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Photo by Caroline on Unsplash

Here’s how the joke goes:

A man was walking on the beach, in America, when he spotted an old, odd-looking bottle. He picked it up, dusted it by rubbing it, and out came a genie.

“Look,” said the djinn, “Thanks for freeing me and everything, but I have been stuck in that stupid bottle for a millennium, so I’m just going to grant you one wish. Make it a good one.”

The man was a good man, and not greedy, so he was happy. “I have always wanted to visit Europe,” said the man. “However, I am terrified of flying, it’s a phobia, really. I never learned how to swim, and get sea-sick very easily, so I’m scared of getting on a ship, no matter how big it is. How about you build me a bridge, from here to some place in Europe, and I’ll simply drive there.”

The djinn folded his arms across his chest. “It is a stupid wish. Can you imagine what kind of logistics I would have to deal with? Think of the storms, the tsunamis, the earthquakes. No, it is too complicated. Think of another wish.”

The man thought for a few moments, then brightened. “OK. All my life I have wondered about women. They are a complete mystery to me. Please, can you help me understand the mind of a woman?”

The djinn sighed deeply and looked around, sighed again and said, “All right. So, what sort of materials are we looking at for this bridge?”

Less of a joke and more of an anecdote, this story illustrates the complexity of women. I have decided to tell the world (well, my tiny circle of faithful readers) about the mind of a woman (at least from this woman, and my perspective talking to other women). I know I shouldn’t speak for all women … but, what the heck, I’ll do it anyway.

A woman’s mind is a very complex organism, and yet not complicated to explain. A woman thinks about everything, all the time. That’s it.

We think about love and hate; our significant others and children; other family, near and far, dead and alive; politics; the weather; food; insurance; money; attitudes about everything; books; religion; our neighbors and us as neighbors; health; furniture; clothing; our weight and our looks; dogs, cats, and other animals; abundance and scarcity; God and the universe; the future, the present and the past; our negative and positive emotions; laundry; undone blogs; the environment; entertainment; etc., etc., etc.

This applies to women of all colors, races and religions. Naturally, different socioeconomic factors play roles — having money eases some concerns, but money brings in its own headaches, a whole new set of problems to ponder. Different countries make for different thoughts as well — a woman from Sweden would, of course, have different thoughts than the woman from Equatorial New Guinea. But the basic premise still applies — a woman’s mind is always on an ever-turning hamster wheel of thoughts.

The practice of meditation is thought to be created by Buddha. He was a man, but he definitely created mindfulness with women in mind (pun intended). We need to learn how to breathe and how to slow down our thinking. Of course, it is impossible to eliminate thinking all together, for men and women alike, but that’s not really the purpose of meditation. It is not to stop thoughts, but to let them float away, rather than swirl inside.

When a woman asks a man what he is thinking and he replies that he is thinking about nothing, it can be the absolute truth. However, we women can’t wrap our minds around that concept. It drives us crazy, that possibility, makes us both angry and jealous. My husband, who falls asleep within seconds of his head hitting the pillow, was once asked, “You know how it is when you’re lying in bed at the end of the day, and before you fall asleep, you’re pondering what you’ve accomplished, what you have to do tomorrow, things you said to others, and what you watched on TV …” The question wasn’t finished being asked, but he simply replied, “No.” When he goes to bed, he thinks of … well, nothing.

Now the secret is out, the mind of a woman explained. Knowing what you know now, please act accordingly. Good luck to us all.

Written by

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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