Our Rural Roots

What the Mirror Sees

(Progressive Farmer image by Jennifer Campbell)

I am no engineer, but there are two big things I find troubling when operating a tractor. First, the guy who designed the 3-point hitch must have really disliked the guy who designed the PTO hookup. The whole setup leaves me with a headache.

The second is more personal, and no aspirin can deliver relief. Hours upon hours of catching my reflection in the poorly placed rearview mirror constantly creates a monster case of self-doubt.

The mirror is always right there, slightly above my line of sight looking back at me. It is impossible to escape or to ignore.

That image in the mirror is hands down my biggest critic. And, it is hardest on me when it should be my biggest cheerleader.

It points out the dark circles under my eyes. It notices that my hair isn't perfect. It focuses on the wrinkles and the crease between my eyebrows.

I can't tell you how often I talk with that person in the mirror. I'm not crazy (there are meds for that), but that doubting person seems to always be there staring back. Why can't I learn to talk back and tell her that I earned those dark circles from 12-hour work shifts, five days straight? Makeup to hide them wouldn't fool anyone.

I should be able to tell that reflection that my hair has never been perfect and guess what? It likely smells of hogs, too, because hogs need to be fed, and that scent comes with the job. Those wrinkles -- that's a road map of a life well-lived, and the smile lines outweigh the frowns.

It is time to give myself some respect and give that image a little sass back.

"Mirror, mirror in the cab, who is the fairest farming the land?"

With my luck, it would answer: "Ahhh, let me Google that."


> Jennifer (Jent) Campbell looks in the rearview mirror from her Indiana farm where she writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (farmwifefeeds.com). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag.