Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Reflect. — The Life Cycle of Our Mirrors

on November 22, 2013

She looked at me with tired eyes and said, 

“Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize the face looking back.”

I’ve had my own similar encounters with the looking glass over the years.

And here, on the eve of my 41st birthday, I am becoming more and more aware of how I view my own reflection.

How I have seen my reflection.

How I will see it in the years ahead.

And how this has changed over the years.

Our mirrors have their own life cycles.

When we are very young, we don’t have time to pause in front of mirrors. We are far too busy and focused on more important things. Like playing and being with our friends.

So, our Mommas remind us to comb our hair and check our outfits, because we have not bothered to take a look at our bed heads or mismatched, untucked ensemble.

A few years go by and we begin to discover that we care about how we look.

We stand in front of our mirrors and admire our new hairstyle. We turn and spin and look over our shoulder, on the left, on the right to see our new outfit and whether it looks best with flats or boots.

And then we are overwhelmed with the knowledge that we suddenly care about how others think we look.

And our mirrors now become more than a reflection, our mirrors turn into comparisons. Our mirrors create opportunities for us to criticize.

And then it changes. Or how we look at it … changes.

And it no longer shows us what we are.

Instead, we can only see everything that we are not. And surely someone else is.

The color of our hair. The shape of our eyes. The size of our nose. Our complexion. Our height. Our weight.

We give these mirrors so much power during these years.

Power to push us forward and power to hold us back.

But if we are lucky, eventually, we find a way out of its grasp, we take back the power and we move on.

And then, if we become a Tired Working Momma, the mirror becomes irrelevant for a few many years.

The mirror disappears again for a time.

Because we don’t have time to stop and look in a mirror. We are far too busy and focused on the important things … again.

We are busy looking into the eyes of our babies and on the piles of laundry.

We are busy looking after toddlers and checking over homework.

We are busy going to games and running schedules.

And for years, this goes on.


Life goes on.

Until it settles down, every now and then,…  or 50 years later.

And we stop and really look in the mirror again.

Which is why we are surprised sometimes by what we see.

And we think we miss what was once there. The reflection that we saw before.

Before years. Before years of life.

Before kids. Before kids full of life.

That image in the mirror that we come to notice, an image that may have more wrinkles. More gray hairs. More pounds.

But what it doesn’t show, is really us.  As we still see ourselves.

So if we look closely, there is a more accurate reflection all around us.

For me, I see myself better in Y.

In her profile. In her smile. In her words. In her attitudes. In her personality. In her style. In her flair.

She is my mirror.

A mirror I can trust.

And for the record, …

A mirror that comes full circle.

She was beautiful.

She is beautiful.

We have to look. We have to see. We have to believe.

Yes. You. All of YOU… really are the fairest of them all.


Thanks for coming with me on this 41 day journey.

It’s been magic.

Let’s all, Go. Do that.


16 responses to “Reflect. — The Life Cycle of Our Mirrors

  1. Great post! Absolutely true! 🙂

  2. rarasaur says:

    Beautiful! Both the picture and the message. 😀

  3. Jan says:

    That was quite simply an AMAZING blog…I am stunned by the insight. Thank you for sharing your journey and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAY my Thanksgiving baby. 🙂

  4. Lead Our Lives says:

    The deep wisdom that runs as a thread of love through all of your stories is inspiring. You are a treasure, dear Sharon. ❤

  5. My mirror is not my friend anymore. He can be so harsh and unflattering. He is such a trickster too! He plays with the light to just to find the most revealing angles. I don’t know how he manages to confuse me with mixed images of me with my father’s face. How does he do that? His reflection is only one of light and shadow, there is no soul. The reflection is not what others see. No, he is not my friend. The problem is, he is getting worse every year.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Is there anyway to make friends with your mirror? Can we do some peer mediation with you two? I want you both to appreciate each other for all that you are and all that you bring to the relationship. My motto is just be kind. Kind in how we look at each other, how we see and interpret each other and reflect only the best. I’m going to send good vibes for a friendlier looking glass for you!

      • Im pickin up good vibrations
        Shes giving me excitations
        Im pickin up good vibrations
        (oom bop bop good vibrations)
        Shes giving me excitations
        (oom bop bop excitations)
        Good good good good vibrations
        (oom bop bop)
        Shes giving me excitations
        (oom bop bop excitations)
        Good good good good vibrations
        (oom bop bop)
        Shes giving me excitations
        (oom bop bop excitations)

        I’m feelin’ you good vibes.

        Thank you for trying to restore my fractured relationship. I don’t know if we can ever get back to where we once were. I think it’s too late for that, too many years have past. I will try.

        I envy your relationship with your mirror. You don’t seem to have the same issues I have. I did notice something in your post about your new hairdo (very nice), you removed your glasses for the “after” picture. Ya’ know, I’ve noticed my mirror is much kinder when I look without my glasses. Maybe that’s the trick. .

      • MommyVerbs says:

        Keep working at it. It has be intentional. It took time to break, it takes time to repair! Go pay yourself some compliments.

        Great observation about my glasses! I wear contacts, so it just depends on the time of the day…glasses for early mornings and late nights.

        I am so thankful for corrective lenses…I’d be like Mary Ingalls on The Little House on the Prairie without them!

  6. likeitiz says:

    First of all, happy 41st birthday to you, fellow Nano Poblano member! Then, great to meet you.

    This is a beautifully written piece. You show the complexity of emotions running through our veins at this age. The loving commitments. The niggling doubts. The mourning of waning youthful looks. But then, they all give rise to affirmations. Life is not always easy. But life can reward. Life can teach us about ourselves and let us accept us for who we are. Thank you.

    P.S. It does get better. We learn to accept the lines and the grays. The kids grow up and move on to make their mark out in the world. I’m just a little ahead of you around the corner of empty nest and new adventures. The fun will begin in due time.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Just beautiful. Thank you so much fellow Nano Poblano friend for stopping by and leaving this gem of a note for me to read and consider and take away with me. I love where I am and what I’m doing…and I am looking forward, while appreciating where I’ve been….most of the times…. 🙂

  7. BAM! Very insightful post. I often feel suprised when I look in the mirror too. My Mother used to tell me that she would forget that she was ‘old’ until she looked in the mirror. Now I am beginning to understand that feeling. My belief is that many of us focus on our families and doing all of the wonderful day to day stuff of raising kids. We have lots of birthday parties and holidays, family vacations, and milestones; But, what I let slip by was that I was getting older, time didn’t stand still for me magically, those 25 years still passed. I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thank you so much. I’m sitting here right now getting my hair cut, looking at a mirror a little longer than I’d like. I’m trying to appreciate every part of this aging gig. Sometimes, I have to blame things on bad lighting. Then move on. 😉 Thsnks so much for visiting.

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