Thursday, January 26, 2023

One More “Selfie”-Examination

I realize that we have seen enough of my face this month, but I can’t resist one more comparison photo. Recently I came across an old plastic faculty ID card from the early 2000s with a worn out and scratchy picture of me at probably 41 or 42 years of age.

So I set about “restoring” it with some AI filters. We all know that ID photos are famously unflattering, but the strained, weary, hollowed-out look of the man in this picture from two decades ago is not far off the mark. In those strange days, I was somewhere in the midst of debilitating illness and treatments that might have helped but were not much fun.

Does the current 2023 picture look “better”? I have been a bit run down lately, but generally speaking I have felt better overall the past decade (2013-2023) than I did in the period prior to it (2003-2013). Twenty years, in any case, brings a lot of changes.

I will say that if I had not “retired” from classroom teaching and administrative duties in 2008, there may never have been a picture from 2023. I am grateful that I got to live those days, and for whatever days remain ahead. May God grant me the grace to live them well.