Sunday, January 26, 2020

Brain-weary? What now?

What do you do when you're brain-weary? You know the feeling: you're sleeping enough at night; your daily workouts, if you have them at all, aren't enough to wear you out; still, because of the mental work you're trying to do, you feel exhausted, and it isn't even bedtime yet.

I realized I must have hit that brain-weary, unable-to-think-anymore level recently when I found myself watching a TV documentary about the development of kittens. Not that kittens aren't fascinating, but I had a mound of work stacked up, just waiting for me to get to it, and I was watching kittens.

Somewhere between the four-week-old silver tabbies and the seven-week pure-bred Bengals, I got the hint. I could almost hear the TV whispering to me: Susan, your brain has done enough work for the day. You're done. Give up and enjoy the kittens. Feeling guilty about the work that still needed to be done, I kept trying to push myself to get busy again, but when the brain has gone on strike, well, it's kittens for me.

One of our sons, a mildly crazy entrepreneur who will one day be worth multiple millions, simply because he won't take no for an answer, has hit brain-weary regularly of late. When he just about lost it at work one day, his staff suggested he visit his doctor, just to be sure he's okay. The doctor's prescription: an evening of The Simpsons or Laverne and Shirley reruns. He said, "Give your brain a rest. Do something mindless for a while." Yes, The Simpsons or the L&S reruns may be adequately mindless, and maybe even fun, but the kittens are definitely cuter.

Besides, I love cats, but having recently lost the brother-sister pair we had for 14 and 16 years, and not yet feeling ready to watch real cats play in my home again, I get my kitten-fix from a TV documentary. For someone not yet ready to bring another kitten home, watching them on TV is clearly safer than visiting the local animal shelter, just for a kitten fix.

So what do you do when you're brain-weary? And do you need a doctor's prescription to keep you from feeling guilty when you settle down to let the brain wander aimlessly for a while? I'd love to hear your answers.

Susan Aylworth is the author of 20 novels. Her newest series, "Seasons of Destiny," explores romance in every season of the year in the small town of Destiny, California.  Paris in the Springtime, Sunny's Summer, and Amber in Autumn are all available now. Look for Winter Skye, coming early in 2020 in e-book and paperback. Find her at 


  1. When I'm brain weary, I close my eyes and rest for a short time. Usually twenty minutes tops. If that doesn't work, I exercise, watch tv, go for a walk, or read a book that won't tax my mind.

  2. Susan, Such an interesting post. Brain weary is a good way to describe how I feel at times, and I love the doctor's advice of watching mindless reruns. Thanks for the tip. And, the kittens are adorable!

  3. Brain weary is how I feel every day when I get home from work. I have 2 chihuahuas that are very much lap dogs and settling on the couch for a little mindless TV with them and my husband usually does the trick for me. :)

  4. I'm with Laura. I feel brain weary every day when I get home from the day job. Emotionally exhausted, too, actually. :( Time with the hubby helps bunches to recharge me. :)

  5. Sounds as if your son's doctor is a keeper! Sitcoms have helped me through some very dark times. I'm currently enjoying a daily episode of the old Bob Newhart Show. ;)