During a recent vacation, I was forced to take an indoor shower. Yes! The horror of an indoor shower while on Cape Cod when the luxury of a warm temperature, blue sky, and ocean salt air infused outdoor shower exists.
Let us not discuss the reasons behind why the indoor shower was utilized, but instead, let us ask the reason(s) why on EARTH the owners have a full length mirror hanging daftly on the wall just outside of said indoor shower.
While brushing my teeth on our first night, I was reminded that the beautiful farm house we rented has a large mirror above the bathroom commode and when your eyes boringly scan the horizon, there is suddenly a reflection of your backside – a full length vision – courtesy of a full length wall mirror behind you.
This year I promised myself that I would not go through the typical, annual charades of self-loathing on my body while on vacation. Yes, the constant, internal verbal bashing that occurs every third week of July was NOT going to happen this year. Enough is enough.
As I sat on the beach, the Gremlin started up and I would envy an athletic looking mom that walked by, before telling myself that I am also an athletic mom – albeit with a very different body. That is all. Enough!
When I reached for my cover up to literally cover up after a swim in the ocean with my children, I paused for a moment and I asked myself if I truly needed the *safety* of hiding behind my thin piece of cloth. Yes, yes, I did need it at that moment. Keep your judgments to yourself. My flabalanche is rather invisible behind these threads. You do NOT see it.
Ok, I thought I was doing fairly well until the unfortunate Great Indoor Shower event. As I bent over to dry myself off, I happened to inadvertently take a peek .
Ohhhhhh Myyyyyyyy GAWDDDDD.
Oh. My. Oh….heavens. Oh….geesus….. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Whoa.
You see, as I took my terry towel on the insides of my legs and ankles to dry off from washing; I was not-so-graciously bent over. I *MISTAKENLY* peeked behind me, through my legs and, and, and….there was *THAT* mirror.
Shock and awe!
Should I stay or should I go?
It is not every day that a woman gets a full-sized view of the entire tundra of where the sun does not shine. Part of me was horrified and I could not stand to peek for a millisecond longer. Even with an imaginary thong on, the view was nothing remotely close to the recent social media images of Miley Cyrus and her nethers. A piece of me then halted; I realized that three of the greatest human beings on Earth had humble beginnings in this far part of my world (and yes, god forbid they read this they will cringe and crumple in disgust at their Momma. Sorry, kiddos!)
My eyes were suddenly magnetically drawn to the quarter-sized mosquito bites that singed red on my artic white ass cheeks. Literally, I told you, the sun does not shine………well, at least the fear of ass melanoma is likely slim-to-none positive. However, I am now pondering the random thought of whether a mosquito takes a bite into my gluteus maximus with the same ardor that one would chew on a succulent morsel of a rump roast. Anyone?
As my vision shifted and focused like an electron microscope, the scattered hairs demonstrated a need to take better care while shaving – slow the heck down and graze that razor over the vast land of skin, lady! The latest issue of Cosmopolitan at the hair salon does not promote the mangy, homeless cat look, am I right? The very chemotherapy that left me bald and looking like a pre-pubescent eight year old, well, my hair follicles are now pretty pissed off. Yes, there is hair……here, there, everywhere……and I must take better care to razor-fy myself with every future shave. No, I cannot bring myself to my nearest hair removal salon and ask them to………. Did you know my toes and feet could likely resemble Sasquatch if I did not keep my razor near? Since when did *THAT* happen? (I redirected your attention there, intentionally so.)
Enough is enough.
Somehow, I came out of the reflective stupor I was mesmerized by and decided to very quickly get the heck out of the upstairs bathroom. Clothes went on and my thoughts recalculated as we drove to the beach.
Remember that promise to myself? Mmmmhhhhmmmm. Yes, yes, I do. My brain fought the urge to go down the self-destructive path. Instead, I had to muscle up every ounce of inner strength; and I chose to focus on all that this body HAS done again (please recall I have a hearing impairment….I need things repeated repeatedly in order to *hear* them).
Instead of the flabalanches, cellulite, stretch marks, surgery scars, radiated tissue, extra weight and aging spots upon my being, I decided the mirror reflects only what I choose to see.
My vision of this body has earned every notch and then some over 40 years; my body has:
- birthed three babies and lost two others early on
- fought off an aggressive form of breast cancer and won
- run a marathon
- completed a triathlon
- run several half-marathons and countless other road races
- regularly picked up heavy things and put them down at Crossfit
- hiked mountains
- cuddled tears
- belted out ridiculous laughter
- advocated for others
- championed for a better world for all of us
- hugged friends, and still
- sprouts way too much hair.
What’s your reflection in your mirror? Will you be a kinder, gentler person to yourself?