There was no earthquake, no claps of thunder, no comet, nothing to mark the occurrence of an extremely rare event. Wait for it (drum roll please) ...

I voluntarily used a changing room in a clothing store without cringing, having a panic attack, or bursting into tears. (Okay, maybe I did cringe. A little. But, hopefully at my age, it would be acceptable for one to feel just a tiny bit put out with having to stand so close to a mirror under such harsh lights when trying on clothes. After all, I don't see those failings in all their glory in front of my bedroom mirror!)

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate shopping. Especially for clothes. Or shoes. That I've done both in the past month is noteworthy. That the most recent expedition was voluntary and without any prompting, is monumental.

But some things have changed at work. With no seats to sit on (only cushions at tables barely 30cm/12" from the ground) and so many babies under one, wearing skirts was becoming a nuisance. In fact, these same skirts that I originally made the decision to wear as a choice for modesty, were now proving to be immodest. I could have worn longer skirts, but when you're constantly getting up and down with a baby in your arms, these pose a danger in that the unwary can easily be tripped up by the layers of fabric (or when your skirts tends to be a little loose around the waist, when one stands on the hem, there is another ahem danger).

I have no idea what they call them now: cropped pants, café pants, capris, or whatever, but I am now the proud owner of a few pairs. With some pretty shirts (or I thought so when I bought them - I'll probably change my mind when I first see a photo of myself in said clothes). This is a huge change for someone who has had one only pair of 'good' pants in her wardrobe (and which no longer fit due to having lost weight last year) and a few pairs of tatty jeans for weekends slash gardening wear for the past several years.

Overcoming my aversion to pants and seeing my legs 'exposed' (no hiding extra padding under skirts) hasn't been as hard as seeing my mother every time I see myself in the mirror! If I've been traumatized by anything this past week, I think it has to have been that.

Not that I have anything against my mother. She was - and is - a beautiful woman. But she is my mother and by looking like her I am reminded that I am getting older every day!

Where is that eighteen year old whose image is still in my head and whom I think I still look like ... until I get a nasty shock in the mirror?


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