I remember, for many years when I was younger, not knowing what the phrase "skeletons in the cupboard" meant. I can't actually recall how old I was when I eventually discovered the meaning - could have been whilst I was at college. Anyway, whenever I hear the phrase being used nowadays, I always get a mind-recollection (sort of like a movie being played back in your mind's eye) of a a scene from a Fawlty Towers episode; the one where Basil and the Manuel are trying to hide a dead body inside a cupboard in a hotel bedroom. Funny isn't it?
Anyway - it's interesting how the reference to the human skeleton is used in a very negative context in the phrase "skeletons in the cupboard".
Images of skeletons (or parts of skeletons) are also, unsurprisingly, used as indications ...
... and yet, for each and every one of us - beneath our own personal, beloved, squidgy flesh lies our very own object of mortality.
Sometimes I find it really helpful to be reminded that I am built on my own skeleton. I think everyone should. I'm calling it "skeleton awareness" - and here is a best-practise that really works for me
As you go through your morning bathroom ritual - stop for just 30 seconds of skeleton awareness: Look into the mirror, then use both of your hands to pull your lips wide apart, then snap your teeth together open and closed. (As in the photo.) This really makes you aware of your skull. It's a really effective way of reminding you that your face is just a layer of meat! (What if you woke up one morning and it was gone!):
Starting every day with such "skeleton awareness" changes everything! When you sit on the train or the bus or the tube - skeleton awareness makes for a much more interesting journey-to-work. You will be so much more aware of all the people around you - as walking skeletons with a layer of meat all around. Keep your skeleton-awareness whilst you're at the office - in meetings. If you start to lose the skeleton awareness effect - then just pop into the office bathroom and repeat the "stretch your mouth open" procedure to restore the effect to it's full-blown level - it only takes 30 seconds or so.