Breland: Mind, body constantly challenge life

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, June 2, 2022

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The mind and body can seem to be in constant disagreement.

Life isn’t just about continuing to work hard as we grow older, doing things to stay busy in one’s spare time — like mowing the yard and keeping a super neat house.

I have been persuaded of this because the energy needed to tackle all the tasks that are waiting to be done just may not be there! Some things will have to remain undone…sometimes a lot of things.

In younger days – which seems only a short few years ago — I had no problem keeping up. I have definitely slowed down, but I learned a few tricks along the way.

I used to think a housekeeper was a little lax when they left many items cluttering the tops of kitchen cabinets. I confess I now leave things used frequently on top of the cabinets. Looks a little cluttered to the discerning eye, but it works! It doesn’t bother me so much anymore since I don’t have to stoop down, groaning each time, to search for items in the bottom cabinets. I sometimes even leave folded towels and wash clothes in easy reach on the bathroom cabinets.

Like others who are retired, I have to really prioritize time. Retirement doesn’t mean plenty of time available as it takes longer to do things! Think about what has to be done and what can wait. The trouble — I can have an argument going on between my mind and my body about that very thing.

Finishing chores in the morning, I am ready to sit back and relax. My body says rest, but my old-time mind-set and a lifetime of training tells me I should stay busy. 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 what seems like 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 seem 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 on crossword puzzles, but nothing really challenging. My body seems 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 tables and bureaus, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it did once. 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.

No matter how much I want to put off washing and drying clothes, I have to face it as a priority! My mind tells me I can wash clothes anytime I choose, but my body reminds me I’d better do it in the morning while I have the energy! I am thankful for the appliances.

I’m not lazy, really! 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 can certainly slow one down. Laugh if you must, but it is so true. The reality of it is sometimes frightening!

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

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at