20th Anniversary Issue My grandmother could transform a garment with her needle and thread. “It’s my mending day,” she’d say. I found the process intriguing and her talent singular. My mother couldn’t do it, and my only contribution to the process was threading the needle, because I had “good young eyes.” This association is probably why I filed away that phrase “to mend one’s ways” the first time I heard it. If people could fix frayed lives the way my grandmother dealt with errant hems and seams and buttons, nothing was irredeemable. We could remake ourselves and restore ourselves as we went along. It would be half a lifetime later before I connected this mending process with wellbeing, turning “MEND” into an acronym for healthy living: Meditation, Exercise, Nourishment, Detoxification. Personally, I’ve had a checkered history with self-care. I learned binge-eating in childhood despite (or because) of my dad’s being a diet doctor and both my parents’ near obsession with staying fit. I, on the other hand, avoided recess whenever possible – “Miss Rogers, may I stay in and wash the chalkboards?” After my parents divorced and my mother remarried and moved to Spain, I mostly learned “girl stuff” from magazines: Seventeen, Glamour, Mademoiselle. It made sense, then, that by my early twenties I was writing for magazines myself. I believed that if I interviewed enough experts and relayed their wisdom with sufficient intent, I’d come to do by nature what the lean, amazing women on those pages did, the ones with the sculpted arms and flawless skin. In my early thirties, I went into recovery for my...
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