The eye of the beholder!
Before I begin,
I am taking questions again. This is your chance to hit me up with what concerns you or peaks your curiosity. Ask your question in the comments below. For those reading the comments, feel free to answer. It would be like butting in on someone's conversation while waiting in line at the grocery store. I will give you my opinion in a subsequent post. I have opinions even on things I know very little about. So, go ahead. Hit me with your best shot! No topics are off-limits. I am an equal opportunity offender. It could be fun😊
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It appears that I've hit on a theme – aging! Of course, it's my 50th trip around the Sun, so that may be why. Naturally, perhaps, my mind wonders about how I've managed to survive half a century, how much time lies ahead, and the best way to spend it. The COVID pandemic, although officially not declared over, feels "done with" as we attempt to revive many aspects of our pre-pandemic lives. The process, though, comes with some big surprises for me.
The masks came off. Not only did many people simply disappear from my life for the last two years, but even those I did see from time to time hid behind masks. Maskless now, no one looks the same as I remember them. Everyone got older! This begs the question, is this how they see me, too? And another question, did people age ten years in the span of two, or are there other factors at play?
For my part, I stayed productive, focused on health and well-being, spent lots of time outside, kept up connections with people I cared about the most, and some of my friendships even deepened. I can't say I wasted a lot of time. I feel stronger and healthier than before the pandemic. I didn't gain any weight. I didn't get majorly depressed (only a little from time to time). Most importantly, I did not get lost, kept my head above water, and moved my life forward!
But so many others morphed into something only vaguely resembling their pre-pandemic selves! I see people I can hardly recognize. Some have doubled in size. Others gained a frown and a sad slump. And yet others can't be talked to because they seem frazzled and incoherent!
I know stress ages us. Illness ages us. But in the face of options to reduce stress and prevent illness, how is it that so many people chose to neglect themselves? I know the path of least resistance leads to the couch. It's hard to be motivated when the world stops moving forward, and there are too many TV shows and bad news to follow. The uncertainty could cause us to either check out, develop a conspiracy theory, or become hypervigilant, all in an attempt to feel better. But these strategies only pull us further from where we need to be to regain balance and purpose.
Fake eyelashes are back and bigger than ever! On a recent run to town, I passed a car, and as I looked to my right, I saw this lady with fake eyelashes so big that even the closed windows and speed could not obscure them! Go big or go home, they say! Wherever she was going, I hope she didn't get an eyelid ache supporting those lashes.
On the other hand, cosmetologists must be back in business. Does this mean we can go back to having our chins and eyebrows waxed again? Legs, too? Perhaps, as hair roots darken, some youthfulness will return. Meanwhile, judging by the return of botox ads, we can make America wrinkle-free again. Places offering botox and fillers were closed for a long time as unessential services, which meant many reverted to their "real" faces that I had never met before!
Frequency bias is another thought. As my face ages and heads south, seeing myself in the mirror makes me more attuned to the same in others. I see signs of aging everywhere. Ever notice how when you want to buy a car you really like, you suddenly notice it everywhere? Yep, frequency bias. I should be able to fix this by throwing away my lighted magnifying mirror and getting some young friends. I will report on progress later.
If you can't do anything about it, laugh at it. I don't know if someone wise said this or I just made it up, but I do know a person who does exactly that. Reena Kapoor wrote this:
a white eyelash has sprouted
much to my vain horror
mascara to the rescue
to fake a youthful aura
hair color has been my friend
to hide so much that's now gray
wrinkles, sagging skin, even beards, i am told
will eventually have their way
often i laugh out loud
when i think about these terrors
happiness is not in question
but what happened to the mirror?
this girl's not going gently
will be battling ageing signs
until I am too tired 'coz
this b.s. takes so much time
Wait, but there's more! You can read it on her post Birthdays – and departures. She has a fun and refreshing way with pictures, poems, and words. Her blog Arrivals and Departures explores life in pictures, poems, and short stories. It brings me joy to read it! I don't know about you, but I do need more joy. So I try to get it any way I can.
One of my friends and clients told me about an oldie but goodie. Remember the Twilight Zone? I do. I've scared myself shitless numerous times watching it. On the account of this, I saw very few episodes. This one I missed. But happy to report that it is more interesting to watch now than it probably was then!
With media manipulating what we see and how we see it, we forget about how many different perspectives there are. We forget that our own life experiences predispose us to fail objectivity. Yet, we persist in our points of view, reluctant to change.
Without further ado, I offer you In the Eye Of The Beholder! 25 minutes. Watch carefully. Be entertained but also be warned! If the video does not automatically show for you, click on the link.
Thanks for watching! Was it worth it? The only answer I allow is “Yes.” I am glad you think so. Now, go out there and consider what you see. Question everything!!!
Do you have an iPhone? Do you mostly read on your phone? You shouldn’t but if I can’t stop you, this makes it easier on you:
Thanks for reading. Remember to post your questions in the comments below!