Saturday, September 21, 2013

Who are you?

It’s no well-kept secret - my daily encounters with the bathroom mirror.

This daily morning ritual has been the subject of several of my favorite middle-age man written reflections and discussions with many who give me the courtesy of their ears.

Without a doubt, my favorite one-liner reflection is that every man who looks in the mirror sees a 16-year-old kid.

For those who take me too seriously, know that I’m not alone.  The late great radio and television comedian Jack Benny was known for his character of being age 39 years regardless of his actual age.

The late great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso once said at age 76 years, “Everyone is the age he has decided on, and I have decided to remain 30.”

I may be overstepping my boundaries to include myself among these famous people, but to exclude me doesn’t leave me alone for there are many other middle-age men – and women – who adore and marvel the mirror image reflecting back at them from their Fountain of Youth bathroom mirror.

Do I suffer from narcissism, megalomania, egocentrism or some other personality disorder made up by those characters known as psychologists who take joy in classifying crazy people like me into well-described buckets of personality disorders and mental illness? 

I wonder if I’m a modern-day Narcissus - that Greek mythology character renowned for his beauty - attracted to a pool  where I see my own reflection in water and fall in love with it.

Heck no in my most private thoughts but that’ll never prevent me from having fun fooling all those na├»ve enough to take me seriously.

At this point in my life, there’s no way I see a 16-year-old kid when looking in the mirror.  Rather, these daily morning encounters have me looking at my mirror image and asking the very tough question, “Who are you?”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Burying an old friend

Our home is now a gluten-free sanctuary after I promised my wife that I’d support her gluten-free eating lifestyle. She’s been eating a gluten free diet now for about seven weeks after discovering it gives her significant relief from the chronic pain associated with her auto-immune illness.  
A church friend emphatically told her she must go gluten free and she heeded her friend's advice. 

You would think her medical doctor would have made this connection but he didn’t.  She’s not alone, we’ve learned, and if you visit any cyberspace forum where people with auto immune conditions share their experiences, you’ll learn of many instances in which their medical doctor failed to make a gluten/disease connection.

Gluten-free eating is popular nowadays and may even be considered faddish by some, but for those who have suffered chronic pain and other medical conditions and now have relief since going gluten-free, it’s a godsend. 

Discussing auto-immune conditions, gluten intolerances or gluten-free eating is beyond the scope of what I’m sharing; rather, I’ll share how life is going for me living in a gluten-free sanctuary.  It’s been a little bumpy with less than one week under my belt but I’ll adapt and survive.

While I’m not personally committing to a lifetime of gluten-free eating, I’ve committed to doing so for the next month and then we’ll see.  But I have committed to a lifetime of living in a gluten-free household so I’ll have to eat my gluten somewhere else if and when I do.  This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for me with a little planning.  I could have a gluten goodie while driving to work or at a restaurant if I decide.  We’ll see.

But until then, I’ll need to be mindful of relapses and temptations like, for example, when going grocery shopping and walking past the aisles loaded with gluten goodies.  Will I be like the recovering alcoholic walking past a neighborhood bar and glancing inside while getting a whiff of that familiar scent of a wet bar rag?

Will I salivate when walking past a bakery or doughnut shop and drool all over myself?

Sure there are gluten free equivalents that I could buy and enjoy but succumbing to those fake substitutes seems to defeat a higher purpose.  So, for the time being, I’ll stay away from them.

While images of buttered biscuits, toast and flour tortillas dance in my mind’s eye, I hope to be strong and positive focusing on the joys they provided me in my past, rather than being mournfully sad like burying an old friend.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum