Ever had one of those days? You know, when you SHOULD’VE looked in the mirror?
For yours truly, that day was today.
There was a time in my life when this never would have happened. Perhaps I was once more vain. Or, perhaps I just wasn’t as busy. Yes, in those days I wore high heels and perfect makeup every day. Why not? I had the time.
Today I care not so much. Good, bad or indifferent, I’m a busy gal. I bet you’re nutty-busy too.
So today’s to-do list included 32 tasks. That’s not out of the ordinary for me. As in, my daily lists are devised with the ambitions of a goddess whose veins pump full-throttle adrenaline mixed with espresso mixed with mucho mega-grams of caffeine. Get it done??!! Sure I will!
Or not. I’m just Sue.
How many to-do’s did I cross off? Seven.
Now, I’m no mathematician, but that sounds like a solid flunk-out with a 22%. (And I just texted my college-grad daughter to calculate my failure percentage—so don’t be impressed with my digit skills.)
And then the day got worse. Like I mentioned, I’d been running pretty hard all day, from one task to the next—and yet still bombing my daily ambitions with a similar flunkie probability of making the Chicago Bulls basketball team, measuring in as a lean, mean 5’2” (if I lie), 48-year-old woman.
So back to my day… For the ladies reading this, ever gone all day without looking in the mirror? To be more specific: If you wear eyeliner and mascara have you ever gone all day without checking your reflection?
OF COURSE NOT!
Because women who wear makeup check themselves—because if not, the stuff runs up, down and all over your face like Alice Cooper prancing about in a rainstorm.
But that was me. All Alice-Cooper-unaware and smiley, in public. And with people leering at me with why-is-she-so-happy-when-she-looks-so-weird looks. But nope, even when I got in my car, still no mirror checking.
Then it happened.
Early this evening, my doorbell rang. I just moved to a new neighborhood. Figured I’d better look in the mirror before swinging open my door to a stranger. I knelt down to peer in the mirror laying on the floor—hanging it was among the 78% of unfinished tasks—and I saw it. Me. But I looked like an it. Streaks from each eyelash smudged individual, vertical lines up both brow bones (I have long lashes—don’t be impressed—thank Latisse®), and beneath each eye sat a sea of sad darkness. I looked like a freak.
Deep-from-the-gut laughter uproared through my chest. My eyes watered—furthering the disaster upon my face. But I couldn’t stop laughing. I wiped quickly with my hand to rid the worst of it and swung open the door like a crazed, hysterical maniac who missed the train for the funny farm.
And so I met my neighbor. She laughed simply because I looked like an idiot. A happy idiot, mind you. And what’s more intriguing than that?
So while I’m sure I just met a new, sweet friend (truly)—at least I assume so as she didn’t run away or step away slowly. She stood. She stayed. She smiled. She laughed with me. She gave me a welcoming loaf of bread. And I’m sure she checked her own reflection when she got back in her car.
Some days are just like that. We fly fast. Our tennies are tied too tight and our lists are impossibly long. But it’s our attitudes that shape our insides—despite what the world sees on the outside.
Keep the hustle, but slow down when you can. Smell the roses. Hear the bees a’buzzing. Slow down when you eat and really taste your food. And once in a while? Take a peek in the mirror. But always? Keep a smile on your face—Alice-Cooper-look-alike, or not.
(And for the record, I do love his music of yesteryear.)