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Guest op-ed: Mind over matter

By Anneli Byrd - | Sep 25, 2021

Anneli Byrd

Usually, when it comes to the battle between mind and body, my mind doesn’t put up much of a fight. I think my brain reasons that since it only takes up about 2% of my total body mass, that it should only get about 2% of the say in any decision. Most of what’s happening goes on at a subconscious level, but I think most of the conversations go like this:

Mind: “Yum! Here’s some whole grain toast and a banana for breakfast.”

Body: “Sounds great, but you forgot the Nutella.”

Mind: “Whoops! Sorry!”

Body: “Spread it on thick.”

But when it comes to going on vacation, especially if that vacation is to a Disney theme park, my mind takes over completely and it admits no weakness. This comes as a severe shock to the body, but at the beginning, both are happily united.


Mind: “Let’s sit on the couch and binge watch Disney Park YouTube channels!”

Body: “Yay!!”

At the airport

Mind: “I need your help, Body. I’m thinking of how I’d get around security if I were a terrorist, and I want to blurt out my ideas. I also have a very funny joke about bombs that I think the guard over there would enjoy.”

Body: “Gotcha. Mouth going on lockdown.”

Mind: “Phew, thanks!”

This happy state of oneness with myself doesn’t last long.

Day one

Mind: “Wheeee! I’m going to see and do and eat it all!”

Body: “Wheeee! I’m going to eat it all!”

Happy Unison: “Let’s go!”

A little later in the day …

Body: “Let’s take a rest.”

Mind: “Rest is a four-letter word. We’re going to ride this thing located on the farthest possible point away from us!”

Body as it’s being forcibly marched away from the bench: “Whaaaat? CHURRO! RED ALERT! CHURRO!”

Mind: “Oh sure. Here you go.”

Body: Grumble, grumble. “I need a Dole Whip too.”

End of the day

Mind: “That was so great.”

Body: “Thank goodness that ordeal is over.”

Day two

Mind: “It’s 6 a.m.! Time to joyfully leap out of bed!”

Body: Zzzzzzz

Mind: “You’re coming with me!”

Body: Mmpfh, snort. “Whaaaa? What’s happening?”

Mind: “Here, have a synthetic hotel muffin. That’s plenty to walk miles on!”

Body still bleary: “Huh? Wha? GAACK! Phfttoey! That’s not food!”

Mind: “I never said it was. Shut up. I’ll feed you a pretzel later.”

Body: “Who are you? What’s happening?”

Day three

Body: “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.”

Later in the day …

Mind to daughter: “Can I try one of those vitamin packets of yours?”

Body: Gasp. “Yes, please, anything … help!”

Daughter: “Sure, just mix it up in the water.”

Me opening the spout on the water bottle and spraying vitamin water, narrowly missing the other people in line. “Hey!”

Daughter: “You shook it? It’s carbonated!”

Me: “Oh well. There’s still plenty left.” And I gulp it all down quickly just before riding the Incredicoaster.

Mind and Body after the ride: “I think we may have made a mistake.”

Day four

Body: “I never thought I’d say this, but can we have something not sugar?”

Mind: “Sure. Have a salad.”

Body: “Thank goodness.”

Mind: “And a Jack Jack cookie Num Num for dessert!”

Body: “You’ve already eaten …”

Mind: “And we need another one of those stuffed pretzels and we still haven’t had a Mickey bar! Ooooo! Look! There’s those macaroons YouTube was telling us about! Let’s go!”

Body: “Please tell me we’re not going clear to the other side of the park.”

Mind: “Nope! We’re going to the far side of the other park!”

Body: “You go ahead. I’m staying right here.”

Mind: “Ha Ha! You’re such a kidder!”

Day five

Halfway through the day …

Mind: “This is so weird. I’m having so much fun, but I feel like bursting into tears. Oh well, I’ll swallow that feeling with another cookie.”

A little later …

Mind: “Hey, Body. Did you know the line for Indiana Jones is literally a quarter of a mile long? It’s the longest line in the park! I love it! Let’s go!”

Body: “I am in hell and strangely unable to die.”

After the Indy ride …

Mind: “Oh my gosh! Is that the time! This is our last day! We’ve got to move a whole lot faster!”

Home at last

Mind: “Whoa! That blister is huge! I wonder when I got that?”

Body: “The first day, I tried to tell you.”

Mind: “And I think I’m sunburned! Body, why didn’t you let me know?”

Body: “I want a divorce.”

Mind: “I can’t wait to go back. What If I actually threw caution to the wind and went back tomorrow?”

Chase Bank: “NO!”

That was a few days ago. I’m still not quite on speaking terms with myself. But that’s OK. By the time I have enough money saved up to go anywhere, I’ll be ready for an even bigger, grander adventure. I’ve always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail; it’s 2,190 miles of fun.

Anneli Byrd is an academic adviser in Weber State University’s Student Success Center.


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