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Saturday, August 18, 2012

50 Something: Shades of Grey

Surprisingly this is not a commentary on a certain book.  Rather it is a commentary on people’s perceptions and stereotypes.

I ponder my life at 50 something while I look in the mirror at a few more shades of grey appearing in my hair and I can’t help but notice how we as a society have evolved over the years.  We live in an era where medical technology, improved nutrition, access to information on health and fitness have had a profound effect on improving our quality of life enabling us to be active, longer.

In the past perhaps someone with greying hair may be considered as approaching retirement or at least winding down from full time work.  However in an era where 70 may be considered as the new 50, this is not the impression we want to give if in fact we are perfectly happy pursuing our full time careers, hence the propensity to get out the dye bottle and rid ourselves of the grey.

I must admit I have struggled with the concept of going grey for this very reason.  I too was guilty of using hair dye to rid myself of the shades of grey.  Eventually I stopped dying my hair preferring to wear a wig, still not ready to face the world with grey hair.  It was not until I had a break away from work for a brief holiday and after some soul searching, I realised that I was the one with the issue of greying hair.  It was my perception of myself that I was getting too old for the job.   Remarkably spending time with someone who has debilitating health issues put things into perspective for me.  Once I had faced my own demons and changed my own perceptions and stereotypes I was able to change my way of thinking and be content with who I am.   I have now abandoned the wig to reveal my own hair with emerging shades of grey.   

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