Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Perception


Remember in an earlier post, I paraphrased my mother's 'what if' remark about everyone liking the same thing?

Oh sure, it's irritating when some folk can't see the error of their ways. :)
... but like my boss is always reminding us, "Perception is Reality."

There's an old story about a child's perception that never fails to amuse me:
A little boy is taking his very first plane ride.  Eyes wide, he continually looks this-way-n-that around the cabin.
Unable to contain himself any longer, the child tugs on a flight attendant's pants leg and asks, "When do we start getting smaller?"



So, last weekend DH and I were driving somewhere on the Loop 101.  Knowing full-well I've a phobia about Interstates 10 and 17, DH can't resist asking:  "Is this the freeway you like?

"Well ya!  The lanes are wider."
Then I go to wondering, is that really the case?  Federal highway traffic lanes don't have to be equidistant from one another.  Do they?
(Tell that to the engineers who lay miles and miles of nightmarish white concrete across lower Louisiana swampland, and called it an interstate!)

Closer to home ...
A few years ago, I was hospitalized for a pretty severe leg injury and resulting infection.  Perusing my chart, I read:  "A pleasant looking white female presents ....."

To DH:  "What do they mean by that?"
"By what?"
"Pleasant looking."
"Hon, that's just their perception."  (Turns head, but not quick enough that I miss his eye roll.

I'll admit, some may think that sounds enormously vain.  In truth, I'm enormously insecure.  Yes, even at this advanced age.  (smile)   

I spend an unnecessary amount of time each morning -- arranging, putty-ing and freezing strands of hair -- in hopes of achieving a careless 'just fell out of bed' look.   
.....Then wonder if my fellow associates - many of whom are young enough to be a grandchild - would even notice if I shaved my head!  

Perception.  I recall an 'older' lady, who worked with us at a local West Texas utility.  Even after 40 years I've a strong sense of Millie's unsmiling face and serious demeanor.   At day's end she'd stand apart at the back of the elevator with an ever-present tumbler of water ... a paper towel rubber-banded across the top.   

My name's not Millie, but you know I'd probably benefit greatly from smiling - first and more often - and spending less time worrying about how others perceive me.    

Judging from the hugely favorable response to Mr. Tom Hussey's photo essays (example below), perception is so, so powerful.      





What do you see when gazing in your own looking glass?


Hugs from Phoenix!
Myra

10 comments:

  1. When I look in the mirror I see someone who aged, LOL :) And someone who needs to probably lose 50 pounds :)

    I do think freeways are narrower lanes in some places than others. You should see the freeways in San Diego area, especially when they reconstruct and add lanes, by taking inches from the other lanes. You definitely can see the difference in the size. I know the 101 loop and the 17 and 10 :)

    With the reports I type I notice a lot of doctors will say very pleasant patient :)

    betty

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  2. When I look in the mirror I am always surprised and that old lady looking back at me. My perception is much skinner and with no grey hair. And the face is smooth and carefully made up. And I look splendid in all the latest, fashionable clothes. But in reality I need to shed 50 extra pounds, I no longer wear makeup and I live in my yoga pants (that have never gone to a yoga class and I quit coloring my hair three years ago so it is more grey than brown now.....I like my perception. But I live in reality!

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  3. I still imagine myself to be twenty and I avoid mirrors. If I happen to look in a mirror, I scream like Baby Jane Hudson.
    As for smiles - - they're getting scarce.

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  4. I think you made an interesting observation about the hwys. I'm going to pay more attention to the lanes. Usually my hands are covering both eyes and I'm screaming while someone else drives. I think it is nice that the doctor thought you were pleasant to look at. I wonder what he wrote for someone he thinks wasn't? I am what I am. I haven't aged well. So I am not fond of mirrors. They remind me of the youth that has faded.

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  5. It seems that everyone seems to have a different perception of things and of who and what we are too. Gosh, when I look in the mirror these days, just about anything goes! Ha! And yes it is always good to smile. When I look at myself I do try to do just that and more than not, I end up laughing !

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  6. Oh, dear...talking about age here...I try to stay away from those conversions...:) and when they ask my birth date anywhere, I whisper ...and then I tell them, "I'll walk outa here if you ask how much I weigh !" LOL
    One of my grandson's told me the other day that he learned something from me when he was young that he's never forgotten and it has served him well. (my heart started swelling at this point..I LOVE when they learn ANYthing from me..) he said "you always told me to savor EVERY age that I was at the time..enjoy things going on AT THIS POINT in your life...take ea day as a blessing. At 30, you may think..O, I'm getting old...but at 40, you'll look back and remember that you DID enjoy being 30 and now you wish you were 30 again.." hahhaa..it really is good advice because when I was 65, for a minute I thought, O my gosh..I'm so OLD...but I sucked it up and decided to enjoy my late 60's...now at 77, if I start to feel old..I try to remember all this, suck it up (again) and am enjoying my late 70's....cause I KNOW when I reach my 80's, I'm probably gonna wish I was 77 again.
    Sorry to ramble....have a beautiful day.
    xo

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  7. I love the entry and comments. I smiled at them all. I do like the term 'pleasant patient' youand Betty use here. 'bj' has it, since she and I are about the same age. I want to enjoy each age, and I think I have. But I wish I was still the little boy asking, 'when do we get smaller?'

    But, but when I look in the mirror I start singing with George Burns, "I wish I was Eighteen Again" (Going where I've never been).
    I love this one sweetheart, insecure? I doubt it. (Just your perception!) :-)

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  8. Your post made my day. I almost wet my pants laughing at how you tousle and freeze your hair endlessly to achieve that "just got out of bed" look! Too funny! The comments are a blast!

    When I look in the mirror, I say to myself: "Not bad for a seasoned woman." It's a little trick I learned from Joyce Meyer to start my day. The biblical concept of "calling forth that which is not as though it were!" Haha.

    Write on--precious lady. Such talent.

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  9. Over the years, I've developed a knack for avoiding most mirrors during the day, but I was always careful to look in the mirror and slap that make up on before I leave the house. These days, I still don't look a lot, but when I do, I normally will notice only the flaws.

    This is a great post! I had to grin about "pleasant looking female" and your DH's reaction. He should be glad the leg was injured or you could've justifiably kicked him! lolz

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  10. Oh you are keeping me in stitches! We have to get some Tony Lama boots and get together! Hee Hee! I was thinking, about this hair comment, of my sister. She complained after seeing the Oscars that Patricia Arquette could have run a comb through her hair, afterall, she won an Oscar! LOL! My goodness, celebrities sure don't take the time with their attire and looks the way they use to do! Sigh...
    I caught myself in the mirror the other day! I wondered, who is that old gal staring at me?! Then I remembered taking that hike with Rebekah.She applauded me because I made it on that hike and her friends Nathan (24) and Hope (20) nearly lost a lung climbing that path! As my lungs burned and my legs turned to bowls of jello I thought of Nick and how he constantly inspires me to keep moving. Having gained ten lbs. since my job loss, I need to move more often and stop eating! LOL! Well, sorry I was rambling about....Hugs to you my writing friend! You do it amazingly.

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Thanks so much for dropping by! Your words are like hugs from afar.... and who doesn't love a hug!