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As luck would have it, my wife loves scary movies. She doesn’t dig the horror or slasher movies. Those don’t really bother me. I find those to be more ridiculous than anything else. She likes anything based on a true story that involves ghosts or spirits. If we come across a haunting or possession story, it will get watched eventually. Being a supportive husband, I will watch it with her. Although, when I sense a scary part coming up, I will cover my eyes and only leave a slight gap in my fingers to get a glimpse. That is a true statement. Just ask her.
If you have watched any scary movies, you know that sooner or later, someone will look in the mirror, and there will be something standing behind them. No matter how many times that happens, it still gets me. I know it’s coming, and I have most of it blocked out by my hand, but it still makes me jump.
As I get older, I find myself getting up more times through the night. I may have to go to the restroom, need a drink of water, or have heard a sound that I need to investigate. Just imagine me going through the house, with my hand over my eyes, looking for wayward spirits and ghosts. It’s always our cats, but you can never be too cautious. I will never look at any mirror in our house at night. We have several night lights throughout the house. They lend just enough light to see the ghosts’ reflection. I may remove all mirrors in the future.
As much as I fear the ghosts in the mirror, I have found the fear of my own reflection is greater.
Age is a strange bedfellow.
We resist it. We mistrust it. We dread it.
It reminds us we are mortal. It limits us. It hurts us.
It gives us perspective. It matures us. It’s a privilege to experience it.
I finish shaving and wash my face. I am intrigued by the guy looking back at me. Age has started to show up. The hair has completely thinned out on top. What hair is left has lots of greys mixed in. The bags under the eyes are now permanent. It’s hard to find sections of the face that don’t contain wrinkles or that have become a bit loose. I take a moment to smile and another to frown. Happy that I can still tell the difference between the two.
My concerns are not that I am getting older. They are focused on how I’ve lived. Did these bags under my eyes come from a worthy cause?
Did I earn these grey hairs and wrinkles, or were those moments wasted? Does the smile come more effortless than the frown? Maybe it’s time to make changes and do things differently for the second half of this ride.
The face is only the surface. Things don’t get real until you focus on the eyes. Nothing you can do will soften your own gaze.
When looking into someone else’s eyes, you can read them. You can get a feel for their current emotional state, their reactions to you, or if they are drifting off and concentrating on other things. When you look into your own eyes, it’s just you. There is nothing to react to and no one to respond to. It’s just you looking at you. With no movement or distractions, you have no choice but to look inside yourself.
The most important thing to you should pop into your mind first. My first thought is always the same.
How have I treated the people around me?
Have I made a positive impact on someone’s life?
Most of us will turn our attention to our spouse or significant other. We spend most of our time with them. They share our successes and our failures. They pick us up when we are down and congratulate us on a job well done. It is easy to take them for granted and give them a lesser version of ourselves than they deserve.
From there, the list just keeps going. Children, immediate family, close friends, distant friends, acquaintances, strangers, pets, etc. We should do our best to treat everyone with respect and greet them with a smile.
I may never be able to shake my fear of the ghosts in the mirror. I can tame the fear of my own reflection.
The mirrors are better left on the wall.