It was a relief to wake up. I checked my body for signs of imminent demise. None. I mean, there are many imperfections, but most of them aren't, as far as I'm aware, fatal.
In the past, the things I don't like about my body have stopped me from living fully. I remember being 17 in a heatwave in Sweden and refusing, despite my Swedish friends' incredulous protestations (it was Sweden for goodness sake!) to wear shorts. I spent two wonderful weeks of blue skies, islands and boating trapped in dungarees in a strange closed-circle of self-consciousness.
Since then, I've learnt to look at my body square-on, to experience it for what it is. It's been a sort of existentialist awakening - taking on board what Sartre calls le vécu,which is something to do with the validity of lived experience as a form of knowledge.
So, on waking this morning to find that I am (as far as I know) perfectly healthy, I thought about whether to keep my appointment at the salon. Reason argued that subjecting myself to pain in an effort to reach a constructed ideal of female beauty would be a trivial way to spend half an hour of the time that remains to me. Experience has taught me that acting on the knowledge I have about what gives me the confidence to take my clothes off leads to a freedom to engage with life more fully.
I may go for a swim later.