I've reached the age where I'm scared of hotel mirrors.

I'm nervous when I see myself out of context.

Hotel mirrors give me new perspectives and that's no longer what I'm looking for; I want to see the version of myself that I know.

Lit from the side and seen from two angles simultaneously, I can no longer tell myself that a man half my age would find me attractive.

If I could just see myself straight-on with my carefully rehearsed and prepared spontaneous smile, seen in good lighting, it does seem at least possible. Not that it matters--of course not.

Still....

But seeing without familiar filters, without charmingly comfortable self-deceptive coziness of one's own self-reflective surfaces--well, all pretense simply falls away.

Home is not only where the heart is-- it's also where the good mirrors are.

The trouble is, all this knowledge gets eclipsed by the image in the mirror, the image that doesn't give me back what I hope to see.

I can eat light, or worse, eat "lite," wear good clothes and buy reasonable, non-clown cosmetics, and I can take care of myself.

But gradually, my longing to improve my looks via The Body Shop is being replaced by a longing to improve my looks via Photoshop. It's far easier and so much less messy, after all.

When I consider what it will be like when my "lite" is spent, when I think about facing issues far graver than whether my mascara is clumping, I want to do better-not just look better. I want to have less disdain and contempt for my body-this encasement that's held up pretty well so far.

I want to remind myself that I shouldn't worry so much about how my body looks as be grateful for the fact that most of it works.

When I meet my own eyes in a reflection, I'd like to see the wisdom in them rather than the bags under them.

When I glance at my legs, I want to remember the places they've taken me rather than how they looked when I was seventeen.

And I want to remind myself that objects in the mirror are cuter than they appear.

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