This Too Shall Pass

By Anna Mitchael

Time beats technology again

This too shall pass, said from the comfort of a rocking chair. This too shall pass, offered over a glass of iced tea. This too shall pass, when a warm, wiser, older hand cups your cheek.

This too shall pass is advice I have never wanted to take. I would have preferred, Hurdle the mountain. Or at least, Sling on your backpack and climb.

But climbing your personal mountains is an isolated pursuit. It requires dogged determination and blinders I simply don’t see as congruent with motherhood. It is difficult to convince your little one that you will always be there for him when you spend his formative years in pursuit of your own Kilimanjaro. So finally, I am ready to hear, This too shall pass, without cynical ears, without eye rolling, because I think it is a statement made by people who have given up their fighting spirit.

Two months ago I found myself in a beauty superstore. The sort of place where blue eye shadow could never just be blue. It would be azure, midnight, sapphire, indigo or one of 500 other twists on blue. As a woman who still carries a lip gloss I first discovered in junior high, the plethora of beauty options was way out of my league. But I was on a mini-vacation with my best friend. We had been talking about each of our personal Kilimanjaros for a whole day and quite frankly, needed some minor hills we could scamper up, just to remember ascent was still possible. Choosing between red, fire, rose, cherry and crimson lipstick seemed an attainable goal.

In less than five minutes of being in the store, I was sold on a brand new face-cleansing brush that would, as the salesperson said, turn back the hands of time.

It is the most overused sales line in beauty, yet I bought it hook, line and sinker. For the bargain price of about 25 washcloths, I got one fancy, motorized washcloth with a sensor that told me when it was time to move on to a new part of my face.

“It’s very cutting edge,” the saleswoman assured me.

“That’s good,” I said. “Where I live, being cutting edge is extremely important.”

She didn’t get the joke, but I did. When you overpay by 2,500 percent for a washcloth, there’s no reason to pretend you’re trying to impress anyone but yourself.

I would like to tell you that when I got home I immediately tried the face brush, which turned back the hands of time, and I was so propelled by the boost that with a hop, skip and a jump, I sailed over the mountain that had been looming on my horizon.

The truth is that the brush kind of brightened my skin sort of a little bit, um, I guess. But I do feel like my skin glows more. Which is probably half the battle to having a natural glow.

And every night when I use this new face brush, I have one minute of sloughing off the old. A minute of waiting for the final timer to beep so I can splash my face with water and see if I’ve finally pulled a fast one on the hands of time, all the while knowing I actually need time to move forward if I am truly waiting for this, too, to pass.

I believe that in ultimate beauty store-speak this would be labeled a conundrum. Problem. Dilemma. Or maybe I am missing the point. When will I learn? Not even the most cutting-edge technology can fast forward through the tough stuff.

Maybe it’s a lesson from the point of view of the rocking chair. Maybe it’s a challenge over a glass of iced tea. Maybe it’s a warm, wiser, older hand cupped on my cheek whispering, Child, this is an opportunity.