When I am imagining how other people see me, as I am sometimes prone to do in an incredible but (until now) private display of egocentrism, I like to think of myself as a loveable curmudgeon. That Kate, I might even imagine them saying in my lamer moments, she may be a seething mass of undirected rage, self-induced failed dreams and petty pettiness but isn’t she great? The answer, sadly, is no, as people seem to be rushing to tell me lately. No you weren’t passionate and articulate at Saturday’s curry party – you were a boozy bore too busy congratulating herself on winning an argument to realise her opponent was a frightened German tourist. No, unfortunately, you weren’t being all Nigella Lawson when you lounged about in your bathrobe eating liquourice the other day – you were being a lazy glutton.
The latest shitcake in my life to tell me what I’m doing wrong is my body. Uppidty fucker. In fairness to the body it has been a long time since I put the effort into the old girl. It has been at least four months, for instance, since I did any concerted, regular exercise. It has been about three weeks, at least, since I did a proper grocery shop – the kind that means you have fruit and vege in your fridge and no excuse for idly eating frozen samosas on the couch while reading outdated furniture catalogues. The excuse for both of these things is time, of course. I’ve lost my work/life balance. Can’t think where I put it.
And the body has had enough. I believe the final straw came several weeks ago when I inadvertently ran out of my thyroid meds and completely neglected to get a new prescription. Eh, she’ll be right, I said, what is all this ‘medication’ and ‘illness’ and ‘your metabolism will shut down’ nonesense anyway? All in the mind, power of positive thinking and all that. Shall we have another wine?
Hmm. Didn’t go down a treat. All in the mind is it? My body said in the kind of icy cold voice usually reserved for frightfully polite people when they just discover you’ve backed over their child in the driveway. I’ll show you all the mind… and blahmo a huge weird lump in my neck. Disgusting neck cysts eh? I mused, whatev, I can deal with that. Again: big mistake. For on came absolutely crippling lower, upper and middle back pain. Followed by semi-frightening sharp stabs of pain in my back and chest. Coupled with all this I have been super, super exhausted and suffered from weird leg cramps for the past week or two. Yeah. Not really an awesome sign.
Now perhaps I’ve just been spooked after dear Andy came home from basketball claiming to have gone semi-blind but I’m starting to suspect I might be getting old. And feeble. And crippled. And perhaps I can no longer afford to do exactly what I please and still wake up feeling perky and none-too-shabby. So what’s the answer? Start exercising again? Eat more healthily? Do things like meet friends for walks instead of drinks and spend half an hour at the park in the morning before work instead of reading in the bath? Eh, maybe. But isn’t it just easier to quit my job and become a goat farmer? Yeah I think so too.