Today I looked in my mirror and saw my mother staring back at me. This is scary in itself as my mother passed away 14 years ago…but what I mean is…I have her face.
Each wrinkle and sag was her payback for my teenage years…I just know it. I waved at my reflection and said, “Hi Mom, good to see you.” And it was.
Isn’t it funny how life does this to us? Or should I say “for us”? We reach an age where we really need make-up and can now face the world without it. I remember when I was a teen/early 20’s when I wouldn’t be caught dead in public without mascara, lipstick, and blusher on. I now can go outside in my housecoat (yes, a housecoat as I’ve turned into my mother remember?) and get my mail…there was a time I wouldn’t do this without a manicure first. I even find myself not looking in a mirror until the end of the day on some days and I’ve even been out in public. I put my jacket on over my pajamas one morning and drove my daughter to school when she missed the bus (because she spent 2 hours in front of a mirror)…needless to say she was in a state of mind-blowing parent embarrassment that I had done this… “What if someone sees you????” You know…it wouldn’t have mattered to me if anyone had.
Another irony is when we finally “get over ourselves” and aren’t so self-conscious they change everything. It doesn’t matter anymore that my husband has two left feet and the rhythm of a Yeti…I want to dance with him…in public…with total abandonment but nowadays no one is playing music that…well is music! It’s loud and rapping by some band whose name is a word I use to get my mouth washed out with soap for using. And I find myself channeling my mother when I hear coming out of my mouth, “How can you listen to that? It’s just loud and you can’t understand anything they are saying?” Wasn’t that what was said about Rock and Roll… “in our day”?
And I have also found Mother Nature has a cruel sense of humor and timing. I got a major wake up call a couple of years ago as my genetics came up behind me and bit me in my sagging middle age butt. In my family, no one dies from old age before cancer, diabetes, heart disease gets them. Lord knows I’m a walking time bomb of mutating cells. I got a diagnosis of diabetes…not a death sentence but more like one of God’s speed bumps. So knowing weight as in too much of it plays a role I set my mind to losing at least 50 pounds. And also knowing I had the self-control of a mosquito in a nudist retreat I joined Weight Watchers as I needed someone to hold me accountable for everything I put past my lips. And a 55-pound weight loss later I can proudly say it was working. Now here is where the cruel joke of dear Mother Nature steps in. I kept to my meal plan, exercised daily, drank enough water to flush all the toilets in California, and became fluent in reading food labels and the pounds melted away. And I thought under all those layers of fat I’d find that slim 20-year old that got swallowed up years ago but what I found underneath was an old wrinkled sagging woman…sorry, mom but I found you. Without the fat to fill in the wrinkles and fill up some body parts everything lets just say…location, location, location, and my body retired and moved SOUTH to Florida. I have wings now where arms use to be…two sunny side ups where I once had perky breasts a decade ago and I don’t have an inning or an out but a mushy. I find this all an evil joke that should be required to be in the fine print on that Weight Watchers enrollment form I signed.
And then when I came to the comfortable conclusion I was doing this for my health and “looks” didn’t matter Mother Nature with her cruel sense of humor crashed my party once again. I started gaining the weight back this past year…not slowly to sneak up on me but it came lumbering in and swallowed me up to the tune of 40 pounds back on!!! I really didn’t understand how…why??!! As my diet was still “healthy” and I was still passing up all the desserts. I came to find out thru blood work my thyroid was no longer working as it had taken early retirement too along with my breasts. I’m sure they are sharing a condo in Florida. Enough is enough.