Growing Old Ungracefully

I was getting a haircut today (for the record, I get my hair cut at a posh salon known as “Dollar Cuts”) when the stylist had to run to the front to make an appointment for a walk-in. While she was gone, I looked down at some of the hair that had fallen in my lap. It looked remarkably like salt and pepper. “That’s impossible,” I thought. I’ll find a rogue gray hair now and then, but I’m 27 years old and I hardly look gray. I also didn’t have my glasses on so I figured there must be some mistake.

Turns out, it isn’t. Gray hair seemed to surround me – to mock me. I never thought I’d be this kind of guy, but I don’t handle getting older well. I know I don’t qualify as “old” – not by a long shot. But I’ve had a very enjoyable last five or so years. Childhood and adolescence wasn’t kind to me, so being a young, post-missionary Mormon was pretty sweet.

To get to the point, I think dealing with age and death is where a lot of Church members have me beat. I’m the kind of person who says living is a lot more important than believing, that life is short so make the most of it, and that the here and now is a lot more appealing than the hereafter. So I find, unlike most faithful Church members I meet, that I don’t deal well when pondering old age or death. I like living and what life has to offer. And my inherent skepticism means I can’t be all that confident of where (if anywhere) I’ll be headed when I give up the ghost. Getting old is pretty much the one thing we’re all guaranteed, so it seems silly to fret over it at all. And the rational person in my mind tells me that very thing. But I still find I do it.

So, any advice for a young fellow who hasn’t the wisdom, experience, or mind to deal with the inevitable in a very thoughtful way?


  1. And thank Heavenly Father profusely that all thet you have to worry about is a few gray hairs!!!! I wish I was as lucky as you Brother John!! :)

  2. Hey john, I am 34 – and i have spent all time since late 1996 fighting a brain tumor and all the assocoated complications, and have had to give up my academic and career plans, and live day to day just hoing I did not die!!! So, thank Heavenly father that your problem is just afew grey hairs!!! Heck, dont grey hair make one look more distinguished and accomplished and sophisticated? Dude, capitalise on it, and make the best of it, instead of complaining about it!!!! best of luck!!!

  3. I’m 44. Not exactly ancient, but old enough to be your mother (especially since I’m LDS…)

    It’s all good. I could spout platitudes, but I’ll just leave it at…it’s all good.

    Also, if you don’t like the hair…dye it.

  4. If your hair starts to recede please, do not do a comb over. Humanity demands it.

  5. IÂ’ve had a similar experience when an enthusiastic home teacher introduced me to one of his inactive families to prove that we had Democrats in the ward. I was honored to do my part.

  6. oops, wrong post! Doh!

  7. There’s no dignified way to deal with it, man — rage, rage against the dyeing of the light!

  8. Time spent fretting is time that you haven’t spent living (at least fully), which seems to be what you are most interested in. Do you often fret about things that are out of your control?

    In any case, you should have hit SLC’s classic $4 Haircut, either on 5th S (my favorite location) or 7th E.

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