Subourbon Mom

Mirror Mirror, On the Wall
May 16, 2013, 11:22 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Like many women, I have toyed with the idea of “getting some work done.”  There are so many options available! You can inject things into your face to get rid of the wrinkles. You can make your lips fatter, your bottom rounder and your thighs skinnier. You can even take fat from one part of your body and put it somewhere else.  But none of those things has ever really appealed to me. I have found a much cheaper way to make myself feel better about the toll time has taken on my face and body.


I recently heard a speech/performance by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, about bullying (you can watch it by following the link at the end of the post.) There were many phrases and ideas of his that resonated with me, but the one I want to share is…


“If you can’t find something beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror.”


So I did.


My new mirror isn’t anything special.  I got it at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar. It has a white plastic rim, and for the moment, doesn’t have any water or toothpaste splotches.  The glass doesn’t really magnify anything, but it did show me some things in a much different light.


The crow’s feet around my eyes come from years of squinting at diamonds on turquoise seas and Virginia mountain sunrises, and from searching for the Daughters #1 & #2 as they shot a goal or cantered over a jump.


The bump on my nose that makes my glasses lopsided is a reminder of my love of sports, although playing soccer might not have been one of my better choices (I broke my nose by kicking the ball into my own face. Try it at home—I dare you).  Running, jumping, kicking and throwing—what a way to celebrate the body I was given!


The wrinkles on my forehead are the marks of a mother who worries about her family—are they doing okay in school? Will we have enough money for college?  Do I still make Hubby happy?  It is a miracle to have those things to worry about.  Why would I erase them?


Even the wrinkles on my upper lip are testimony to the years of clamping my mouth shut in twenty years of marriage. I finally learned that not every opinion needs to be voiced—even though mine is usually better.


The freckles and age spots on my hands come from hours of driving my children to and from school as we talked about our day, from driving across country with Hubby, and riding horses as often as I could.  Sure, I could get them lasered off, but why? I don’t want to look like I never had any adventures.



My hips and stomach are no longer flat or small. They shifted and made room for two daughters. No, I don’t have the body of a twenty-year-old anymore—I have the body of a mother, of someone who has survived my babies’ colic, teething, first steps, tantrums, first day of school, and first dates.


None of this is to say I’ve totally accepted this body I’m living in. I still highlight my hair every two months to cover up the gray, and I struggle to fit into jeans that I probably shouldn’t. But when the mirror on the wall in my bathroom isn’t making me happy, I try to remember to get the other one out, the one that says “You’re beautiful because of those lines, and wrinkles and sagging parts. They are the result of living your life, of all the things that have made you who you are.”


The erosion of the walls of the Colorado River could have been viewed as a tragic invasion of pristine countryside—instead, we now see the Grand Canyon as a wonder of the world.  Why can’t our bodies be the same?


To see Shane’s performance, go to

28 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Libby, think this is my favorite blog yet!!!! You ARE beautiful inside and out!!! Hugs – K

Comment by Katherine Payne

So glad you liked it! Maybe our girls will read this someday…

Comment by libbyhall

Oh, how I needed this! Thank you, Libby. My 25th college reunion is in a couple of weeks and I recently realized it’s too late to have any “work” done. I’ve been near tears a I stare at the old lady in the mirror. Instead of excitement at the prospect of seeing old friends, I feel dread. I plan to reread this every day until the event, and I know it will gradually change my feelings about my 47 year-old self!

Comment by Wendy Popp

You know you look good, Wendy! Best of luck at the reunion!

Comment by libbyhall

What a great piece! Yes, if we’d stayed inside and sat quietly we would have no sun damage but no memories either. xx

Comment by Fiona Rivaz

Wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!

Comment by libbyhall

Libby, that is really lovely. Really, really lovely. Why don’t you get it published? I’d try the editorial page of the RTD or family magazines that aim at mothers. Mary Mary Miley Theobald

Comment by Mary Miley

I’ll give it a shot! Glad you liked it, Mary.

Comment by libbyhall

I love this blog, and I love you! Spots and all! xxxooo

Comment by Rob Hall

I love this post! And can I borrow that dollar store mirror!

Comment by Sue Ann aka ridge runner

We need to make a big dollar store run for some more “junk!”

Comment by libbyhall

Aww, this is by far my favorite one yet. Made me mist up just little. I need to share this with my mom who is approaching 60 and has worked outside nearly her entire life. When the time comes, I want to feel this way and I want to have led a life that makes it all worth while.

Comment by Kelly

You’re already leading it…apparently you just haven’t started showing evidence of it yet. I’m glad you liked it!

Comment by libbyhall

Love this Libby!!!

Comment by Brenda


Comment by libbyhall

Well put Lib!

Comment by Martin

Thanks Marty!

Comment by libbyhall

Beautifully said. I have noticed that my older eyes allow me to see ME when I look in the mirror and not my reflection. I was a horse mom to daughter number 2. Jody, The Medicare Mom

Comment by Jody Worsham

I hope I get there soon…I keep forgetting where I put my new mirror…

Comment by libbyhall

Well now. . . sniff, sniff, That is a keeper! Well done, beautifully written, you are always gorgeous to me, especially in barn clothes.

Comment by Kimberly Anderson

Funny…that’s when I like myself the best too! And back at you–even though you looked stunning at the Bat Mitzvah…

Comment by libbyhall

Loved this one, Lib. I’ve always thought you are pretty, but now I think it in a different way. Sincerely, Your brother.

Comment by Danny

Thanks Big D!!!

Comment by libbyhall

Absolutely so true and well done!!!!! Thanks for reminding of the important things.

Comment by Lynchburggal

Libby, I loved your column and will definitely buy myself a new mirror. I also watch the video link of Shane Koyczan and WOW! I am a big TED fan but must have missed this one. It is wonderful. Thanks for including it.

Comment by cappy hall rearick

Hi Cappy–Thanks so much for your encouragement. I think we all need new mirrors about every five years, just to kepe up with all the changes!

I show everyone that video–I think it should be required in every middle and high school.

Comment by libbyhall

That is soooooo me!

Mary Miley The Impersonator (Minotaur: 2013) blog:

Comment by Mary Miley

Glad to know I’m not the only one!

Comment by libbyhall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: