Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Love Letter to the Corporeal Me

Dear Body,

I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for what I said about you this morning. It’s not your fault you look the way you do, and it’s especially not your fault when I get dissatisfied with how you look. After all, you didn’t make the rules that decide what looks good and what doesn’t.

A person I admire recently suggested that, when I’m feeling bad about you, it might help to thank you for all the good things you do and are. So, without further ado, here’s a list of the things I appreciate, but too often take for granted, about you.

  1. Your curly hair ROCKS. It was fashionably big in the 80s and has transitioned to being appropriately mom-like and professional. Plus, it’s a nice color, and it’s fun to twirl around my finger.
  2. Your teeth are nice and strong and (after wearing braces three different times) straight. They make a nice smile. I’ll try to use it more.
  3. You have long, elegant fingers that can span an octave and a major third on the piano. Plus, they’re pretty good at typing, which comes in handy (ha!) when I’m being all writerly.
  4. You have pretty, glowing skin that looks good with or without makeup. It doesn’t sunburn easily and, thus far, hasn’t shown too many wrinkles.
  5. Your stomach seems to be made of iron, and is therefore impervious to stomach flu. Seriously, it’s been at least a decade since the last time I had it, and I’ve never had food poisoning.
  6. To tell the truth, your legs are kind of a big deal. They walk me to work every day, have carried me through several half and full marathons, and no matter how much extra weight I put on them, they always look good in a short skirt.
  7. Your eyes are a pretty shade of grayish-blue. And I appreciate that their prescription hasn’t changed for a few years. I mean, they may not see particularly well, but at least they aren’t getting any worse.
  8. Despite your congenital disposition to the contrary, your pancreas is really good at making insulin to handle whatever sugar I throw at it. I hereby promise to do my very best to keep it that way.
  9. Since we’re talking about organs, your brain is amazing. First of all, it’s huge (or at least, I assume it is, given my GIANT head size), and it does all kinds of cool stuff like solving math problems, remembering a little French and most of my family’s and friends’ birthdays, and coming up with just the right word when I need it. Not to mention all the stuff I never have to think about at all, like blinking and breathing.
  10. And last but not even close to being least, you created, nurtured, birthed, and fed an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING. No one told you how. You just did it all on your own. And may I say, that was some stellar work, because the human being in question (my daughter) is a miraculous little work of art.

So, Body, I hope you can forgive me for the bad stuff I’ve thought and said about you. I’m sorry I’ve taken you for granted, because in the end, I’m really lucky to have you.

And since you’re stuck with me—at least for another 40 years or so, if my family history is any indication—I’ll make you a deal. I’ll try to take better care of you and appreciate you more, and you just keep doing what you’re doing. Because really, when all is said and done, what you do is amazing.

Thanks for being my Body.



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