Changing my image


It is definitely time for me to update my image.  Probably past time.  But I’m not sure that I can do it.

Let me start by telling you a story.

About 15 years ago, when my Nana was in her 80’s, she told me that every morning she would wake up and her first thought would be, “Oh, good. I’m not dead.”  Then she’d get up and walk to the bathroom. On her way there, she would have an image of herself in her mind. An image of her twenty year old self, bright and beautiful.  She’d get to the mirror and have her second thought of the day. “Who the hell is the old lady in my bathroom?”

I’m starting to feel that way.  In my own internal image, I look a lot like this:

You mean, I don't look like this anymore?

You mean, I don’t look like this anymore?

Smooth skin, dark hair, big bright eyes that aren’t all wrapped in wrinkles.  That’s the “me” that lives inside.  I think I need to update her, because sometimes now the shock of the real me is hard to handle.

And I’m not as hale and hearty as I used to be; I don’t want to kill myself by having a heart attack when I look in the mirror to brush my teeth.

The teeth I have left.

I have spent 58 years thinking of myself as strong and healthy, too, and all that seems to be changing.  A good friend once referred to me as “robust” as I bounced back from a tough pregnancy and delivery.

“Robust”.

I like it!

I just don’t match it anymore.  I mean, I’m lucky overall, and I have nothing dire to complain about.  But you get to the point where you have to time your coffee so it doesn’t interfere with your prednisone and your inhaler, and you start to feel…..well, what’s the opposite of “robust”?  You decide to take a nice long walk in the woods, and you realize that you’re going to end up with knee pain and neck pain and back pain, so you choose a short walk and a nice sit down on the deck instead.

So not robust.

I know my allergies will get better, and I know that I live a very active and happy life.  I know I shouldn’t complain, blah, blah, blah.

But I hobble to the mirror, coughing all the way, and I wonder where that bright eyed, easy breathing girl went.

Way past time to update that internal image…….!

18 thoughts on “Changing my image

  1. Oh I have no intention of updating my internal image. It is the way I feel. I avoid mirrors and photo opportunities for that reason. I am happy to be the person I imagine myself to be and far from the person others might think I am. You hang on to that image, it will keep you young and alive, in my opinion.

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    • Its so funny, though, because through the eyes of my students, I am beginning to like the warmer, chubbier, kindly grammy image that I seem to be portraying.
      I just miss the healthy me, really!

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  2. Interesting we recently watched the video from Nicole’s wedding. We laughed, we cried fun to relive it, so afterwards I said to Tim well that was great they did such a good job and his response was, when did I get so old looking? I feel the same way he does I dab on my under eye concealer. But I said we aren’t 20 anymore we’ve done a lot of living and hopefully we’ll all continue to do that going forward. I guess lets all remove our bathroom mirrors?

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    • Sounds like a plan!
      I swear, sometimes I’ll be walking down the hall at school, thinking that I look pretty good in my red scarf and my new boots. Then I pass a window, and I wish the fat old lady would step aside so that I could admire myself!

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  3. I avoid the mirror at all costs. Really helps! And I’m the opposite of robust now. Today I went on a walk and my hip actually decided it was a great time to give out. I seriously could barely hobble back to my car.

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    • Oh, jeez! but you look so young and smart with that giant coffee mug up to your face……..oh, I get it…….Gonna post a photo of myself with a giant donut in front of me.
      Hope the hip feels better soon!
      I recommend ice. In a glass. With vodka.

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  4. Don’t do it, Mom — here’s why: we carry around in our heads a snapshot of all the people we know, including ourselves. When we think of a person, that snapshot pops into mind. You know, like on a smart phone: the number rings and a picture of that person pops up (well, it does on Momma Bear’s phone, anyway).

    For myself, whenever I think of my oldest boy, I get a picture of him when he was about six. I don’t think he looks six anymore, that’s just the snapshot that comes up. For myself, it’s me at 15. For Momma Bear, in my mind’s eye she looks the same as she did a half century ago when we first met.

    If you update your internal picture of yourself, sooner or later you’ll decide you have to update everyone else’s picture as well. Your babies will stop being your babies and start being all grown up. Your old friends will develop warts and wrinkles and grey hairs.

    And then, of course, you’ll feel the need to pressure those around you to do the same. Do you really want your hubby to stop thinking of you as that young angel he currently remembers? Don’t do it. Don’t start that tiny rock rolling downhill. It just might pick up fellow travelers…

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  5. I just had my 40th high school reunion. When I got back some pictures taken at the festivities, I saw an old fat lady sitting in my seat. I’m not quite sure who she is. Because I am still 17 and damn gorgeous. And I plan to keep that image for all my life!

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