One Gray Hair


The young woman stepped into the elevator and turned her back on me, facing the door. She immediately joined the three other thirty-somethings in looking down at the palm of her hand. I stood quietly in the back, holding my briefcase and purse and waiting to reach the ground floor where we would all run toward our respective rides home.

It was then that I noticed it -- the one gray hair sprouting from the back of her head.

I was tempted to tap her on the shoulder to tell her that it had already started; that she was already burying herself in too much work, evidenced by her leaving at seven o’clock at night only to rush back the next day and do it all again.

I wanted to tell her there was life outside this building, the life to which she was now running in glad escape, and that she should pay more attention to that life before that one gray hair turned into so many more.

I wanted to tell her about life, and what it means, and how her focus should be on holding close those she cherishes, not on her books and papers and computer monitors and phone calls and meetings and tasks and her multitude of obligations. I wanted to tell her to reprioritize and spend more time doing things that bring her joy. I wanted to tell her all the ways she could keep those gray hairs from multiplying from the stress and anxiety she was bringing on herself before the doors slid open and the elevator emptied.

I wanted to tell her, but I knew she would find out in her own way and in her own time. As we all do.

Posted on February 15, 2016 .