Feeling young or old depends on how your body and mind feels. Sometimes they both convey to deliver that amazing or daunting perception. Most of the time, we feel young or old without even noticing if it’s body or mind related. Then, there can be some aspect making our perceptions clearer. Or it just happens. Health problems make us feel old, most of the times when our minds still feel young. It’s also very sad to see a sick mind prisoner of any young body.
I’ve been aware of this conundrum since both my parents died. Their bodies were far older than their minds. My mother was obese and had circulatory problems. She was clever and loving up to the last minute of her life. She lived until 75, a truly deed. Her mother died from the same reasons at 45. The difference was an operation to unclog her arteries. My father’s heart started to beat weaker and weaker, from 85 until his very early 90s. He could have lived more if he had someone with him. I believe his solitude and stubbornness didn’t help. He died in the hospital, telling jokes to my sister.
The cases of mental issues in my family are very rare. In three generations, I know about a distant cousin, who was born with problems. His mother was an extraordinary woman, a second or third cousin of my mother. His father had alcohol problems and the reason of my cousin’s situation was well realized. And there’s the recent story of my father’s youngest sister. My aunt married late, at 40, with a rich man a lot older than she. Basically, her life was taking care of that man. She took such good care of him that he lived more than 100 years. When he died, I thought she would have a few good years for herself, enjoying some of his wealth. A couple of months ago, I was surprised to hear that she showed signs of Alzheimer shortly after he passed away. In 2010, I visited her and she was selling health. In 2014, he died. In 2015 she got the disease and in 2016 she died. I suppose it was a mind failure. Probably, she focused so much in taking care of her man that, when he left, she just felt the emptiness of her life. Well, they didn’t have children.
All this is because yesterday I lived one of those strange moments in my life. I had to sleep after dinner, so that my mind was fresh enough to read what I had written. Work stuff. It was difficult for me to wake up. I sleep a lot more when it’s cold. Winter is coming to the south. Before opening my eyes, I had, for the first time in my life, a clear conscience of two different beings in me: the mental and the physical. I think this is because the physical was not answering to the alerts my mind was sending. When I opened one of my eyes, I looked at my hands and I didn’t recognize them. The impression was born from the striking notion of a distance between my mind and my body. My hands seemed younger than me. It lasted 2 or 3 weird minutes.
The experience was enough to keep me awake in bed, two hours later and job done, asking myself if my mind is, in reality, older than my body. That would be a surprise, since I always believed my parents possessed a very young mind. I don’t know what to think about it. Even tough the ideal seems to be aging at the same time, we all know cases of old minds inside young bodies. Now I feel a bit like Dorian Grey. It’s not that I look radiantly young. It’s the sensation of an imbalance. I am just processing this new data, but I think I appreciate an old mind as long as I am able to keep it pretty fit.