Tag Archives: getting old

On writing and aging

Sharpie permanent marker

Not really a greying writer’s best friend

Writing is a bit like exercise. There might a phase in your life when you’re at the gym three days a week, maybe running up and down hills or swimming lengths in the pool. But then you hit a slump and suddenly you fall out of the habit of doing it. It then becomes a struggle to get going again.

Writing can be like that. If it’s not a habit – a regular fixture in your week – something else will swallow up the time you set aside for it. It’s worse than writer’s block because you don’t even get the metaphorical blank page out to stare at it. You don’t even bother trying.

So that’s partly to explain why my blog has been frozen in July. I fell out of the habit of writing and couldn’t seem to get myself motivated.

In these two months I’ve been silent, not much of great consequence has happened. My life is a bit like Seinfeld. It’s a series of episodes about not very much. The only difference is that I’m not as funny as Jerry.

But I’ll relate this short, cautionary tale from a recent life episode.

It was an ordinary evening after work. The kids were sitting down to dinner. That is to say, one of the kids had practically inhaled her food while the other one was picking at it and claiming she wasn’t hungry.

I’m doing my best to ignore them because I’m smearing on some makeup before a night out with a group of friends. Looking in the mirror surprises me these days; I’m always mildly surprised not to look about 30. On this occasion my gaze zooms in on all the silvery strands of hair. If that gives you the impression they are silky, think again. These hairs are wiry. You could probably use them to scour a pan if you collected enough of them.

Yep, my grey hairs have ramped up some sort of military campaign – and they’ve reached the point of launching an assault on all fronts. It’s another joyous part of aging, a process that has picked up some pace in the last three or four years.

I haven’t quite decided what to do about all these white hairs. So far I’ve been yanking them out, which makes them come out even more wiry. They are now sticking out of my head at weird angles and looking more obvious than if I’d left them alone.

But I stumble upon what I think might be a solution, albeit a very temporary one. What if I used a black marker – my hair is black – to blend them in with the other hair? Yes, this is desperate.

I borrow a marker from the Chatterbox but it’s not really doing anything at all, so I trade up to the permanent marker. The results are marginally better, I note, but I don’t suddenly feel like a new woman with glossy hair.

The other thing I notice is that my head smells like permanent marker. I should have really foreseen this problem. Not that you’d ever be tempted to replicate this at home, but I’m just saying, don’t.



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