Man in the Looking Glass

It’s Sunday morning. Generally, I have church during the fall and winter. I wasn’t feeling well Saturday morning, and I desperately needed a day off (January and February are hard for me), so I didn’t sing this morning, and I didn’t go to our choir retreat yesterday. I feel a little guilty about that, but my throat hurts. Singing with a sore throat is a good way to lose your voice.

CharlesOsgood CBS Sunday MorningBefore I go to choir, I watch CBS Sunday Morning. It’s a habit I got into years ago, when Charles Kurault still hosted. I turned it on by accident one morning, when I was up. I wasn’t a frequent watcher, not a regular one, not at first. But the stories were always so well-done, the tone so peaceful, it was hard to stay away. In a world where the news was becoming more and more aggressive and accusatory, where cable news channels were spewing all sorts of half-truths, so that the networks began following suit just to get viewers (Fox…but all of them, really). The news was no longer informative – it had become aggressive, hard-biting, and full of half-truths. CBS Sunday morning didn’t seem to be following suit. They reported the news.

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Reel life: The mesmerizing saga of “56 Up”

Because the show is on Sunday morning, and because it precedes political shows (I really miss Tim Russert), it’s softer. It’s news, still, and if something major happens, you will hear about it there, but you’ll hear more than the sound bites. You’ll hear the other stories, the ones that don’t get shown on CNN or ABC Nightly News. They don’t have the time to spend on it. They have to get their headline out, and move on. That is one thing newspapers offered that television news can’t. You can get that news online, too, but you have to tread carefully. As noted before, news organizations can lie if they want to. Make sure your source is trustworthy. I, for instance, tend toward the left, politically. I do not rely on “Move On.org” or “Mother Jones,” or other sites like that for my news. I will read their headlines, then I will try to find the video or actual news story, so I can find out what actually happened. Sad to say, I get more accurate news from “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” comedy shows, than I do from the regular news. And it’s funnier.

CBS Sunday Morning is, to me, the one place of solace, where I can get my Sunday morning newspaper with video and sound. It starts with the headlines, of course, but then it comes up with its own. The reporters include brilliant, conservative, Economist Ben Stein (who is more famous for his role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), comic Bill Geist and Mo Rocca, and Nancy Giles, who is sort of a comic, sort of not. She’s more like an Erma Bombeck, but with a really cool ‘fro. They show the news that the other organizations won’t. They are the lifestyle section of the newspaper. They’re the comic section. They’re the finance section. They’re the political section.

Because I have to be at choir by 10:15, I don’t get to watch the entire first hour. My director gives you a “look” if you’re late too often. He had mellowed quite a bit, true, but he can still get a bit snippy. But then again, I’ve yet to meet a director as brilliant as he who doesn’t. And he really is good. What that means, though, is I generally miss the last half hour of the show. And it saddens me a bit. The last minute or so, we are treated to scenes of nature in this great country of ours. Peaceful moments that help set your day on the right foot. ABC Evening News ends on a positive note these days, too. Took long enough.

It's worse in color...
It’s worse in color…

Today, because I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t sing this morning. I slept. Quite late, actually, but that’s in part because of a neighbor who suddenly decided to play his music loud all night. But that’s another story. This morning, I caught the last half hour. Tomorrow is the host’s birthday; Charles Osgood will be 80 tomorrow. So today, he did something he does occasionally – he treated us to a song. Today’s song was “Man in the Looking Glass.” Hit me like a ton of bricks. This aging thing sucks. I look in the mirror and some middle-aged woman looks back. There are streaks – even clumps – of silver in her hair. The years of smiles (and a bit of extra weight) have left parentheses around her mouth and little lines radiating from the sides of her eyes. I’ll be honest – it’s not too bad. Neither of my parents looked their ages. But it ain’t 20, either.

The silver is multiplying, but it’s silver, not grey. I’m leaving it alone, hoping that I gray like my father’s side of the family, like Nichelle Nicols. I’ d be a fool to mess with that – it’s gorgeous. And Any day now, I’m going to go back to a weight-loss thing, although I’ll never be as thin as I was in Colorado. Looking at pictures, that’s not a bad thing. There was a point where I was too thin, and it showed in my face, the hollows under my eyes, the neck looking too small to hold up my head. It was nice from the neck down, but it was still nice with 10 more pounds, so I ain’t worried. Besides – as we get older, we need to carry a little fat. A little padding helps protect bones that aren’t as strong as they used to be, and covers up areas that tend to need fat to look appealing (cheeks – the ones on your face AND the other ones, neck, eyes, stuff like that).

No, I’m not trying to talk myself out of exercising or losing weight. I’m really horribly overweight. Like, unhealthy overweight, not just aesthetically overweight. So I do need to do something about it. That’s one of those other fun things about aging. I’ve lost 100 lbs before. I took my time, did it over the course of a year, even though I could have lost it faster, and kept it off for several years. I can’t do that again, not the way I did it, and not that amount, for myriad reasons, but I can definitely be thinner. It’ll take longer, though…that whole ‘not 20 anymore” thing will make it more difficult.

Mostly, I just have to get in the mindset, first, and remind myself I’ve done it before. My knees will thank me when I do.

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