grey areas

I had the best hair of my life while I was pregnant. Seriously, when I look back on my hair during my pregnancy with Eddie I get swoony for how long and thick and beautiful it was.

Then he was born and all my hair fell out.  Ok, not all of it, but I did have bald spots by my temples.  Oh yes I did.

Same thing with Charlie. In fact, my hair was so awesome during that pregnancy, that I cut it short because it looked great and thick.  Then Charlie was born. It all fell out and I hated my hair more than I have ever hated it.

five days before Eddie was born. I loved my hair.

five days before Eddie was born. I loved my hair…and my youth.

The re-growth has been grey.

GREY.

Not 100% grey, but more than 50% grey.

I also have this habit of smiling. A lot. And when I stop smiling, the area around my eyes does not get the memo anymore.

I have wrinkles.

This past summer I had to get glasses with a prism in them because my eyes can’t stay focused after using the computer or reading for a long time. It makes night driving–especially in the rain–very difficult.  So I have glasses now.

I have grey hair, wrinkles, and glasses.

What I am trying to say is that I am turning into my grandmother…at age 35.

Here is the deal, my age has never made me feel old (well, except for that unfortunate 25th birthday, but there were extenuating circumstances). In fact, I feel like 30’s and 40’s is still young and fun and whatever.

What has made me feel ancient lately is all these changes I see in my appearance.

It feels out of my control.  Yes, I color my hair every 8-10 weeks, but that doesn’t change the fact that every time I go for a touch-up there are MORE greys than the previous time. I am constantly worrying that as those grey hairs grow longer, my whole head will become wirey and I’ll have to get it cut in the Old Lady Ball and get it “done” once a week and wear a plastic rain bonnet to church.

What? YOU don’t worry about these things?

When did all THIS happen?

When did all THIS happen?

So I joke about it, but truthfully all of these things have me feeling a lot of feelings lately.

I picture myself as the old lady mom at my kids’ school. I picture myself looking grandmotherly while pregnant with Baby #3 (if we are so blessed at some point).

I know the saying of “you’re only as old as you feel,” but I FEEL older when I look in the mirror and see wrinkles and grey hairs and…dude! Is that a chin hair? I JUST PLUCKED THAT YESTERDAY!

Sigh.

Why is being an adult so…angsty?  Or is it just me (tell me it’s NOT just me. Please.)?

I’ve been trying to find the things I still like about myself to counteract these horrifying things I keep noticing, but I know I keep focusing on the stuff that is making me feel, well, old.

I’ve spent so much time watching time pass on my children, that this week it was a shock to my system to see it passing on me too. Just like Eddie is not a toddler anymore, and Charlie is not a baby anymore, I’m not a kid anymore.

I’m not a kid anymore.

I’m an adult. A grown-up.

I spent all my life wondering what it would be to get to the child-bearing age and have a family. A bunch of time was spent thinking about my who I would marry, and who my children would be, and how they would come to be mine, and how many there would be in all.

I never thought about what my life would look like once all those babies were here.  I never thought about what I would look like as a total grownup.

Other than maybe one more pregnancy, I am there. I am a grown-up.

And I look…at least to myself…old.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Oh dude, I am so grey, it’s hardly funny anymore. I see them glistening from my black hair. It’s so defeating. I haven’t had my hair colored in years, and didn’t ever plan to again, but I’ve been considering it. Ack!

    For the record, you don’t look old!

  2. I’ve discovered that I still like to colour. So, every 8-10 weeks: Let’s Colour!!
    Red? Yellow? Auburn?
    so many choices.
    See….totally still a kid 😉
    (just ignore that hair on my chiney-chin-chin)

  3. I’m with you on this one. I’ve become my own “exclusive” photographer as I (and my iPhone + instagram) know how to make me look my best. The gray hair is OUT OF CONTROL. I just turned 30 and have been fighting the gray for a couple years already! I just took a photo this morning and even Instagram + a good filter could not rid the wrinkles from my forehead and side of my eyes. My hair might look better now than it did 5 years ago, but man the gray’s and the wrinkles. Also I stayed up until 11pm last night and I could not wake up this morning – nothing says OLD like that!

  4. You most certainly do NOT look old! I am of the belief that having young children can make us feel very, very old. The older my kids get, the younger I feel. I can’t do anything about the grays coming in, but I have found that taking care of my skin has brought me joy. Because at least I can have the glowing skin of my youth even if my hair screams “old hag.”

  5. My SIL isn’t even 25 and is already mostly grey. I don’t think grey hair = old at all.

  6. I found my first gray hair when I was 28. Plucked that sucker and haven’t seen any since (I’m now 33), at least not on top of my head. My eyebrows though? Different story. They’re not too noticeable, thankfully, but I’m still finding grays/whites every so often. And wrinkles around the eyes? Don’t even get me started. Same for how I feel stiff and creaky in the morning. Ugh. I know I’m not old yet but yeesh…I sure feel like it some days!

  7. Grey is so not fun, but it comes with the territory. I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 35. Sigh. But, dude… you are NOT old!! xoxo

  8. it’s not just you, katie.
    my grey hair makes me nauseous. i’m 37, and i think i found my first grey hair at, um, maybe 33-34??
    i don’t think my mom had grey hair that young?
    and yes, we are adults. we’re aging. but i think you are beautiful, you’re an amazing friend and writer, and i don’t think you are OR look “old” AT ALL!

    remember the important part. the INSIDE part. the KATIE part. grey hairs can EFF off, and so can wrinkles.

    but yes, I’m a hypocrite and this doesn’t mean I love what I see in my own mirror. sigh.
    it’s so hard.
    xo

  9. You look great, Katie!
    Me: glasses, problems with night driving because of cataract, grey hair, bald spot on temple (from a scar) – ALL CHECK!
    I do care, but there’s not much I can change about it so I tell myself I look smart with glasses and wise with grey hair 🙂

  10. Started turning grey at 25 and haven’t stopped coloring my hair since. I will be the 80 year old, blue haired lady for sure. Just wait til you starting going thru perimenopause while you’re still getting your period. Talk about a cruel joke.

  11. I’m pushing 40 and although not grey I FEEL like I am pushing uphill a lot!! ha! But I try not to see that when I look in the mirror. I try to see the beauty that I know is there. You are NOT old and you are cute and fun! xo

  12. You know what.. I am 11 years younger than the next oldest girl in my family and I have more gray than they do. I used to color it this vibrant red and recently I cut it ALL off. I Mean ALL of it and it is short and spiky and very salt and pepper with more salt than pepper. And I love it. I have earned these gray hairs.. I think I will keep them.

  13. Ah, yes, the grey, the chin hair the wrinkles…yes. But I couldn’t get away without adding the saggie boobs and dimpled bottom. Oh the joys of aging.

  14. You are beautiful but I know what you mean. I am 41 now and all of the sudden I feel like a lion tamer int he circus with a whip and chair trying to fight back the grey hair at my temples, dark circles under my eyes, smile lines saggy boobs ( GOd,HOW.I HATE>SAGGY>BOOBS!!!) I;m so serious, I am starting my own damn breast lift fund because I can;t take it anymore. You are beautiful. BUt I know sometimes being exhausted and overworked and giving your whole life to little people and putting your own needs on the back burner makes us feel old.

  15. I never associate grey hair with aging since I have had noticeable grey hair since hair school and starting colouring it in my twenties – and have been colouring it every 6-8 weeks ever since.
    But I had a similar revelation a few months ago after I looked in a hotel mirror – like where did those wrinkles come from? Those lines aren’t so fine anymore.
    You are not alone in these feelings – and you certainly do not look old! 🙂

  16. You do NOT look old. But I hear ya. I’m debating going grey. Just let it take over. Bow out with a little grace and dignity. Let laziness win. I haven’t decided yet though.
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