For those of us without grey hair, sometimes it seems we should add a little touch of grey to enhance our character.
It doesn’t always work, the natural progression of grey is interesting, a self applied grey streak can miss the mark.
I’ve always found grey hair fascinating on women, a willingness to embrace natural beauty. Women are more likely to develop grey hair earlier, oddly due to the use of hair dye.
I had always thought it was stress, and how that stress is internalized. I had a friend in the Air Force, the man I named my youngest son after, who suddenly developed a stripe of grey on the back of his head. It only got stranger when the hair fell out. Looked like he had been struck with an ax. But none of the rest of us turned grey early, and it seems most of us haven’t turned grey at all.
I know some men dye their hair, but at a class reunion last year I was amazed at how many of my friends had turned grey so young (mid fifties). There were a few exceptions other than myself, “Thor”, the star athlete and all around great human being, and a few other friends who happened to have intersecting career paths.
Stress does not cause grey hair, a build up of hydrogen peroxide in the follicle, combined with an absence of melanin and the decrease of certain hormones is the medical equation, what I found interesting was that those of us who did not turn grey had worked in what are often considered high stress jobs. Maybe the reason we did well in those jobs was because we could handle, even embrace, stress.
My facial hair did turn grey, so I grew a little stripe so my clients would recognize my seniority, I was starting to be mistaken for a kid because my lighthearted approach did not convey that I took the situation seriously. It was nice when people were surprised when I came up with solutions, but “surprise” was not the response I was looking for.
Lately I’ve let the full beard come in, so I’m working on that Santa Claus look. Once it fills in I’ll probably cut it back to the little stripe again, who knows.
The stress just isn’t hitting me. My thought is stress is the result of unrealistic expectations, the recognition that one does not control the universe. I may have played the universe like a violin, but I knew it could one day turn into an instrument for which I have no talent. I’ve enjoyed the ride so far, and look forward to the remainder.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and realize it means I won’t be in a tunnel anymore. I’m neither excited or dreadful, just comfortable with a sense of completion. I shake the sand from my sandals and move on to the next adventure. This isn’t goodbye, I’ve written my “goodbye” article and you’ll know it when you see it ;~)