Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mirror Reflections

There’s another trouble spot.  Am I talking about a writing block or another age spot I’ve just noticed in the mirror? Maybe a little of both. For the most part, I avoid mirrors.  I quit looking at my reflection in store windows as I walk by. I don’t stop at every mirror to smooth my eyebrow or adjust a wayward curl anymore. I don’t even carry a purse-sized lipstick mirror, or even a lipstick for that matter. All that was left back in the Second Quarter of my life (the 30’s and 40’s maybe).

 As I am ending the Third Quarter completely absent of the daily required primping for meeting the masses at school or work, I consider myself free of society’s judgment to defy my age, shrink my pores, or make my age spots disappear as the ads so profusely promise.  I don’t think about styling my hair, or apply the latest goop to provide sheen after the once in the morning ritual of tooth and hair brushing. I am finally a Wash, Rinse, and Go Girl.  Free at last.

That is, until I finally glance in the mirror at night to repeat the morning’s ritual. Staring back at me is always a shock. My God, did I look like this all day? I can no longer just repeat the cute phrase that I see Mom looking back at me as I am more than a decade older than she would ever be. The sagging eyelids, sallow skin, and dull graying hair are harsh reminders that the Fourth Quarter is beginning and I have no chance to be the stunning athlete who will save the game.

How can I sing the “Aging Gracefully” mantra when I look like I tripped over a wayward tree root or piece of cracked sidewalk? It’s hard to be proud of the glorious claim that I earned every gray hair. To see joyous memories in every wrinkle or sag. That my waving wingspans were once firm loving arms holding children. I’m supposed to embrace the terms “seasoned,” “intelligent,” “mellowed”…hell… I love to pick wine that way, not feel like I look that way!  It’s plain and simple, this girl is aging, and faster than ever before.
Trying to find comfort in my reflection is really difficult right now.  Except I do try to think of the good side to all this.  I can still walk up to the mirror; I can still see it (if my glasses are on); lift my arms to brush that mop. I can just as quickly turn around and flip off the offending light and retire to bed with the same aging man of 40 years who unwittingly still thinks HE is the starring quarterback and I am his head cheerleader. Thank goodness  "the eye of the beholder" isn't lost on me!


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