hello to all of the plants returning to life after winter. Hello to the peonies, phlox, sedum, hello to the little plum and peach trees I planted last year. I swear they talk back in their own plant way.
But this is a very real thing for me. When I choose to be aware, everything is alive. And more and more as I age, I choose awareness.
While I am feeling my age and talking to the plants, I have no plans to dwell in sadness or mourn the loss of youth. As a younger woman, I wrote a lot of poetry; so much so that I’m working at gathering all of those poems into a collection.
Here’s a sneak peak written by a 30-something year-old me. She was still scared of the world, scared of who she was becoming. And now? Not so scared, and not yet fully me.
IAM Becoming One
The One inside of me isn’t afraid of anything.
She’s more than happy to take on the world,
Because she knows that even in defeat
there are countless victories.
The One inside of me keeps shining her
flashlight, strobe light, guiding light, spotlight,
her bright Light for me to see my next step.
The one I am now is afraid of everything:
loud noises, quiet noises, excess noises,
and no noise at all. I am in between now:
I am not fully me, and I am not who I shall become.
I see the One I am becoming peeking out
from behind heavy curtains. Occasionally,
she puts on a simple costume and
speaks with other parts of me.
She, the One I shall become, knows all of me.
She is wise, kind, and compassionate.
She knows the struggles within process.
She knows enlightenment.
The One inside of me is not burdened by sorrow,
not tethered to memory, or to what “might” be.
She is a dancer, moving sublimely through life’s
intricate transitions. She gladly welcomes death.
She speaks her mind without fear.
She is innocence and maturity, crone and maiden.
She is the three sisters, and she is One.
The One inside of me has a hammer, sledge hammer,
jack hammer. She slams into what’s left of this
body’s shell. She slams into the fragile person
I cling to. She is a destroyer, a life giver.