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Hate That Gray? Or Is It Here to Stay?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

I’ve decided to go gray. I’m 72 but most people underestimate my age by a decade or so and I’m starting to feel like an imposter. I blame the social app, Clubhouse, for that.

Clubhouse is heavily populated with rooms appealing to midlife women, rooms like: “Second Act Sisters”…”All Things Menopause”…”Fit, Fabulous & Over 50!”…”Not Your Mama’s Midlife” and ”North of Forty.” As a Pro-Age activist who has traversed the terrain of midlife and knows where some of the sinkholes are, I often pop into these rooms, believing that maybe I can I can contribute to the conversation either as a guide or a as cheerleader.

My platform is “Ageing Shamelessly,” so I always say my age whenever I am called on to speak -- or “step up to the stage,” as they put it -- on Clubhouse. My goal is to encourage women to take ownership of their age and not cower in fear of it…and I walk my talk.

The photo above, with my hair the color that I was born with, is the one I use as my thumbnail/avatar on the app. It was taken pre-pandemic, but is relatively current. It looks like me on a good day with minimal makeup but great lighting. The photo to the right of it – a studio shot with “full beat” make-up – was actually taken a couple years earlier. The lovely silver coif is a wig…it’s the color I hopemy hair will be when I finally let nature take its course.

When I say my age, the response is usually an immediate: “OMG, you look amaaaaaaaazing!” … “I want to be YOU when I grow up!” … “You are NOT 72!”

It’s a back-handed compliment. The inference is that I either STILL look good (for my age), or that I don’t look my age…as if looking my age is something to be avoided.

Since being on Clubhouse, I realize that I have now matriculated out of midlife. I’m OLD and I’m good with that. In fact, I now see midlife as the adolescence of elderhood. It’s that awkward age when you’re not young anymore, but you’re not quite old yet. However, you’re starting to seriously contemplate getting old– and maybe even your mortality -- so you start giving more attention to the things you always wanted to do but never got around to. You realize time is running out and you want to get your bang in before you start to whimper.

Been there, done that. Not that I’m not up for getting a few more bangs in if time allows, I’ve still got goals and dreams that I’d like to achieve, but I won’t be disappointed if they (specifically, another leading role in a television series winning an Emmy and an Oscar) never happen.

These days, I spend as much time taking stock and being grateful for what I have and what I’ve hadas I do on my dreams for the future. I’m living my future. I want to be present for it…so, I live in the NOW.

Which means I’m old. I’m not my mama’s old, but I’m old. I don’t wanna be young any more. I don’t want to be middle aged. I want to be healthy and vibrant and vital…but I want to be old. The newold. I haven’t quite figured out what that is yet, but watch this space as you watch me go gray…for real.

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