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The Suburbanite
  • Out of My Mature Mind, The Turtle Syndrome

  • You probably remember Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. Just in case you forgot, (that happens more every year), the rabbit made fun of the turtle because he was so slow and challenged the shelled reptile to a race.

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  • You probably remember Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. Just in case you forgot, (that happens more every year), the rabbit made fun of the turtle because he was so slow and challenged the shelled reptile to a race. Bunny knew he was faster so he took a nap and awakes to find that the persistence of the tortoise paid off as she crossed the finish line first.
    Little did we know this story our parents told us as children had a lesson that would mean so much as we baby boomers (not all of us) begin to turn 65.
    I admit I can no longer move like a hare. I used to get so much done in a day and would keep moving until bedtime, which, by the way, was at midnight or later. You cannot do as much in a day when the bedtime continues to get earlier every year. By 9 p.m. I am fighting to stay awake.
    My fable began when there was a lull in the weather. After days on end of bitter cold and snow, it was suddenly in the 50s. First thing in the morning, I finished three articles, stepped out to the mailbox and realized that is was like spring. That made me “enthusiastic” to do some long awaited chores.
    I decided to wash my car which, I knew was still white under the black road dirt. I continued by fixing a lamp, repairing a table and also a chair. I was on a roll although, I was beginning to “feel the burn” as muscles began to tighten and the legs became tired. I spent a lot of time and physical effort on the car and by the time I glued and clamped the table, took the legs off the chair, re-glued and clamped them and put a new plug on the lamp cord, I was too tired to stand there and fix the sweeper.
    I had to come inside, take some Motrin, get the rice bag out for my aching back, which  was still hurting from shoveling snow a few days prior, and recline on the sofa for 30 minutes. I got up limping which, I believe, was from standing on the hard concrete for so long.
    That was when I thought about that rabbit. As a “gray hare” I should know not to take a nap, not because I will lose the race, but because it is hard to get moving again.
    We have to remember to be persistent just at a slower pace so our pieces and parts do not give out. I try to find ways to make the chores a little easier. I used to spend days decorating a live Christmas tree. One year I finally gave in to the artificial tree, taking it out of the box and decorating it. The next year—after the holidays, I carried the decorated tree to the basement, threw a sheet over it and now carry it back up each year. I fluff and straighten branches and presto, Christmas! I have to get help to carry the 7- foot tree up and down the stairs, but once that is done it saves a lot of time and energy which is a good thing to save up.
    Page 2 of 2 - Next time you run ahead and stop to take a nap and find that when you get back up, you can’t run as fast, remember the
    tortoise.