On “Getting Older” -Observations in the Mirror

February 11, 2019 0 By Chris Canton

I’ve noticed that I don’t seem to focus as much on my reflection when looking in the mirror these days – That is, I don’t generally look at my image and commit it to my short term memory to where I can readily recall a fairly accurate rendition twenty minutes later, when  I may be out getting groceries, perhaps.  The reasons are many but two-fold in particular, when I have to think on why.  First, is 20 minutes later when I’m out and about, I’m either feeling particularly energetic and my steps are light, and so the chances are if I was confronted with a description about what I recall when looking in the mirror, I become distracted by the typical look I remember when I felt that way maybe 15 or 20 years prior. My hair was darker, my teeth probably a tad bit whiter, and maybe my shirt was tucked in more the way many wore their shirts back in the 90’s or so.  (If you happen to catch an episode of Jerry Seinfeld, you can likely verify that this tucking-in-of-the-shirt trend was more the norm than nowadays!) and so on that day,  off the top of my head, that general description would probably pop into my head, first, without having to think much on it.  If it’s more of a “slight aches and pains and stiffness” day, I might then add the grayer hair on the sides in my thought process, and maybe see myself as some older retired athlete who abused his body by his extreme work ethic, and is kind of dragging his body with  slight limp perhaps because of that.  It definitely would not be my first thought that this might be just because when we are getting older, its become more of a semi-familiar or not too unexpected occurrence.   The second of the two-fold reason is that my first thought when giving examples of being out and about is observing that I often use the “getting groceries” example.  15 to 20 years ago it would more likely be: “out and about at the shopping mall, or outdoors hiking on a trail or jogging!  Long story short,  the overall observation here is that there are still more better days than worse days when it comes to the aches and pains, and those times when I want more than one Ibuprofin to deal with it, are the “less of” days that are considered worse.  The other honest thing I can say is that, overall, were I asked, how am I doing,  I can’t rightly respond with: “I’m doing bad… not doing very good at all today!

A close friend of mine and I were recently talking and I happened to mention that when I was looking at some pictures of myself, I was shocked at how grey my hair really was and I certainly did not expect it – Just that, I’d associated the grey I saw with someone who maybe, “thinks” older, or “can’t really take up jogging without making a huge deal of it, or someone that looks 10 to 15 years older than how I feel inside when I’m not looking! It basically looked as though I was bored one day and sat down at my computer, opened up photo shop and wondered would I might look like 15 to 20 years from now.  And this was without even having touched up the skin or having deepened the lines between my eyebrows or alongside that space between my nose and mouth area on either side!  I told him I thought it was funny in a way how displaced it seemed to be that my mental image was quite a bit different than either my reflection in the mirror or that picture I was gazing at!  And,  not to add insult to injury, that picture was taken over a year ago!

So he responds with a revelation that there is this men’s product with the latest version having initials added to the title to really set it apart, and that this is what he uses and it works much  better, lasts much longer, and you won’t see the difference at the roots.  Just that you should be sure and rinse one’s fingernails really well after working in the lather at the scalp.  Its not instantaneous nor is it something that makes one’s hair feel heavy and limp – none of that.  That the researches who developed it, really did their homework on this one and he, so far, was pleased with the results.  When I was through texting him, I quickly got on the computer and reviewed his pics both current and going back a few years.  I did the same with my own pictures and wondered, perhaps, I could meet in the middle and see what becomes of it.  I thought about it a lot, and still think of it… One thing I do know brings me to my last observation about this whole thing of growing older.

There seems to be more choices in front of me, nowadays.  Its almost as if I am an actor and today I will play the role of a younger guy, and maybe tomorrow, I may want to feel more like the soothsayer, the older man steeped in wisdom, and respected.  An elder, not yet out to pasture but well on his way.  Its almost as if I wished that during those years when I took my youth for granted it may have been nice, once in a while, when I was bored in front of my computer, perhaps, to focus more on what it would be like to see myself in the future or past and not have to work so hard to imagine it!  But alas, the point of this blog is to suggest that the benefits of growing older, whether spiritually, physically, or knowledge-wise, I have to say, is my preference.  I’m glad I’m in the here and now based on what I know.  In fact, I think “being in the here and now, based on what I know” is the sure sign of overall happiness and contentment.

I went out to eat and was informed that I had gotten a senior discount.  Funny how they drop the name citizen – maybe that word will be added ten or 15 years from now, or maybe it was just dropped from the nomenclature just because there are so many of us at this age than there use to be – anyway, I wasn’t sure how I felt at that moment, maybe a combination of having bucked the system or passed something over on the cashier who was just a little younger than I (so I kidded myself).  Either way, I did smile to myself, and mentally shook my head side to side slightly.  It was a time-traveler moment in my real world, and as such, no denying it,  overall, I felt contented and happy – indeed, there seems a bit of a strange thing about that term, “getting older”. It almost feels a bit like a hypocritical term, yet knowing its all legit!  For now – what can I say?  I’ll take it!