Maintenance, Attention and Progress

You know your body. You know its limits. You know what makes it hurt, what makes it groan and what makes it shudder and break. You know what makes it happy. You know how to build it and create it in a new shape. You probably think that you know your body and you know yourself a plenty.

I wanted to share this story. It’s a little personal. I was at MAC– the makeup store, not the computer store– and I was buying foundation, which I almost never wear. That’s the makeup you put all over your face to give yourself pretend perfect skin.

And I asked the salesman for help finding the right color. And he looked at me and said– almost like he was thinking out loud– he said, your neck, it’s so much more yellow than your face. And then he turned away to start looking for the impossible color that would solve this problem of the yellow right next to the so much more yellow.

And if you’re thinking, oh, this was just a sales technique to invent a problem and then offer to fix it with more products, I wish that that had been the case. But this was not an upsell. This was a cri de couer. The man really just seemed to be expressing his frustration at this stumper of my mismatched face and neck.

This sort of out-of-the-blue, perfectly sharpened comment stops you cold because it’s not an insult. It’s an observation that is true. You just hadn’t thought of it before. It’s shocking because you think, I know myself. I know what I’ve got, what I haven’t got. No one’s going to spot something about me that I haven’t already seen. Not true.

Nancy Updike, This American Life

You don’t know yourself, not necessarily as well as you might think. You might just need someone who knows a little more. I live in Liverpool, and deep tissue sports massage in Liverpool is in a boom period. Turns out, I don’t know everything about my body, I’d never had a deep tissue massage in my life and it was quite an amazing thing. My body felt so loose and free afterwards I couldn’t believe it. It was a wonderful feeling.



It’s a wonderful thing, to suddenly learn at my age that there is a whole other way to care for yourself and a whole other way of feeling. It is great!