The Elderly Aunt’s answers about pandemic relentlessness … and sharing that last cookie

Hi Elderly Aunt, I am sooooooo over winter and pandemics. I have been watching so much Netflix that I’m tired of it, yet I don’t seem to have the attention span to finish a book. Any advice for someone like me who lives alone and is in a major rut or do I just need to suck it up until spring when I can at least go hiking again?

Over the course of her many decades, the Elderly Aunt has observed that ruts come in two distinct varieties—the mental and the physical—which are physiologically and psychologically connected.

She has further observed that an awful lot of people fail to pay attention to this link and so consider getting stuck in a rut as a character (rather than a maintenance) failure.

The Elderly Aunt—as a certified exercise nut—works out both regularly and vigorously whether she’s inspired to or not. She views this long-standing practice of hers as a huge investment in the quality of daily life. No matter how she gets her endorphins flowing and celebrates her flexibility, the Elderly Aunt has always found that post-workout, she feels better physically much more hopeful about life than she did pre-workout.

Pre-Covid, the Elderly Aunt went to the gym. Mid-Covid, as long as good weather held, she got outside as much as possible. Over the course of this last, long winter, however, she’s sucked it up and exercised in her living room—relying on re-designed combinations of strength training, aerobic exercise and stretching. 

And so, dear reader, the Elderly Aunt’s advice to you is to stop thinking about why you feel so uninspired and instead get off the couch and get moving! Regularly and vigorously. No excuses tolerated. Outside if the weather is good. Inside if the weather is crummy.

And if you do follow her advice, please let the Elderly Aunt know if it helps you feel any less blah.

Dear Elderly Aunt, can you please settle something for us? Let’s say you and your spouse have a favorite Girl Scout cookie, which comes in a package of 15 cookies. A recommended serving is two cookies. Are you a jerk if you eat the last three or should you leave one for your spouse? Or is it worse to leave just one Girl Scout cookie?

What strikes the Elderly Aunt squarely upside the head, dear reader, is that this should be a joint decision between you and your spouse. If you are hungry and want to eat the last cookie, why not ask your spouse if they want it as well? If the answer is yes, because you have already just eaten two cookies, surely the remaining one is theirs by right.

Of course, an even more gallant and selfless option in deciding the fate of that coveted last cookie would be to ask your spouse before you bite into any of the remaining three whether they would like to share all of them with you in a fifty-fifty split. 

So what’ll it be, dear reader. Self-less superiority or guilty gratification? The choice is yours and yours alone.

I know…the horror! the horror! But then what did you expect, dear reader. Surely, you’ve accepted by now that life is—always has been and always will be—one confoundingly no-win decision after another.

The Elderly Aunt offers her thoughtful responses to your questions about this wild ride we call life on every other Monday.  And as a general disclaimer—to quote the elves from The Lord of the Rings — “… advice is a dangerous gift, even given from the wise to the wise.”

Got a question for the Elderly Aunt? Ask her on Facebook or email your question to [email protected] with the subject line “Elderly Aunt question.” (Just please don’t ask detailed financial questions). 

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