​I seem to have misplaced my eyebrows.

​I feel like I have never been appreciative enough of those little babies and their northern placement directly above my eyeballs. Like many of my friends, I stopped looking in the mirror after my 50th birthday. I became quite good at applying mascara, without poking my eyes out, and brandishing lipstick around like a Maestro uses his baton, all the while holding a compact mirror at arm’s length.

Reacquainting myself with my eyebrows - or does it really matter?

​Pre Covid Captivity, seeing people in my office, I did not have to look at my own face.  However, now I have to peer into this little square box that has my neck, with turkey jowls, wrinkles on my face, and the seeming disappearance of my eyebrows. Before, when I had darker more defined eyebrows, they broke the monotony of my large forehead, but now this bare expanse of skin moves directly toward the greying locks of my un-highlighted hair, seemingly, another indignity. It makes me think “Mom, how in the world did you get into my computer screen?”

 Do you ever think that all of a sudden you have become your mother?

I had a number of Zoom sessions in a row the other day. In the first session I had noticed that I had lost my eyebrows, and no amount of peering into the computer screen could help me determine where they were. After the session was over, I ran into the bathroom and turned on the lights and to my horror I could see snowy white hair, not even grey, above my eyes.

I have never had an eyebrow pencil before, so I decided before my next session to quickly use my mascara wand and apply it directly onto the white hair. Artistic design is not my forte, so I looked ridiculous with these jet-black straight lines with nary a shape to them. Figuring that wouldn’t do for my next Boomer on Zoomer session, I wiped the mascara off with hand sanitizer, the closest product at hand. By the way how are your hands doing with all this washing and sanitation process? Mine look like turkey claws with leathery bumps, and feel like they would do a better job sanding wood than the old sander lying idol in the garage waiting for our wonderful Jack-of-all trades Rick, to return to work.

The session started off well enough until the person I was speaking with kept leaning in closer to the screen, and seemed about to fall off the chair. I asked if there was something wrong with the connection, which he denied, but said that he felt compelled to tell me that it looked as if I had been using a charcoal briquette to apply my makeup that day. Apparently, my eyesight is failing as well, and if this Covid continues much longer I will need a stronger prescription for my eyeglasses.

Speaking of zooming in close, I am here to report that I am more often than not figuring out this little wonder of technology, ZOOM. I continue to experience some technical challenges, but they are few compared to the psychological trauma I am experiencing having to look at myself, for 60 minutes at a time. This constant self-evaluation reminds me of graduate school, where for hours on end we had to sit and work with clients and have professors behind the one-way training mirror, watching and critiquing our every move. It was exhausting! Now, I am both professor and therapist peering at myself in the little box, yet trying to pay complete attention to the person in front of me. I am sorry to report that I am dwelling on the fact that I am developing a moustache, probably a beard, I have lost my eyebrows and my hair is turning grey.

If you have had kids go to college or university you may have heard of the Freshman 15 (lbs)? Along with all of the above changes I am now well aware of, I am also working on the Covid 19 (lbs), due to the baking and fresh bread being constructed in my kitchen.

A friend of mine, Sandra, ordered a dog grooming kit from Amazon and had it delivered to her door step. She got working on her pooch, channeling her inner hair stylist ability and made some great gains making Bella feel better about herself, as she is the great Poochini and needs to present a well-groomed self to her adoring fans.  Sandra said that perhaps she was getting a bit too relaxed living in isolation, as she found herself moving directly from her dog to her own hair, without so much as a dip into peroxide to clean the scissors. Her family feels the front doesn’t look too bad, but the back of her head leaves a bit to be desired. 

While I am Zooming, I am looking at the external representation of me, but because of the pandemic and the resulting collective common humanity experience, I am much more aware of the internal parts of myself knocking at my door louder and louder, as each week of social distancing goes on. And why wouldn’t they? We are stuck with ourselves and perhaps a few loved ones, but without the normal distractions and crazy pace of living I and many others typically run our lives.

To just be and to accept oneself in the moment for all the goodness and the imperfections, is truly a gift.  As the great Pandemic Pause continues, I find there are fewer ways to get away from me and perhaps concerns like aging, death, and other existential angst.  Anyone else out there feeling that way too?

We need to be gentle with ourselves. People who have had trauma and anxiety in the past are going to be activated in these strange times, even if you have worked through prior challenges. People who have not had trauma or much anxiety are going to experience internal change. Talk to someone, get support, but most importantly have self-compassion. We are all a cast of characters, made up of many parts that complete the whole self. Be kind to the parts. Be curious about the parts. Reach inside and reassure the more vulnerable parts of yourself that it is going to be OK, we will get through this and normalcy will return. Take this opportunity to get to know your parts, in this great time of deep reflection.


Beautiful late April sunset

Categories: Expert advice


Sandra Wash · 27 April 2020 at 20 h 37 min

You read my mind! Covid has unmasked our true beautiful selves ( & the “uglies” too), but it’s grounding effects turn our attention to what is truly important in this short life.

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 37 min

    That is for sure Sandra. The great “Pause” that is this pandemic has the capacity to change forever what people value and believe in, and as you say ‘ground’ us in the reality of what is truly important in this short time we have to walk the planet. The popular saying, ‘ Don’t sweat the small stuff’ has never been so true, as far as I am concerned.

Sonia · 30 April 2020 at 16 h 05 min

Gaye, I agree with you that our aging bodies are not so great to look at in a mirror. But what can we do?

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 33 min

    Compassion and gratitude. Embrace it all – the good, the bad, the in between.

Leslie · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 01 min

Thank you Gaye! I feel I am fading into the background. I swear if I walk into a room that is painted in some form of gray silver I disappear! Mom also told me Do not pluck your eyebrows so much when I was 14….why didn’t I listen? And then just as I am lambasting myself with another wet noodle you remind me to be kind to me. Wise wise words you funny and gentle soul.

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 45 min

    You, my dear friend, will never disappear into the background. Your vibrancy, full of laugher and love, joie de vivre precludes fading !!!
    When we were 14 our mothers knew absolutely nothing. And apparently, according to my own kids, I as a mother continue to know next to nothing! Oh well, consistency can be a good thing……. 🙂

Mark · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 06 min

Thanks Gaye, I love reading your insights and observations here in the UK. I would just add that one of life’s blessings is the way you lose your eyesight at the same time as you gain ‘laughter lines’. I have spent a long time on Zoom and FaceTime, I can tell there’s a small window which is probably me, but that’s as far as it goes. As they say, focus on the big picture – and that’s the person I have the pleasure to be talking to 😊

Thanks, Mark.

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 31 min

    HI Mark! How are things in the UK?? Hope things are starting to get a little bit back to normal. I love that you said that you lose your eyesight at the same time you gain laughter lines. Ain’t that the truth?? What would we do without laughter these days?? Now more than ever I think the focus has to be on the bigger picture, that life is short, precious and we need to not sweat the small stuff and get on with being kind to ourselves and the planet. I think Covid 19 pandemic is a great social experiment and it will be interesting to see what happens next. Thank you for your comment.

Chris Lefaivre · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 08 min

I totally get it… I am saving so much money during these interesting times. One of my savings is my every 6 week $300 visit to my hair dresser. My normally auburn hair had faded to a mousy bad henna look with 1.5 inches of grey. My vanity immediately prompted me to order an auburn hair die from Amazon. Yeah it arrived….. or perhaps not my hair is now orange yikes!!

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 27 min

    Oh dear Chris! Well isn’t orange the new black or something like that?? 🙂 I am sure it will look absolutely beautiful and festive and you will be the talk of the town when we are allowed out again. Thank you for leaving a comment! It is so nice to hear from you.

Ann Morcom · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 09 min

Omg! I thought you were channeling your inner Groucho Marx! Agreed, these Zoom calls really “zoom” in on the bits we didn’t seem to notice and the bits we hate, or are in denial about. It’s like hearing your recorded voice, it’s never what you think you sound like. Age is rarely kind to anyone. My own root rescue treatment resulted in me dropping it, having it bounce off the bathroom floor and splash onto the back of the white bathroom door, leaving a beautiful new tie dye design. Next diy project 🙄

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 25 min

    Oh dear, I am sorry Ann that you had an oopsie with the hair dye! Well, that white door maybe needed a bit of colour, and sprucing up, just like us! Black on white! It is so true what you said about hearing your recorded voice and not recognizing it. I look at my face and don’t recognize it. Maybe I never paid enough attention to it in the past? Thank you for replying to the blog. So nice to hear from you!

Susan · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 10 min

A good laugh, or a least a chuckle, is always welcome these days. I miss the hugs, kisses and laughter we share with our friends and loved ones.

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 15 min

    Oh Susan, I am so with you. Soon, we should be able to do this with our loved ones and it is going to be so much more special and appreciated. I don’t think I will ever take things like freedom to connect freely for granted ever again. What a gift, connection.

Sonia · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 11 min

Gaye, I like how you described your attempt to recolor your eyebrows. Very funny! Did you know that you can dye your eyebrows? Root rescue from the drugstore works really well.
By the way I agree we have to be kind to ourselves. We are not perfect plastic dolls, we are humans and luckily we are imperfect + unique.

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 13 min

    Hi Sonia
    Thank you for the tips! I will investigate the purchase of root rescue the next time I am brave enough to venture out to the store. I am so in agreement with your statement that we are humans, imperfect, thank God. If we were all Barbie dolls, looking the same, perfect proportions, whatever that means, how boring!

Barb · 30 April 2020 at 21 h 27 min

Omg Gaye…. at first I just saw your picture and didn’t see the title or the blurb about using mascara for
An eye brow pencil🤪 I burst out laughing and I literally scrambled to take a screen shot of that picture you posted and started a text along with that pic to tell
You…” my dear friend you must delete that picture of yourself ASAP and go wipe whatever you used for your eyebrows off your face”. See… I really do have your back LOL. As I was about to do this I saw the caption and realized you put that pic up knowingly !!! Then I read about the guy you were zooming with and he commented you look like you have charcoal on your face. Once again I howled !! So thank you for starting my day with 2 great belly laughs and discussing how horrible it is to look at yourself on zoom. Very distracting and a great lesson on being compassionate with ourselves and less critical. Your comments and thoughts are so accurate.
Now, go wipe that crap off your eye brows and have an awesome day 🤣🤣💓

    Gaye Gould · 30 April 2020 at 22 h 10 min

    Hello my dear Barb,
    I am so glad you have my back. When we are old and somewhat cognitively declined with the last of the inhibitions gone, I hope you will be there telling me to not post ugly pictures
    of myself, or whatever else I will be likely, inappropriately, getting up to.. Thank you for replying!!

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