I found my first grey hair yesterday.
Actually, it's not my very first grey hair. I used to get them a lot when I was about thirteen. I wasn't the only one. Quite a few of my friends were finding greys in their hormone-crazy hair then. I think I stopped getting them when I turned fourteen or so.
So, thirty-three must be the new thirteen.
When I first spied it, I squinted at it in the mirror, then immediately tried to pull it out. I missed the first time and pulled out a perfectly good coloured one. I thought maybe I'd imagined it and that I wasn't getting old, but in the end it was still there. I pulled it out with a yank and studied it carefully.
It was more wiry than my coloured hair. Totally silver from root to tip. I did have a slight panic. "My parents get grey hairs, not me," I said to myself.
Then, I looked in the mirror and gave myself a little shake. "The world is not going to end just because you've got a grey hair," I said.
Logic forced its way into my brain and I thought of the fact that my husband has had grey hairs since the day I met him. My mother got them around this age. I might not even get another one for another few years... it might just be a tired hair follicle, for all I know.
I walked into the living room and eased myself into the couch with a grunt. "Oh, my muscles," I said. "I'm so stiff. Must be this age getting to me."
Rascal got up and put his head on the couch cushion next to me. "Ok, time for a walk," I said to him. He'd been waiting all morning, and it was going to be a hot day. Better to get out into the fresh air instead of sitting inside panicking over the inevitable.
I opened the door, sprayed on some bug spray, and put Rascal's leash on. I opened the gate, walked down to the front of the house, and there he was.
It was a man, probably in his late fifties, shirtless, wearing shorts and riding his bike. The hair under his helmet was silver, as was the curly hair on his chest. His skin was bronzed by the sun.
And he was probably fitter than I have ever been in my life.
It was a funny sort of day after that. I went to the pool and met more incredibly fit people with grey hairs, laughing and enjoying themselves in the hot tub after swimming 50+ lengths. I thought about this as I did my usual 36 lengths.
Maybe thirty-three is the new thirteen, I thought. That means I'm about to grow up all over again.
I'm going to be a whole new person in a few years, a whole new adult. Just when I thought I was old and wise at thirteen, I keep thinking I'm old and wise at thirty-three. And when I'm older, I'll look back and realize what I child I was.
So, I found my first grey hair.
I also found I have a whole lot more life to live.