Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Ever noticed how we seem to live life surrounded by mirrors. Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of looking into a mirror at exactly the WRONG moment.

I was in the ladies’ change-room at gym, transitioning from Pilates to swimming when I had the misfortune to look up. And behold looking right back at me was Humpty Dumpty. And what’s more… a female Humpty Dumpty in a swimming costume!

Only someone who has lived inside my head and body can possibly imagine the horror of that moment. Inside my head… my self-discipline plus all the hours of swimming, walking and Pilates is making a difference. Inside my head, my body is strong and athletic… (irrespective of arthritis, age and adipose).

Then, in a single moment, the mirror stripped me of all my illusions (delusions?). Instead of the lean, mean, strong bodied image that inhabits my head, I was face-to-face with a body that looked like an egg!

Yes. an egg! A symptom of ageing, you suggest. Well, maybe but how did I arrive at 57, completely unprepared for this? Sure, like most women, I had been told about body shapes (viz. pear and apple) but never in all my weight-watching years, has anyone ever mentioned the egg shape.

Nevertheless, there it was (reflected in a change-room mirror in full life-like 3D). An egg-shaped, costumed torso, little legs, little arms, little head.  A sight that left me wondering why we insist on putting mirrors in a change-room shared by countless other women.

I am guessing the young souls among us, revel in them (mirrors I mean). After all, this is the selfie generations. For my generation, however, the only thing worse than sighting oneself in the mirror, is that “horror of horrors” – a photograph of oneself. (With apologies to the exceptions among us of course). Never before in the history of women-kind has there been a greater divide between the generations.

Which gave me pause to consider if this could be remedied by creating a separate “mirror-less” adjunct to the change-room for the more mature ladies among us. Then I reminded myself that no self-respecting mature woman would ever design walk through a door restricted to “older” woman. That would be admitting far too much to far too many.

So I guess we have to come to terms with mirrors shouting our truth back at us. Which got me wondering, Isn’t that precisely why we need them in our lives? Who among us could ever navigate life purposefully and successfully if we never took the time to take a good long, hard, cold look at ourselves?

How can we make the necessary tweaks and adjustments that make us better people, if we never reflect on our faults and failings? Living a life without mirrors would be tantamount to steering a ship without ever taking its bearings, flying a plane without ever looking up or driving to an unknown destination without looking at a map.

Perhaps, instead of avoiding mirrors, we should all surround ourselves with them. That way, we will not only keep stock of our lives but also see the positive changes wrought by making the right choices at the right times.

So, the next time someone holds a mirror up to you, go ahead and look, look into it deeply, I dare you. At worst you will be confronted by areas in your life that need adjusting, at best you will have cause to celebrate the positives. And, while you are at it, for goodness sake, take time to laugh a little.

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