I just read a few of my old posts. Interesting to go back and see what I wrote. Nice reflection on parts of my past.
I don’t know if I’ve written about this, and I doubt that I have, but I have another grandson. He’s just turned 6 months-old. I’m in love…. again. :0)
He’s recently begun sitting up and #4 had him sitting in front of a mirror. Here’s the video she took of him looking at himself:
I watched this over and over, delighted by his giggles and his mother’s joy at seeing him so happy. About the 50th time, I had an epiphany.
When was the last time I’d looked in the mirror and had been this happy to see ME?
It’s amazing to me that I couldn’t really remember lookin in the mirror without making some kind of judgement or analyzing some portion of my reflection. Is my skin looking good, does this shirt look good on me, omg… my gut, my butt!! WTF?
How do we go from simply and joyfully looking at ourselves when we are brand new and being so delighted to be here and happy to see the body that contains what is really “us” to the hyper-critical, demoralizing and picky people who find fault and complain about the very vessel that gives us the ability to live? Why is it considered woo-woo if you look at the mirror and tell yourself you love you, but you can watch him lean into the sight of himself and think it’s adorable?
You know what, I don’t even care why or how or what things lead to this kind of behavior. I just want to stop it. It doesn’t feel right to be negative to the body that made my babies, has allowed me to walk miles and see beautiful things, allows me to type my thoughts and feels such pleasure, or yes, even feel pain.
I’ll admit that it’s taking some effort to remember not to grimace when I walk by the glass, but that’s just a habit of thought I can change.
I played hookey today. Well, not really. I’m taking a legitimate day off, using sick leave, for a mental health day. The weather is glorious and I wanted to be out so I decided to do a few chores. I wanted to take my coupe out for a spin since he’s been sitting unused for at least a month. His name is Everett.
I love Everett. He just feels really good to drive. You basically “put him on” as opposed to sitting in him. When I pushed his button to start, he hesitated like he’d been sad he’d been left alone for so long. I could relate. But, trusty car that he’s always been, he came to life and off we went to the store. We took the long way to get his juices flowing and to be sure he’d start again.
After running my errands, I noticed Ev needed some gas and a bath. When I opened his gas door, it was clear that he’d decorated for Halloween. Thick spider webs had taken up residence by the gas cap. I thought, “Poor Ev.” I paid for the car wash.
Once rinsed clean, I decided we’d go for a spin to dry off. I live in a rural town that’s considered the big city around here, so there’s plenty of farmland around us. Ev and I started driving with no destination. We just took whatever roads seem to feel best; the smaller the better.
Everett didn’t disappoint. He was awake and ready to go. His smooth steering and healthy acceleration took us deep into country roads with a confident glide. We raced through the falling leaves and looked on fields of amber and gold. We found our way past a dome home and sparkling lakes. We rarely saw another car for the hour or more we drove around Maryland and Pennsylvania and when we did, it was usually a massive 70’s car oddly enough. With no one to follow, or following me, we could go at our pace (usually much faster than the posted speed) and make split decisions to pop down the road less traveled, especially if it was squiggly and looked interesting.
Being that Ev is 12 years old, he doesn’t have the most fancy infotainment system, but he does have a CD player and Bose speakers. And I have a favorite techno cd with 57 tracks. Enough for us to enjoy a banking curve to some thumping background.
I finally felt like my old boney self again. I felt free and happy and grateful to be with Everett, wandering wherever the road took us. Reminded me of an Alanis Morrisette song called “Giggling Again For No Reason”, wherein she sings about dipping out and taking a drive just to see the sunset. Instead of a seaside sunset, I was looking at the burgundy, yellow, orange, green, brown and red leaves against the brilliant blue sky and buttery sunshine. Sigh… felt so good.
I’d followed those lovely roads well up into PA and then remembered that one of my chores was to pick up some meat from the store. I had the windows down and the wind blowing through the car, so I knew it wasn’t too hot, but I did have to start looking for roads that led south again. I didn’t want to.
Without the fancy navigation of my new car, Ev and I found our way back to familiar territory and headed home. The closer I got, the sadder I felt. We’d made the decision to sell Everett, since he’s in wonderful shape and has low mileage. The new car I bought is more practical for driving to Pittsburgh and hauling smaller children and “schtuff” around. She’s a great car and is peppy in her own right, but she’s not Everett. She floats a curve while Everett hugs it. She has a bit of wobble while Everett feels glued to the road.
Just like selling the big house because it made sense, I know selling Everett is the logical thing to do. That doesn’t mean my heart is into it. At. All.