CaptCliff on Aging Gracefully


One of the keys to aging gracefully and maintaining a positive body-image is to NOT look at yourself too often or too directly in the bathroom mirror. In today’s selfie-obsessed world this is not as easy as it might seem and involves training oneself in a powerful form of mindful meditation I call “temporary blindness” as well as a whole lot of selective squinting. Many people ask, “How is this possible? Life, work and love are comprised of many situations that confront us with our own sad reflection and what some would call “reality”. Luckily, reality is what you make of it and pretending that you are younger looking and less droopy than most of your Facebook friends is a viable part of coping and one which encompasses Freud’s most primitive defense mechanisms, ie. lying to yourself on a daily basis, erasing from your computer hard drive and cell phone 99 out of 100 photos taken of yourself at the beach, etc.. In addition, continuing to see yourself as part of the youthful “Pepsi Generation” is especially challenging when the various doctors, dentists, and physical therapists you go to begin to look like 7th or 8th graders and picking up coins on the sidewalk is considered “no longer worth the trouble”.

Fortunately, there is also a certain kind of psychological trick I can teach others that involves the use of ones “peripheral vision” to accomplish basic tasks of living such as washing your face, brushing your teeth and taking ones truckload of prescription medications and vitamin supplements. By alternating your gaze rapidly from far left to far right (somewhat like EMDR but far more narcissistic) you can continue to live freely and remain in complete denial, obscuring from view any nasty looking liver spots, double chins, wrinkles, beer guts or other unmistakeable signs of advancing age and final entropy. I also believe I have learned to master the ancient art of “seeing without seeing” in a way that Carlos Castaneda never imagined possible in the original Teachings of Don Juan. Thus, by creating a kind of “fuzzy logic” spot similar to the one they use on television to block out naked titties and other private parts, I can now stare directly into a well-lit bathroom mirror and basically see nothing…which is very Zen.  Plus, as one continues to seek wisdom and spiritual enlightenment remember that the Buddha had it pretty damn easy by comparison. He didn’t have to deal with make-up mirrors, cellphone cameras, Face-time, polished glass elevators or random reflective surfaces other than maybe an occasional placid flowing river or still pond in the forest. There were no halogen bulbs, hideous florescent lights or infomercials running 24/7 to remind him how horrible he looked or how bad he smelled. Selective vision and temporary blindness are thus handy techniques for our modern age, particularly when one needs to purposely deny, avoid, or erase the negative effects of age, sloth, weight gain, skin damage, cellulite, bad hair, or in my case…no hair at all. Not only that but it’s cheaper than plastic surgery and it wont make you look like a terrifying alien life form… like the majority of older women in Los Angeles. But hey, I’m not going to just give away all my secrets. If you want to know more then send me a big boatload of money or, in this uncertain economy, any leftover gold coins you might have laying around the house. If you cant remember where you put them, check in your top dresser drawer. When I have my senior moments I usually find the missing object crammed in there. Bottomline: Selective blindness, its alot like that bogus brain-training product on TV, only way more effective.

About captaincliff

Psychologist by day, insomniac Pirate blogger by night, this Child of God likes to share sarcastic social commentary as well as topsy-turvy observations about life, love and the pursuit of zaniness, a functional form of insanity in an increasingly insane world
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