Another birthday approaches. I’ll turn 73 in a few weeks. I think when you reach a certain age you start looking back and thinking about the things you did, didn’t do, and those that you wish you had. For some, that may mean adventures you never took or other opportunities you feel you missed. For some, it can mean other things. Things that have now resulted in a decline in your physical and/or mental health.
I’ve never truly been a physically inclined person. Heck, I even flunked sophomore phys-ed because I just didn’t want to take it. (Which resulted in double periods of the same class, that I so wanted no part of, in my junior year.) Most of my activity was mental and emotional. I did ride a bicycle, until I was old enough to drive, but I always preferred books and listening to music to physical activity. I did go to dances and enjoyed dancing for many years. Still, I preferred good conversations that caused me to stop and think.
Let me be clear though. Even though physical activity isn’t really my thing, I’ve done my share, especially if a situation called for it and I was one of a few available to do the job, whatever that job may have been. I’ve gone on hikes that were miles long, helped clear land, moved heavy objects, and even helped demolish a house with a sledge hammer. Still, I prefer the mental to the physical.
I’m no longer that skinny 105 lb. girl from high school. The years have rolled by, the metabolism has slowed down, and I now weigh about twice that much. My mind is active. I still prefer books, listening to music, and good, thought-provoking conversation to any form of physical activity.
The sad part is, you get to a certain age and the muscles begin to decline, the body doesn’t heal quite as fast, and you may find yourself not being able to do certain things, even if you were so inclined. As an example, I injured my left knee in September of 2017 and I’m still dealing with it, re-injuring it a couple of times and ever so slowly healing from it each time. The excess weight doesn’t help.
I’m truly not looking for sympathy here nor am I looking for suggestions on how to better my situation. That’s something I, and I alone, have to work out. What I am saying is, no matter what part of you we talk about – mind, body, or spirit – you have to use it or lose it, to some degree.
In our current society, everything seems to direct our attention to the physical body, especially where looks are concerned. The mind, which is the largest muscle in the body, is often left unmentioned. Instead, it’s about the abs or glutes or some other muscle group. No judgment intended, just a query as to why ones whole being isn’t being taken into consideration for exercise and training?
We have two sides (hemispheres) to our brain that contain functions and abilities. In our society, the emphasis seems to be on the logic or left side of the brain. More and more the creativity of the right side of the brain is being disregarded, especially in the education of our young people. Art, music, and other creative forms of activity should be as important as math, science, and other forms of logic/fact training. Without both, the brain is out of balance. In later years, if we don’t take it upon ourselves to do something about it, this imbalance can cause us to become mentally incapacitated in some way.
Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, soduko, word search, as well as painting, drawing, and even learning a new language, help different areas of the brain to remain active and well functioning. Even if the body becomes infirmed, an active mind will continue to allow us to communicate with the outside world.
I know I may sound like a hypocrite to some. I talk about balance in all areas of our being and yet I emphasize the mind/brain when I have my own imbalance with my current situation. The reality of it is that I believe it’s possible to do anything with a strong mind coupled with a strong belief in possibilities. Strong belief is called “faith” and it’s the spirit part of our being. Adding the feeling that comes with seeing it already accomplished, even if you haven’t yet, and you have a powerful mixture called the “Law of Attraction.” That Law basically says if your mind can conceive of it, and your willing to believe in it, then you can achieve it. That’s how powerful we truly are. Still, you have to use it.
So, here I an awaiting that 73rd birthday. Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally I feel in good shape. Those areas of my life are well, and often, used. I still continue to search for the key that will unlock the door to the balance I need in the physical side of my life. It’s a matter of when, not if, I will find the answer I seek – for I will never cease my search.
In my moments of contemplation, I wonder how many others, young or old, have even stopped to consider whether there are areas of themselves that are being left unused. We are such awesome, multifaceted creatures that have so many talents and abilities (some of which we can be unaware of) that it would be a shame to let any of them go unused. Better to use it than lose it and regret it later on.