When your mind and body send different messages

Published 10:42 am Monday, June 15, 2015

My mind and my body are in disagreement.

The older I get, the more I am realize that life isn’t just about working hard, doing things to stay busy in one’s spare time and keeping a super neat house.

I am persuaded of this because somehow I just don’t have the energy any more to tackle all the tasks that need doing. Something has to remain undone…sometimes a lot of things.

I had no problem keeping up when I was younger, even a short few years ago, but I have slowed down considerably. I have learned a few tricks that help me. I used to walk into a kitchen and see items cluttering the tops of the cabinets. I thought the housekeeper was a little lax.

Now I leave things I use frequently on top of the cabinet. Looks a little cluttered to the discerning eye, but it works for me! It doesn’t bother me so much anymore, and I don’t have to stoop down to search for them in the bottom cabinets. I also leave folded towels and wash clothes in easy reach on the bathroom cabinets.

Like many of you who are retired, I find that I have to really prioritize my time. I have to think about what really has to be done and what can wait. The trouble is I often have an argument going on between my mind and my body about that very thing.

By the time I do the chores I need to do in the morning and whip something up for lunch, I am ready to sit back and relax. My body says rest, but my mind and a lifetime of training tells me I should be busy. The things I need to do flit through my mind. I’m still thinking about it when I kick back in my recliner and drift off for a nap.

In seemingly recent days gone by, I could work eight hours at my job, go home and prepare supper, then get right into something like sewing or working on a painting or cleaning out a closet or any number of things that needed doing.

Now, I just want to sit and contemplate what I should be doing. Once I could not sit still without something in my hands to keep me occupied, like mending or crocheting or hemming a dress or balancing my checkbook.

Now I may read or work a few crossword puzzles, but nothing really challenging. My body seems to be ready to rest, but my mind is never inactive.

“Take it easy,” my body says.

“You lazy thing,” my mind replies.

I look with disdain at the dust gathering on the tops of my tables and bureaus, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. Somehow getting up and dusting takes a lot of mind persuasion and body cooperation.

“It will be there when I get around to it,” I tell myself, justifying my inaction.

“Aren’t you ashamed?” my mind, which sounds vaguely like my mother’s voice, says to me.

The one thing I can’t get around is washing clothes. No matter how much I want to put it off, I have to face it. Washing clothes is a priority, especially when you run out of underwear! My mind tells me I can wash clothes anytime I choose, but my body tells me I’d better do it in the morning while I have the energy!

I’m not usually considered lazy, I’m pretty healthy and I take Centrum Silver and vitamin D on a regular basis, so what is my problem?

Maybe it has something to do with getting ready for another birthday…aging…it certainly slows one down. Laugh if you must, but it is oh so true. The reality is frightening!

While I view good living with a certain amount of awe, I also realize that many things in my life are changing.

My mind says I don’t have to do everything but my body tells me I do have to keep moving.

I really wish my mind and my body would work together.

It would simplify things enormously.