Day 4 in The Quest for Middle-Aged Mojo – and day 3 into annual leave from my full-time job.
Mojo. It’s elusive. I’ll tell you one thing for sure, it’s not to be found in a mirror. I stood in front of a mirror the other day and didn’t recognise the person staring back at me. I cried – nearly. I’m reminded of the Evil Queen in the fairytale Snow White; now there was one mean middle-aged lady in search of her mojo!
The Queen and her magic mirror by Jennie Harbour (1893-1959).
Asking a mirror (for anything) is not the way to go. What’s needed for this quest is self-care, acceptance and a jettisoning of the heavy stuff. I realise I’m way out of practise at all three. Ignoring yourself and your well-being is as hard a habit as any to break.
I told my husband how I feel, i.e. worn out and weighed down and he listened. Like in the early days of quitting booze and ridding your home of drink, I’ve hidden the bathroom scales out of sight and stopped looking into the mirror unnecessarily. Oh, I check to see that I’m not dressed like a complete mad woman before I leave the house and I don’t put on my make-up in the dark or anything ludicrous like that but I am trying to be mindful of not looking into a mirror in the hope that my mojo is going to be there, smiling back at me. It isn’t.
The bathroom scales are, as of yesterday, under a drawer unit in the bathroom. We live in a small house with a particularly tiny bathroom and not having the scales permanently out at the end of the bath has increased the floor space nicely. Bonus. And if I can’t physically see them, I won’t be as tempted to weigh myself every day and despair at the ever-increasing number flashing back at me. Instead, I shall spend some time chipping away at the fortress I’ve built around myself and see if I can’t pay some attention to what’s inside.
So here I am on Day 4, turning my back on self-loathing and opening up to the prospect of self-care and acceptance. And Day 3 into my holiday away from long hours of work at a desk and the routine of denying myself a proper break during the day, means the chance to physically move more. To stretch my limbs, and physically shake off the inertia that had me rooted to spot. Movement is going to be key in unlocking what feels like a solid door between me and a life full of living. I’ve some embracing to do and as uncomfortable as it feels right now, it means physical exertion and going for it!
I’m reminded so much of the early days of quitting booze, when it’s all about one day a time and staying in the moment. These are early days for me in my quest to break the habit of self-neglect and I need to pay attention to the here and now and not get overwhelmed by thoughts of tomorrow. What happens when I go back to work? How can I possibly find the time to exercise? I’m too out of shape to even begin to feel attractive! How could I ever have let myself get into this state? Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? NONE of these questions have a place in a quest for well-being and happiness. Sorry Wicked Queen, but being a mean, jealous, hard-hearted witch is not going to change the course of youth and beauty fading. Get over yourself.
Here’s something beautiful to end on; hand-picked roses in bloom, with love from The Sober Garden.