This was one of those weeks.

I’m working a temp job now, one I think I’d like to last awhile. It’s an interesting group I work with, primarily young…and poor. I’m doing admin work, but my desk is smack dab in the middle of a warehouse.

There are a handful of people my age, a few older, but for the most part, of the 120 or so employees there, more than 100 are probably under 35, if not under 30. We get along fine. I’m grateful the man who hired me looked at my skill set and not my wrinkles.

Anyway, the facility manager jokingly told me he thought I was about 33. I don’t kid myself; I know he was joking. But later that day while in line to pay a bill, I was asked for my birthdate, and after giving it, the young man in line behind me said, “Ma’am, I would’ve guessed you to be about 35.”

So I was feeling pretty good.

At church today, I was sitting in back with a woman, her daughter and 4-month-old grandson. I’d never met them before, and this adorable little baby was smiling and flirting with me. Of course I smiled back, and the baby’s grandma asked me, “do your grandchildren live in the area?”

I was so startled, I just said no. I don’t have any grandchildren. I don’t have any children. And yes, friends my age all pretty much have a passel of grandbabies, but no one has ever assumed I was a grandma before.

Where does the truth lie? How old do I look?

Autumn walk

How do we view those around us?

Several years ago, when I was working as a reporter, I covered the local community theater group’s most recent production, and got a wonderful photo during rehearsal of the lead actress. It turned out she’d had some Top 40 hits years ago (don’t ask me what), so I ended up doing a story just about her.

When I interviewed her, I mentioned the photo I’d taken earlier. She frowned.

I asked if she had been unhappy with it, and she said no, it was a good photo. She paused, and added, “I just didn’t think I looked that old.”

I look in the mirror and I trust I see an honest reflection of what I look like, but I know I don’t see myself as others do. That carries over to other aspects of my life as well. I don’t know how people perceive me. I have a pretty good self-image, and I believe I understand my strengths and weaknesses. But I have no idea how I’m viewed by my co-workers, for example.

I’m not talking age here. I’m talking how they see me as a person. Serious or flighty? I can pretty much guarantee they’ll say nice, but how does that translate?

Right before I sat down to write this, I had stopped in the grocery store and ran into a former boss, someone who would have heard lies and rumors about me from a few years back. I was immediately on guard.

No worries. He spun around so quickly it was like a blur. I passed him in the parking lot a few minutes later, and he ignored me.

How does he view me, in light of the falsehoods I know he’s heard?

Girl with a jug

It isn’t something I worry about or feel any great concern over. I have people who know me and love me, and what anyone thinks of me is their business. How they see me is colored by how they see themselves.

I just wonder about it sometimes.

What is important to me is honesty with myself, accepting myself, forgiving myself, improving myself. I want to be better when I turn 60 than I am today.

That’s not too far away…better get on it.


Image credits: © maiko62 – stock.adobe.com

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6 Comments on “Perception

  1. Yep I know. I want to look young forever, but I see my neck on my more tired days and shiver. Then someone comments on how young I look and the bounce in my walk returns. What a wicked game!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It really is, and I know what you mean about seeing your neck. I was getting my hair cut not long ago and was shocked by how bad my neck looked. Every time I think I’ve reconciled myself to the aging process, something new appears in my mirror.

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  2. Who knows what people think and why they think what they think. I know my strengths and weaknesses and when my supervisor and I have one of our ‘deep’ discussions, we both don’t see as negatives either our strengths or our weaknesses. We are both old enough to know ourselves inside and out, and we know each other pretty darn well, too. People who don’t know just don’t know, Belinda. And I’ll bet they would be surprised if the did really know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s more something I wonder about than worry about. How we see ourselves is no doubt different from how others see us, so I sometimes wonder, how am I perceived? Do people see me as the sophisticated, wise woman I believe myself to be (hahaha), or the goofy friend? (that last one was how one of my high school friends said she saw me). It’s just something I wonder about, but it doesn’t nag at me.

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  3. We’re very close in age – I’m closing in on 60 also. My upcoming birthday is 58 and time seems to just be flying faster and faster. It’s pretty crazy.
    I agree with so much of what you wrote. It is hard looking in the mirror, but inside I am very enthusiastic about my life and truly treasure this time I am living in. I am freer than I was for most of my life.
    By the way, I love the picture for this post. It just inspires and the colors are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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