We grow older on the outside, but the inside refuses to change. The young girl or young boy of 9, 13, 22 - they stick around. And they expect to be recognized, not minimized.
The great great grandmother at 95 peers at the face in the mirror and exclaims, "That can't be me! That person is an old woman. Who's trying to fool me?"
We all go there - to some extent. Our children, family, friends all grow up and eventually get gray hair, less hair, wrinkles, achy bones, groans. We live in a town called Denial. We stay young in Denial, while the rest of the world ages around us.
We're encouraged to think young, to look young, to "turn back the clock". Vanity can be consuming, but it's not always the precipitator of what we imagined would bring us joy or contentment.
Flowers and a good cigar make a good combination
Sometimes the most rewarding experiences come when you least expect them. Case in point: this video inspired by Pharrell Williams's HAPPY. Here's the story...
My friend asked me to direct a video for/with the elderly residents at the senior living facility where his wife worked. Since I'm in the middle of a project, when the alarm went off on the day we were shooting, I was regretting my offer to help as I "didn't have time" to do it.
However, it turned out to be an amazing day due to the residents: I met a man who was wounded among the first wave of soldiers storming the beaches at Iwo Jima. I met another man in his 90s who was so full of life despite losing most of his family in the Holocaust. I met a woman who'd just turned 100 but seemed decades younger. I met another woman in the Memory Ward who at first didn't want to dance because she said she couldn't. But once she started, she didn't want to stop. And as we were leaving, she came up to me, grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye and a in a moment of total lucidity said, "Thank you so much for coming here and visiting us."
Who do you see in YOUR mirror?