Mind and Body Blues

I think that one of the most frustrating parts of getting old, is how the mind and body grow apart, at least that’s true for me.  My body reminds me every day of its limitations.  My back hurts after a couple of hours of standing or sitting, my legs get cramps when I try to walk too fast, my shoulder freezes up for no good reason, my poor arthritic fingers protest when I play my instruments,  I’ve got extra flab around my middle, my hair is gray, and I have to be constantly checked for weird spots on my skin.  And yet, even with some forgetfulness and chemo brain, I feel as though I’m wiser and have a lot of passion and interest in learning, as well as more calm and patience (at least for some things) in my mind.  Maybe we need to have an actual physical slowing down of our pace of life in order to be able to appreciate the wisdom and insight we’ve gained through time in our minds, I don’t know.  At any rate, it can be frustrating that our bodies can’t quite keep up any more, but it certainly gives us new challenges to keep our minds fresh.

I recently heard Linda Ronstadt say how frustrating it is that she can’t knit any more because of the Parkinson’s,  because she has loved to knit.  But then she said that she’d just have to find new interests.  That’s what I remember realizing when my back issues changed my physical activity so dramatically, and indeed, it has been fun to find those new interests, at least after I was able to get over some of the frustration and anger.  Interestingly, for me, it meant adding knitting to my activity repertoire, and that moved into my taking  Coursera courses and writing and playing my music, and now into painting mandalas.  What seemed absolutely horrible, has turned out to be okay, and even good, and will work out perfectly for moving to Trail’s End.

One thing I have really learned with age, is that the mind and body are actually extremely connected with regard to stress and negativity.  I have little tolerance for either one these days, and find that sometimes it means changing the situation I’m in, the people I’m around, or the activities I do.  If none of those are possible, I get help from my partner in changing my perceptions.  I just know that the anxious worrywort that I’ve always been, has not been good for my physical, mental or emotional self.   I suppose that also might mean that the mind and body are connected with regard to happiness and joy.  If so, and it’s not too late, I’ve got my fingers crossed that a few more years will be added to my life.  If not, well, whatever’s left will be pretty darn good.

I was challenged recently, by a friend, to write a 12 bar blues song.  I didn’t really know what that was, so had to do a little research on internet and youtube.  Then I had to think of something I had the blues about, and surprisingly, that was harder than I thought it would be. (Hooray!)  But anyway, I found the topic, this very one I’ve been talking about above, and am happy to say I enjoyed writing this very different kind of song, (although I wouldn’t mind if someday someone else played the instruments and breaks and all I had to do was sing!).

Mind and Body Blues

My mind and my body just can’t stay in sync

My mind and my body just can’t stay in sync

While my mind gets sharper, my body falls into the drink.  (not literally)

I’m getting old, that’s what my children say

I’m getting old, I’m 60 years old these days

Though my body’s a survivor, my mind has its dreamin’ ways.

Can’t keep up with my grandchild, can’t keep up with my kids

Can’t keep up with my grandchild, or the things I already did

But I’m learnin’ what it’s like to have a slow, easy pace to live.

My mind keeps creatin’ though my body’s runnin’ slow

My mind’s got ideas, it wants to get out there and go

But my body lags behind,  protests, and tries to say, “no.”

My mind’s always thinkin’ ’bout the love I feel for you

My mind’s full of pictures of all I’d like us to do

But my body’s slow goin’, sometimes it can’t follow through.

My mind and my body just can’t synchronize

My mind and body can’t find a compromise

But when it comes to lovin’ you babe, they’ll find a way to harmonize.

My back is so bad, I can’t stand up for long

I can’t go to work, so I’m home here writing this song

I’m broke as a lizard, but I know this is where I belong.





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