Friday, April 8, 2011

I am firing my mirror. It really should learn how to lie.

So when you look at the picture above and then read the article below, remember that pictures can be manipulated and really great imaging software and filters exist. And I own them.

Lately I have not been loving mirrors. When I don't look in them I feel pretty good; I go about my life doing my mommy things, living life, and sometimes feeling, well, pretty bored. This is when I start to remember silly things that happened in medical school or high school and they don't seem like they happened that long ago. In fact, I often find, myself thinking, "I'm almost 40. How did that happen?"

Time is funny like that. It creeps up on you. In my head I really haven't aged at all through the years. My thoughts may be more mature and I may do the things that adults do every day, i have kids and a house and responsibilities and all of those grown up type things, but it feels like nothing internally really has changed as the years have gone by, save a few new aches and pains.

Then a mirror creeps up on me. I'll have to go to the bathroom, and there it is. Or I'll be shopping for underwear or cat food, minding my own business, go around the corner, and there one will be, assaulting me with its presence. First thing in the morning, it can be so shocking as to completely wake me up. I have nothing against growing older, I just don't like what it's doing to that previously young woman in the mirror.

Her skin isn't as bright as it used to be and she has age spots on her cheek. There are crow's feet at the corners of her eyes and a furrow as deep as the Grand Canyon between her eyebrows. Her hair isn't as full, her eyes are starting to look tired. That woman in the mirror is starting to look old.

It's not an easy thing to come to terms with. I am really starting to understand why plastic surgeons and dermatologists are so busy. I've found myself looking at skin creams, at a loss for what to buy to get back that glow, and pretty amazed at the prices. And knowing that if I had the money to spare, I'd definitely have a medicine chest full of them.

It's not like this all happened overnight, one night I went to bed looking like a dewy skinned 22-year-old, and the next morning I looked in the morning a withered crone, but it's just been more evident lately. I've spent a lot of time trying to wrap my head around the fact that when I try to talk about my childhood with William he can't even comprehend that I was ever little. Or young. Or even a teenager like sissy. I'm old in his eyes.

I am getting older. I know that you are only as old as you feel, and I don't feel old, but the mirrors tell me otherwise. How do you get through those initial days of disbelief, quit obsessing about it, and just get on with your life?
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Rachelle said...

Mine doesn't know how to lie either, I've hit 40 and am noticing dry skin, despite also having oily skin. Never used to have the dry stuff; I pretty much ignore it though. I still feel about 16 on the inside despite marriage, 2 boys and a house. I've decided I don't care, I'm healthy enough and mostly happy.

janis said...

wait till the second half of forties come... with a vengeance! I didn't realize how beautiful I was 10 years ago till I hit 45.. then it all went downhill super fast! I avoid the mirror often. Or how about you are feeling rather pretty & confident, then you see your reflection and POW! WTF? That's not what I look like! Dang It! I thought I looked PRETTY today!!
gravity has not been my friend..
and all the food I use to be able to eat? not anymore! I have gained 20 pounds in 3 years!

Cinner said...

Erin, I feel like you, young in my mind. I too have been looking at creams for the age spots (sun spots)
What I wish I could get rid of are the aches and pains.....Somewhere I read that as we age the lines just tell us that we have is that for a bunch of I am sure you are beautiful, your blog tells me that by your heart. have a great weekend.

Sylvia Ney said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm toying with the idea of dying my hair for the first time in my life. Too many grays showing through! I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

Jen Sirois said...

Oh, Erin. I hear you loud and clear. I'm not as far along on the path, but I'm feeling it and know what's coming around the corner. I've been focusing on keeping my diet healthy, drinking lots of water (keeps the skin hydrated and can help with that dewy look), and keeping fit. I don't know it from experience yet, but I've read that exercise keeps the skin healthier and promotes that "youthful glow".

As far as skin creams, try Burt's Bees. I've been using the BB creams for a few months now and I like how they feel and how my skin looks with them. I'm using the Radiance line of products currently.

Ms. Becky said...

you get used to it. really, you do. I'm way older than you, and though I have days when I feel as you do, there's not one thing I can do to reverse time. not one. the healthiest thing to do is to embrace it. after awhile, how we look doesn't seem so important anymore, and we are way more than how youth once looked on our faces. I've always liked this phrase - "what is essential is invisible to the eye". aging is a process that happens so slowly that it really does give us time to adjust. once we get over the initial shock :)

Beate said...

Oddly enough I feel prettier now than 10 years ago- even I aged 10 years.
Going 47 is abit nervewrecking ( I think), but as you I feel younger inside, about 35 I think. Lines in our faces tells us we lived and we should think of them as memories of our kids & life.I do not have any agespots (yet :0), but the skin on my neck kind of falls- ivh! I don´t like that.One thing I have done all the years since I started to earn my own money is that I use bodylotion everyday,I do remove my make-up ( if I´m wearing one) every night and put on cream (night and day)-That payed off.I like my skin.
One other thing we should do is to love our selves no mahter how we look. We would feel better. I do not know how to solve that one yet, but working on it.
Good luck with your mirrors- ;)

Char said...

totally feeling this. i am too damn young to feel this damn old.

Misha said...

I suppose I can just sympathise, because I know that one day I will get there too.

No advice though. That would just be insulting. ;-)

Angela Felsted said...

I've gotten to the point where I've had to change my self-image, to embrace my quirky not-so-attractive features and perhaps think of myself more of a mom than the young girl I used to be.

Laurie said...

I never seem to notice that I I see a photo of myself and wonder, "Where did my mouth go?" I've been blessed with good skin genes and was never a sun worshipper, so at 53, many of my friends refer to me as "terminally 39". But I see changes...lines...eye crinkles and "laugh lines". I moisturize, but am not insane about it, and would never consider plastic surgery or botox. Laugh lines? IMHO, they're signs of a life well laughed, and someday I may want that proof. :-) Age well and prosper.

Lana said...

I'm with you on these danged mirrors. Who thought it was a good idea to put them on closet doors in hotel and vacation rooms???/ SERIOUSLY! We'll just find an oldies radio station and pretend it's yesterday once more! Gosh I miss Karen Carpenter!

kneesandpaws said...

Feeling that! Thank you for your raw honesty Erin. I appreciate not being so alone in this. I have a little trick to keep the skin glow. You can plump your skin with a thin application of petroleum jelly under a sparing amount of foundation. No expensive cream needed!

sara said...

That happens to me all the time. I'll be chatting with someone and make a reference and realize that it's been more than 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. How? How am I this person...this person who is older than my mom was when she had me (the last of her 4 kids)?

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I'm giving out awards for the A-Z challenge participants and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Beautiful Mommy Writer Award.
Go to and pick up your award.
PS. It is so hard to be the perfect woman. I know that with the demands of my 2 year old son and my husband, and everything else, I don't always feel the best about myself. I just wanted to let you know that I think you are great! I really enjoyed your blog and I hope you keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Took the words right out of my mouth!

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