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Silver Is The New...

Beth Broderick

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On a recent search through social media sites I learned that silver is the new blonde. Silver is also apparently the new black and the new brunette and well, just plain ‘NEW”. A hair color that has long been associated with growing old is suddenly being ascribed as the next new thing.

This could have something to do with the sheer number of people who are headed into what the folks here at Vitalcy like to call the “Peak Stage” of life. By 2030 every member of the baby boomer generation will be at least 65 years old. We are getting older but we are not going quietly into some kind of damnable good night. Americans in the Peak Stage might not be raging, but we are claiming our value, standing tall and moving forward.

Like a lot of you I spent the pandemic alone with a good dog and some very good books. I have a small pod of trusted local friends with whom I could occasionally break bread, but I was quite isolated….and it has given me a profound appreciation of the family and friends who populate my universe. I am a frequent traveler and accustomed to setting about visiting loved ones across the country. Suddenly Zoom and FaceTime were the only ways that I could connect with many of the people I hold dear. The massive technological advances that we have made in recent years have admittedly bedeviled me at times, but during this crazy event they were my saving grace. I am ever learning, always challenged, and ever grateful.

This Pandemic has been such a tragic time for so many and my heart breaks for all those who lost loved ones. I feel for everyone experiencing the fear and sadness that are now a part of the daily news of our lives. It has also been an opportunity to think long and hard about our choices and to ask ourselves questions. Some deep….“Is the way I conduct my career the best and highest use of my remaining years on the planet?” Others admittedly shallow….“Does ‘Cool Sculpting’ really work?” (no really, does it?....asking for a friend). What color is my hair?“ I have been dyeing it for so long that I really didn’t know. Turns out it’s white with some deeper silver tones.

I will be sixty- three years old in February. There was a time when an actress would never admit her age, but nowadays the GOOGLE knows. Of course it also thinks I am still married and wildly overestimates my net worth, so it’s not always right, but my age? The GOOGLE knows it and will tell anyone who asks. So I am indeed older, but, like many of you, I cannot relate to the idea of oldness. I work at being fit (as you well know this is harder work than it used to be, much harder damn it!), I work at being capable in the face of the rapid changes in how we communicate (words to describe my frustrations with technology are not printable here). I work at being a good friend and a good listener, at eating well and traveling light. I also work really hard at not working so darned hard. I have let my (now) whitish-silver hair down a bit. I am as dedicated to enjoying things in life as I am to achieving them.

All of us in the Peak Stage of life have experienced profound loss. We have buried friends, family members, pets and some of our more extravagant dreams. We are well aware that the chance to grow older is a privilege not everyone is afforded. I hope we can use this platform to encourage ourselves and each other, to become more true to our hearts, more humbled by our hopes, more alive in our lives.

I am not sure that silver is the new gold. I think there might be objections. The Olympic committee comes to mind could cause some confusion there. Being silver though is in itself, a win and in this context it is sure as hell not second place. I am proud to be plus-aged, grateful for the chance to experience what my later years have to offer.

Cheers to our golden years!

On we go....

Benjamin Hotel
Benjamin Hotel

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth Broderick

Beth Broderick is an actress, writer, and humanitarian.

She has enjoyed a successful career spanning film, television, and theatre. She is also the founder of MOMENTUM, one of the country's first organization to support individuals with AIDS.

Beth currently divides her time between Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX.