Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I see in the mirror

The British newspaper,The Guardian, runs a series called, "What I see in the mirror," where writers, actors, musicians, sports people of all ages write about self image.  I'm going to give it a go:

What I see in the mirror depends very much on the time of day, what I'm wearing, and whether or not I'm posing.  I can still pose a pretty good smile, an enthusiasm younger than my age.  I can twinkle when I want.

Accidental run-ins with mirrors are a different story.  I'm thicker, my chin disappears into my neck, I have an over all bloated look.  I have cankles.  I'm much heavier than I was the first fifty years.  I have a full length mirror across the room from my bed and when I get up, I see a disheveled, bent over, old woman with breasts like melons hanging to my waist.

Where did that body come from?  It doesn't resemble anything of the woman I was the first fifty years. The skin on my arms is creped.  There isn't enough moisturizer in the world to fix those arms, that neck.  It takes several minutes for me to unkink my back and stand up straight.  I look and feel old in the morning.

It's not until I shower, blow-dry my hair which is a lovely silver gray--the best surprise of aging--put on  some make-up and clothes that I feel like myself.  Almost.  I wear glasses full time now and feel like they perk up my face.  I deserve to wear glasses.

I exercise sporadically.  I swim for weeks and then I stop.  Right now, I set a timer for twenty minutes and high step around the apartment waving my arms usually in my nightgown.  Whatever works.

I no longer have endless energy and I am less resilient than I was even five years ago.  I'm turning 70 in a couple of months. It's a huge birthday.  If I had money I'd hire a marching band.

As it is, I am lucky to have work, family, friends, art, books, music and a hairdresser who waxes the eyebrows and my upper lip and checks my chin for stray hairs.

Despite the surprising look of aging, I am still me inside.  I am still me.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

1 comment:

  1. I've solved the whole image thing by not having a full length mirror in the house. What's the point?

    Besides, I think you're beautiful. I'd say I hope I look like you when I'm sixty-nine, but what I really wish is that I just looked like you now.

    What I always say to myself when I'm feeling low in the self-image area could be worse.

    Look around. It won't take long before you realize I'm right.