Mirror Image

Who is this woman and what has she done with my youth?

It was just here a minute ago.

Or did I just set it down for a moment when I was at The Alibi? The Office on the Beach?

Maybe someone will turn it in to Lost and Found.

I may have taken a wrong turn at sunbathing in baby oil and spent too much time worrying and developing a scowl.

That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

I’ve tried to take good care of myself.

The younger me didn’t know how good she had it; knees that weren’t baggy, hair that didn’t require chemical intervention at six-week intervals, a jack-rabbit metabolism, and a face free of wrinkles and age spots.

This new woman? She follows me everywhere. Shows up in restaurant bathroom mirrors, reflections in the windows at Starbucks, all those fancy-schmancy mirrors in the Crate and Barrel store.

She looks a bit tired, takes longer to rise from a seated position, and her shoes may qualify as sensible.

It’s not my mother.

Because in those Crate and Barrel mirrors today? My mom was next to me on one side; my daughter beside me on the other.

There was no denying it today.

I am in that middle place.

In the middle where you can remember being your mommy’s little girl; going out shopping together or just hanging out.

Until that was no longer cool.

In the middle where you can still see the beginnings of your own motherhood journey; still remember holding those crying little ones and rocking them ever-so-gently.

In the middle where your kids become self-sufficient, busier with their own lives, less likely to need you for something.

In the middle where I can also see forward to my own mother’s life.

Kids grown, out on their own, no longer needing to worry about daily tasks of motherhood or trivial questions like peanut butter and jelly? or pink shirt or yellow?

This woman who stalks me? She’s not half bad.

She’s got a pretty good sense of humor, as long as you don’t ask her kids. She loves her family, likes a good pizza, a nice glass of wine, and plays a mean game of Scrabble.

And since she’s not going anywhere soon? I’ve come to like her.

But I still check the Lost and Found occasionally.

Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    I love this Sherri, just as much as I love everything you write. There is such a push and pull when it comes to time passing. There are things I love about my children becoming more and more independent but there are things I dread because I know that they will be passing us by so quickly. I am learning to like my older self though and can completely appreciate putting many things behind me. You write words of wisdom as always!

  2. I love this…you're so eloquent. And you don't look a day over 29. πŸ™‚

  3. Lost and found- too funny. I think your sense of humor is timeless. At least you will always have that. lol. I often feel this way, and more in the last few years. I wonder what it will be like in the coming years. I hope that I can embrace the new me. And btw, I had fun with the April Fool's prank. I had to call it quits when I fooled my MIL. lol.

  4. Oh you speak the truth. I have had a hard time recognizing myself lately..much less all of those old people I went to high school with.

  5. Well done! We could all do with smiling at that new lady in the mirror more often.

  6. What a wise post about appreciating ourselves in the moment πŸ™‚

  7. Heather says:

    Sounds all to familiar. I also forget my age till I look in the mirror. But you are right…that chick isn't so bad either.

  8. Sober Julie says:

    Although a part of me hates that I'll never wear belly shirts again I must admit to being proud of the scars and lines I've earned.
    Thank you for causing me to pause tonight and remember that.

  9. Dana @ Bungalow'56 says:

    Love that we aren't allowed to ask your kids for confirmation of said love.
    Dana

  10. Yes…I do catch the new me when I pass a mirror in a store and am shocked to see what I have never noticed before…

    But to be honest? As I push into the half-century mark of my life, I'm in the best shape I've ever been in…

    Call it my own reinvention…

    p.s. told ya I'd be back!

  11. melissa says:

    yes!! yes!! yes!! me too. i'm that woman in the middle and i'm not very comfortable with it yet.

  12. The Empress says:

    You're lucky.

    You don't recognize that woman in the mirror.

    I do.

    It's my mother.

  13. Cheryl D. says:

    Excellent post! I can relate to it a little too well. That woman in the mirror is me.

  14. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:

    What a wonderful post Sherri. I'm starting to see that woman in the mirror too…catching me by surprise.

    Lovely post. Except? You only have to get a root touch up every 6 weeks? I'm already at 4…boo.

  15. I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was 20 again. And it was terrifying. No joke. My metabolism may be starting to slow down but at least I'm not lost in the abyss of figuring out who I am. As much.

  16. erin margolin says:

    Another amazing post by Sherri!

    I see my mother in the mirror ALL THE TIME. I also hear her when I talk. It's scary, but also a good thing. Mostly. LOL!!!

    xoxoxox

  17. Lula Lola says:

    I'm being stalked too! I'll walk by a window or mirror and catch a glimpse of myself and think, who is that old girl? But, then I look a little closer and I'm still in there. My packaging has taken a beating, but I'm better on the inside!
    Great post!

  18. You always write about aging SO very well.You capture exactly what I'm feeling. You're right, we are at that middle point…where the inside feels one way and the outside looks another.

    great post as always πŸ™‚

  19. Dalia (Generation X Mom) says:

    I know this feeling all too well lately – all of a sudden it is happening! You said it just perfect.

  20. Lovely and a bit sad. Very much in my head these days. Sometimes I don't know that lady in the mirror either.

  21. You DON'T have a scowl! I don't care what you say. Also? i think you should keep on checking Lost & Found. She may just turn up. πŸ™‚

  22. mamatrack.com says:

    I love this. What a beautiful story of self-acceptance. I had a similar moment a couple months ago. Where did those laugh lines come from?

    I have to say, I wish I were handling it with your grace.

  23. Sluiter Nation says:

    Sherri, your self-confidence is SUCH as inspiration to me. You have NO idea how much these posts affect me and how I view myself and certain decisions I am making right now.

    Also? Pizza, scrabble, and wine? YES PLEASE!

  24. Melissa says:

    OMGosh! She stalks me too, and I'm about ready to make a police report. When I find her I'm going to beat the crap out of her!

  25. Life is a funny thing, and you've put this transition into words beautifully πŸ™‚

  26. Megan (Best of Fates) says:

    You have such a gift for expressing emotion and experiences then adding brilliant commentary.

  27. Another lovely, at-peace post that makes me appreciate the space I am in now and not dread the one I am moving toward.

    This is how we should spend every age.

    I wish I'd felt this way in my twenties and thirties.

    At forty-two, I feel late to the party of self-acceptance.

    I'm there now. Maybe standing in the corner. But still trying.

  28. Booyah's Momma says:

    I really dread the day when my daughter decides it's no longer cool to hang out with her mother. At the same time, I know that when she gets to be my age, maybe she'll have come full circle again and want to hang out with me as much as she can.

    Always love your perspectives, Sherri. And being in the middle? Maybe another way of looking at that is that you're in the "just right" spot. πŸ™‚

  29. Too funny!
    These are the exact thought that were running through my head today as I looked through some photos that were taken on a family day out.

  30. I am pushing 40 with both hands and I see the signs of aging more and more these days. I really appreciate this piece, it hot me right where I needed it to.

    I love everything you write, Sherri and this is no exception.

  31. I check the lost and found too. And I find clothes that don’t fit me anymore, damn them.

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