Subourbon Mom

Get A Better Mirror
January 21, 2015, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor

I was at the gym the other day and was disappointed with my new office physique (which resembles a cross between Claire and Cam from Modern Family). I wallowed in self-pity for a while, until a friend of mine reminded me of a blog I wrote last year about being happy with the body you have. So for all you folks who’ve already given up on your Resolutions to exercise ore and lose weight, read this:

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

9 Comments so far
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Comment by Bruce

Thanks Bruce!


Comment by libbyhall

Thank you!


Comment by Terri Cheney

Glad you liked it!


Comment by libbyhall

Beautifully said and so true. Our appearance is a reflection of who we are and what we’ve done.


Comment by energywriter

I agree. I’m so tired of being defeated when I look in the mirror. Had to totally revamp my thinking…sometimes it works. 🙂


Comment by libbyhall

Well said. Left a comment. sd


Comment by energywriter

Self esteem. Sigh. Why does everyone I look at who thinks they’re average or below, look better than they think they look? It’s not their fault. It’s society. If I pay you a compliment I’m a creepy stalker. If I look admiringly in your direction for a second too long, I should “take a picture it’ll last longer,” and if I ever actually DID take a picture I’d be arrested.

Those people who actually think they look hot do not interest me in the least, because they love themselves enough and they don’t need me to love them.

Beauty takes a wide range of forms, from the not-anorexically-thin to the not-morbidly-obese healthy. If you’re not at either pole, you’re probably beautiful and don’t know it. So let me be the first to anonymously reverse-troll you and say, although I honestly don’t want anything from you in return for my honest compliment, I think you’re beautiful and you need to listen to me and not all of those books or shows or celebrities or, God forbid, models, telling you you’re too this or too that or not enough this or too much that.

Surround yourself with people who truly love you and you’ll hear the truth in love. Surround yourself with insecure people and you’ll hear their version of the truth, which might not be.


Comment by nombredelapluma

Thank you so much for your comment–it made my day! Everyone should hear that at least once a week as a reminder!


Comment by libbyhall

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