growing old, health, How To, humor

To Age Gracefully … or Not

While Freud’s quarrelsome trio was speculative and oversimplified, he was onto something: “the” mind may be a loose association of multiple partial minds (I’ll call them “miniminds”) that jostle for conscious attention and sometimes squabble.  Here is a comic misadventure due to one of my own miniminds that segues to another minimind’s way to treat toenail fungus.  BTW, it’s all true.


Freud’s Trio Meme
(as posted 2012-10-29 in Intelligent Leaders)

One of my miniminds (call it “Dudley Do-Right”) still sees me as young and able-bodied, so I can be like the proverbial Boy Scout who helps an old lady cross the street, preferably after verifying that she wants to be on the other side.  Where I live, however, old ladies hardly ever cross streets.  They park near the door or get driven by somebody who stops by the door to let passengers get out.

Unfazed by the lack of opportunities to assist street crossing, Dudley observes that an old lady may need help with a door.  She may be encumbered by a cane or a walker or a wheelchair.  Dudley wants me to walk fast, get to the door, and hold it open for her.

I’m walking toward a podiatrist’s office with a heavy exterior door, separated from the parking lot by a sidewalk.  Seeing a frail old lady heading for the same door, I speed up to get there in time to open the door for her.  I trip on the curb, break the fall with my left hand, and get a bone bruise on my left shin anyway.  But I do manage to open the door for the old lady and then enter for my own podiatrist appointment.

The receptionist notices that my writing hand is leaving blood on the paperwork and offers to have my hand bandaged.  A medical office can do that sort of thing, right?  Not quite.  Podiatrists deal with aching feet, not bleeding hands.  It takes a remarkably long time to locate minimally appropriate bandages and then apply them well enough to prevent my making the office look like a crime scene.  Slow flow, but from scrapes all over the palm and side of my hand.

It’s hard to convince Dudley that falls have become a big deal for me, not just for old ladies.  While I am fairly healthy for my age, health is a moving target that moves in the wrong direction.  It tends to move faster when Dudley is active.

Shin and hand do heal in the fullness of time, but the retreat of the toenail fungus that started it all is only temporary.  By the time I face up to the fungal recurrence, other things have hit the fan and I cannot embark on more adventures in podiatry just now.  But my toe hurts.


“Ehyah?”  Up steps another of my miniminds (call it “Willard Winthrop”).  Willard is a self-reliant old Yankee who doesn’t fix what ain’t broke and does fix what is broke (often by repurposing saved parts of what could not be fixed).  I try putting a little hydrogen peroxide on my sore toe.  While hydrogen peroxide does not irritate my skin, fizzing seems to indicate that it irritates the fungus.  Not enough make it go elsewhere, but enough to shrink it a little.  I try hitting the fungus with the peroxide twice a day.  While my toe hurts a little now and then, it’s less bothersome than my mild osteoarthritis.

Willard’s compulsive self-reliance may be a problem someday, if I outlive my ability to climb stairs or pull weeds or shovel snow.  For now, my toe likes having Willard around.

BTW, the green color in the image is an artifact of letting the camera choose things like the white balance.  Eager to pretty up the grungy sight, the camera rendered an ever so slightly greenish tan as lime green.  I liked the color, so I did not bother trying to correct it.


It’s hard to find a word or a short phrase to denote what I call “miniminds” w/o unwanted connotations.  The book Multimind by Robert Ornstein is a readable discussion of multiple partial minds, in more detail than will fit here.  As the book’s cover image illustrates, modern notions of miniminds in a multimind are more complex and nuanced than Freud’s trio.

– Gray button (upper left corner) reveals widgets, –
– above post (on phone) or beside it (on desktop). –

4 thoughts on “To Age Gracefully … or Not

  1. There is a point in our lives beyond which we are not meant to fall down. After that, you can feel the zapping shock of tipping beyond the hope of recovery, even if it’s happening to someone other than yourself.

    If I hear a minimind, I like to remind myself that I am an integrated being, so it’s all me and I have to own that — although that isn’t as entertaining a POV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the personification is metaphorical.  Dudley and Willard (and other miniminds I have not named yet) are not barnacles on a separate soul.  (I’m not into souls at all.)  I would not be me w/o them, but “integrated” sounds a little too harmonious for my case. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Care to comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.