I know, like most people, I completely take you for granted. Worse still, I’ve hated you at times.
I’ve hated you when I got behind with my development through temporary deafness when I was a toddler. It transpired that my adenoids needed to be removed. This happened when I was 6 years old. And then, I had to see a speech therapist to learn how to speak properly, rather than babbling like a baby.
I used to be jealous of other children when they effortlessly did cartwheels and handstands against walls and ran faster than me. You didn’t want me to do any of that, did you!
I was always clumsy and couldn’t draw, make anything and sew. I used to break sewing needles!
When I was about 9 to about 12 years old, I looked like a boy. Seriously, I did. People mistook me for one. I was told my legs were like a billiard table’s and I had big ears and a long chin.
And then puberty happened. Why were my hips so massive at 11 years old (36 inches) but it took about 3 or 4 years later for my breasts to catch up? And you gave me heavy, painful periods which were only bearable when I took the Pill, which I took for years.
And my hair was so greasy. I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. I used to feel so ugly and believed I was until my late teens. I hated having my photo taken.
I know from when I was about 18, when I went out with my friends, I used to binge drink. I thought it was the thing to do with being involved in the ladette culture. I thought I was a ladette. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘ladette’ is, in the early 90s in the UK, young women went out and got very drunk. It was like it was expected of us.
Looking back, I think I drank like that because it seemed to improve my self-esteem. I felt wonderful when I was drunk.
I’ve also hated you because, despite the fact I’ve got a womb and ovaries, you decided that I’m not using them for their purpose. Thanks for the menopause at 46! Thanks for the hot flushes, which I still get when the weather is freezing, the mood swings and the easy weight gain when I so much look at cake, never mind eat one!
However, despite me getting frustrated with you, I still have much to thank you for.
Thank you for making me vomit when I was 28, after drinking. Since then, I haven’t drank much.
Even though I was hopeless at sports, I thank you for making me a good swimmer. I’d still go now if it weren’t for the fact that you’re allergic to chlorine. When I get the chance, I love swimming with you in a lake or the sea.
I might still be a slow runner but you make me enjoy running. In fact, I managed my first half marathon in 2019. I started off too fast, didn’t I? But thanks to you, I managed to push myself and did it in 2hrs and 17 minutes.
Also, thank you for helping me to be quite strong when I lift weights.
I now see my clumsiness as a quirk of mine.
I accept the way I look and am comfortable having my photo taken. Nobody looks perfect and what is perfection, anyway? We wouldn’t want to look the same as everyone else, would we?
Thank you for helping me look youthful and at a less superficial level, apart from minor health issues, I am so grateful to you for keeping me healthy. Sadly, many have to live with ill health.
Though I struggle at times with being childless, I forgive you. You must have your reasons and I accept this.
I enjoy keeping you fit and will eat healthily, though I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I indulge a little, at times, would you?
Here’s to living with you until at least we’re 100!
So, what about you, reader? Would you like to write a thank you letter to your body?