This Reflection


Nose job, face lift, and breast enhancements complete, the patient beams at her plastic surgeon and proclaims, “I finally got self-confidence.”

Funny, it took me ten years of therapy to “get” mine. It took even longer to gracefully accept the tummy that never goes away and the nose of which I’ve never been quite fond.

But I look in the mirror and see, staring back, a face I recognize. There’s a scar on my forehead that’s been there since my sled hit a tree when I was five. And another on my chin from standing too close to a golf club in mid-swing.

This face has my mother’s eyes and my Grandmother’s cheeks. I see my father’s smile (and yes, even his nose). It’s a face I’ve known all my life, and I don’t mind one bit that it looks a little wiser, a little worn.

This body — with all it bumps and imperfections — has moved around just fine in this world. It has swam in the ocean and hiked up mountains. It has danced until dawn and slept until noon. It has eaten amazing feasts and had fantastic journeys. It has marched, skipped, reclined, sashayed, and stretched. It has been whistled at, greeted warmly…and loved.

No botox. No silicone. Yet no less sweet, no less precious.

With life well-lived, the lines will tell of love and laughter, the gray hairs of many years, the tummy of good nourishment, and the rough soles of heartfelt journeys.

What more is there to “get” than that?

WORDS, from the archives, ©2009, Jen Payne
IMAGE: Woman Looking at Herself in the Mirror, Suzanne Valadon

12 thoughts on “This Reflection

  1. Funny, just a night or so ago I dreamed that a traveling plastic surgeon came to the office where I recently worked, and gave everybody really terrible facelifts and nose jobs. They offered me one too, but I firmly declined. So I’m definitely with you on that one! 🙂


  2. I’m with you! (And my nose, scar, falling off my bike into a pile of coal chips lying in the driveway after the delivery for our heat. Now who remembers those days? And I was 3, I think.)
    “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” ~Confucius


  3. Just recently, I noticed my first wrinkles forming around my eyes. I’m probably the only one who can see them, but I love them. They are proof I’ve done some living and learned a few things along the way. I wish I knew why our society refuses to accept what is truly a beautiful part of life.


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