This past Easter weekend, while visiting in-laws in the city, I happened to look up from washing my hands into my face in the mirror. And I was surprised at how endearing my wrinkles around my eyes were and how amused I felt at feeling positive about such a thing “marring” my beauty.

Fiona and me on Easter on

These wrinkles I saw in the mirror reflected a different feeling for me. A happy “earned it” impish mode and I immediately thought of the scene in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert catches sight of herself in the mirror and thinks “friend” before she recognizes its herself she’s seen. A favorite moments from that book so I was amused that I was having a similar one.

As women, must I live a life berating myself for no good reasonable outcome and not just feel worthy of, even gifted with my existence? The woman getting her weight recorded in front of me at the Weight Watchers meeting last night honestly said, “ I hate myself. I hate my body”. The woman doing the weighing let out a lame “Nah!” to refute it but I felt like crying. It was a horrible thing to witness. I had a strong feeling that this woman had a huge theatrical production going around her unworthiness and we were all just pawns.

crackle glaze from patternprints journal on

I suppose I was amused at the sight of myself in the mirror because maybe I’m starting to understand that what I’ve been through has changed me for the better. My wrinkles are like the creases in beautiful paper mache pieces. Or they’re like the detail of the spidery crackles in the glazing of pottery, delicate and intricate and well-earned beauty.

I may not believe it completely but the inkling I got of my self-love to come is going to keep me curious to await more signs. The perpetual self loathing thing is so last decade. I’m looking forward to enjoying a daily dose of “alright you go Shalagh” as opposed to one of “aw you suck Shalagh”. Who’s with me?

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  1. A quote attributed to Mark Twain:

    “Wrinkles merely mark where smiles have been”

    (On a greeting card available at Redbud House)

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