Monday, December 17, 2012

The Way My Brain Works


I've been absent.  We had a hurricane and Halloween and we instituted No Screen Sundays (which may be the best thing we've ever done) and then we had a very non-traditional Thanksgiving, due to our very non-traditional food preferences and then I went to learn writing with Elizabeth Berg.  It's been a wild few months and I have a lot to talk to you about.  Later.

Because right now, of course, I want to talk about something completely different.

(Please try to keep your complete and utter shock to yourselves.)

You know how I wrote once about needing some sort of update for my psyche?

A few weeks ago, we had the first ever Cooper Family Photo taken, by a real, live professional photographer.

I loved all of the photos.

Except, here's the thing: I don't recognize myself.  I mean, at ALL.

Like, look at this picture:
Does that look like me to you?  Seriously?

Because I have no idea who that woman is.  (Except for the lipstick on her teeth--that's pretty much like me when I remember to wear lipstick.)

And it's not just that I have make-up on and earrings.  It's that the person I see in these pictures bears no resemblance at all to the person I have in my head.

For example, I've been trying this new (to me) yoga pose called Full Kapotasana.  I was in class one day when my friend Gary brought his teenaged daughter and she did it and so I tried it, too. (See, that right there should be a clue that my self-image is not constrained by reality.)

When I got home, I tried it and had my older daughter Katherine take a picture of me.


Which was kind of a shock, because in my head, I felt like I was doing THIS:


See how it gets tricky?  If I had known what I really looked like, would I have felt so good about my own effort?  If I had known I looked so...MATRONLY, would I have bought these shoes?


(Well, okay, yes.  Yes, I would have still bought them.  Because I love them and they were on sale.)

But would I have signed up for yoga teacher training with Sri Dharma Mittra in New York City in February?

Because I did that.  I really did.

And, actually, I did it even after I'd seen the pictures.

(More on that if they accept my application.)

13 comments:

Becca said...

I don;t think any of us see what is really there. I'm a mid-40s mom getting divorced! But in my head I'm still early 20s wearing skinny jeans.

smalltownme said...

I think you look beautiful.

Susan said...

You look lovely! And I wish I could get my body into that pose as well as you do. I'm still in remedial yoga classes, the Yoga for Backs class. It's a terrific class and the instructor is a yoga therapist and I can't tell you how much it's helping me but it's still pretty basic stuff.

hollygee said...

Sweetie,
This is where you are NOW. This is how that pose, done by YOU, should look right now.

I bet it will change, because you will change.

Barb said...

See, Susan, I totally "get" that. Think about it, a little over two years ago, I couldn't walk without excruciating pain. Now I'm doing things I never even KNEW ABOUT before. There's something about yoga--it makes me feel like I can do ANYTHING. My brain and spirit are about 25; it's just my body that's 47! I so hope your path to healing is as astounding as mine has been. When I started yoga, I couldn't touch my toes.

Kathy said...

You think you look matronly?? Seriously?

Sigh...

We all need to stop being so hard on ourselves. We're awesome!**
Seriously.

**this message has been brought to you by my 2013 New Year's Resolution.

Annabanana said...

I totally get that. I think that is why a lot of people our age go about in weird outfits with crazy hair and stuff - because we don't look in the mirror anymore. I've been saying I have reverse anorexia ever since menopause. I think I look a certain weight, with pieces in certain places, and when I see a pic I wonder WHAT THE HECK happened! Aging is such a weird think in our culture - we just don't prepare for it well, or support it either. And our spirits are forever young!!!!

Carole D. said...

I always wonder these days who pasted those extra two or three chins on my face when I see a picture of myself. I don't see them when I look in the mirror - they only show up for pictures. Same with those extra 40 lbs. I mean, I know that I am no longer the twig that I was in my 30's and early 40's, but seriously, where does that fat hide when it's not in a photo? I'm staying away from cameras! They are evil. However, your picture is very pretty, not matronly.

Suburban Correspondent said...

You definitely do NOT look matronly in that picture. I wish, just once, that I could look good in a picture. The camera truly doesn't love me. There's no way I look in real life the way I look in photos, or people would run away from me in fright.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Oh, and as far as the yoga goes, that is why no yoga studio should have mirrors. The whole idea of yoga is to be aware of how your body feels in space, to be connected to it as it is, not to try to conform to make it look like some idealized picture. Your body is doing that pose just as it should at this point in time.

Also, it is better to keep your lower back somewhat elongated to protect it.

RLR said...

Way to go! Yoga teacher training! Way to step into the arena. You have so much to share. I can't wait to see what you do next.

LaDonna said...

Oh, Barb, if you think you look matronly, I guess there's no hope for me anymore :)

Anonymous said...

I was impressed by your pose. I can run a marathon, but I can't get my body to do that. Also you look really thin! Yoga definitely looks good on you!