Every now and then, I feel the urge to write something so vapid and so obvious that it beggars belief that I would spend any valuable time doing so. Apologies, my friends, because today is one of those times.
A couple of months ago, I was examining my face in the mirror (as you do), and I noticed something that didn't be used to be there. That's how it goes, you know, when you get to A Certain Age -- things appear that didn't used to be there. It can be a bit shocking at first -- "Have I always had that wrinkle/that mole/that lump?" you think to yourself with mild disbelief -- but eventually, you sort of get used to it.
So anyway, I'm looking in the mirror, and I notice ... well, there's no way to put this delicately ... the very beginnings ... the slightest whisper, really ... of a wattle. I noticed that if I turned my head a certain way, my neck did this ... unsettling thing. It was mildly alarming.
But I pulled myself together pretty quickly. While a sudden change in appearance can be a bit of a shock, the truth is that in general, looking older doesn't scare me -- after all, I am getting older. "Karen, you're 47 years old," I said to myself. "Honestly, this isn't really that surprising. Deal with it." And I did.
Fast forward to this past Friday, when I was having a conversation in passing with a personal trainer. He's in astonishingly great shape, and I had stopped him to ask him how he got such great muscle definition. He started quizzing me on what I've been doing to take care of myself, and generally, I'm doing all the right things. And then he asked the fatal question:
"Are you drinking lots of water?"
Folks, I'm an awful water drinker. I mean, I don't drink soft drinks or juices -- if I drink anything other than coffee or tea, it's water -- but I drink very little of it. I always have. And considering that I have a history of kidney disease in my family, it's really embarrassing that I don't drink more.
He could tell by my expression.
"Karen, you need to drink water, man. In fact," he continued, "take the numerical value of your weight in pounds, and you should be drinking that in ounces of water every day."
Now, I'm not about to reveal my weight here on Chookooloonks, but suffice to say that if you did the math, you would know that this is a deranged amount of water. "Dude, you are nuts," I said. "I wouldn't be able to get anything done. I'd be peeing all day long."
"I'm not nuts," he smiled. "I'm serious. That's what you need to be drinking."
I sighed. I didn't think I could drink that much water (and I'm not entirely convinced that his math is right), but I also knew that I should be drinking a lot more than I actually do. "Fine," I said. "I'll start. I expect to be as cut as you are my Monday, though, or you're in trouble."
He laughed, and I said goodbye. As soon as I got home, I poured myself my first pint of water.
Since then, I've drunk literally gallons of water. I haven't gotten anywhere near to the daily amount he suggested, but I've certainly drunk a ton more than I normally do. I've drunk so much, I haven't had any coffee or tea, because I just don't have the room. I've drunk so much I haven't spent this much time in our bathroom since we first moved into this house. I've drunk so much, I'm making sloshing sounds when I move.
But then, last night, I looked in the mirror again and ... guess what? No wattle.
I was stunned. I kept craning my head and my neck, trying to make it appear again, and it wouldn't. I stared at my face, and noticed that for the first time in a while, it was clear. While most people probably wouldn't notice the difference, I can't help but be astonished by what I see.
(I also felt a pang of anger at the "beauty" industry. I mean, I'm not someone who spends much money on cosmetics, and I literally have no idea what the difference between an astringent and a toner is, nor why I would want either, but I do know that I have friends who spend literally hundreds of dollars on wrinkle creams and tightening creams and Lord knows what else. What if the real trick to looking and feeling better is just water? Wouldn't that be something?)
Anyway, this was probably more information about my neck and bathroom habits that you ever wanted to know. But I'm so surprised by the change, that I wanted to make sure to record this somewhere so that if I go back to my make-like-a-camel-and-go-for-ridiculous-amounts-of-time-without-water bad habits, I had this reminder here of what happened when I actually began mindfully drinking it.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled Chookooloonks (mostly because I have to go to the bathroom). In the meantime, drink water, friends. It's seriously good for you, and not just because it gets rid of whispers of wattles.