My daughter found four white hairs in my head on Monday night. I'm not ashamed to say that it was pretty upsetting at that moment. I've never had to dye my hair (not that I have to now) to hide white/gray hair.
I'm noticing the wrinkles around my eyes--which are getting a little deeper each year. But as I told my 15 year old, I've earned them. I've earned the fine wrinkles and I've earned the white hairs (oh, I'll still hide them, dammit, and I'm not ashamed of that, either. I'm not even ashamed to feel bad about growing old. I've earned the right to do that, too.)
I'm almost 44 years old and I've been to more funerals than my 90 year old great-aunt--and she's the last surviving of 9 siblings. I've beat cancer and dealt with crippling anxiety. For the most part, the grief that is always waiting to pounce is outdone by the positivity in my heart (my good friends and close family know I can bring the negativity too, but I'm working on it.) That's not to say that I can in any way see a positive in the deaths of my family members--but I can focus on the way my brother's beautiful girls are growing up, the way my younger brother and I shared so many Sunday drive-to-Dad's memories, or the way my children have my father's dimpled chin.
So yes, I have some white hairs and a few new wrinkles. But I also live my life to the fullest, doing exactly as I please, writing and geeking as I like. Despite the appearance of the white hairs or the wrinkles I don't feel too old to volunteer or cosplay or enjoy life. I've learned the lesson that life is just too short to skip out on doing anything you love because you have a few off-color invaders on your head (eww, I'm not talking about lice--if you have lice, please, skip out on attending public events & get treatment.)
Getting older is still, I'm sure, going to be hard for me--I may be 29 at heart, but after three kids my body doesn't always feel the same. But I've done more to further my personal happiness this year than I have in a very long time, so I'm going to share a secret with you--I'm 43, and I'm just getting started.