Back on the road – to fitness

Exercise wise, 2017 has been a disaster.

By this time last year I was already in a very healthy groove of checking my eating habits, I was a budding gym bunny and running was becoming something that I was becoming a bit evangelical about. I had 2 running routes and was really enjoying getting outside and embracing the elements.

Since before Christmas, the broken arm put paid to any activity, and then there was the crippling flu and I’ve just retrieved some mobility having  put my back out moving furniture! 3 months of enforced inactivity, crappy eating habits and just wallowing around – has had a not so positive effect on my weight, my mindset and my overall diet – I have had about 3 aborted attempts to get my Adidas supernova’s back on the road, and each time it was completely scuppered.

Today I did 1km – 1 km?????

It is better than my previous big fat zero km but it sucks to feel this out of shape so soon.

We have moved office (hence the putting my back out moving cabinets!!) – but now my back feels happily better, that means finding new running routes – and although today’s effort was a bit pathetic, it was nice to try out a new route and realise that there are a lot more opportunities for mixing it up a bit than where I was based previously – new views, new challenges. So it isn’t all doom and gloom.

I don’t know why, but setting  a new running route always causes me some stress – I get angsty until I am familiar with it – even if its an easy one; I don’t know how to pace myself, where the dips and peaks are and letting my body get used to anticipating each challenge along the way. I don’t like that about me, but there is no ducking it – I do it all the time.

So it is going to be a bit of an uphill struggle for me today even on the flat! Getting back in to my stride and liking where I run – but today was a start – I feel well and strong (ish) eventually and that is worth it’s weight in gold.

The gym membership went by the wayside long ago last year, I found it so boring – but I had promised myself at the new year, with all my new resolutions that this would be the year of yoga. That too, like the running has been on a permanent pit stop – but tomorrow that changes too!

And the eating?

I am not liking the enlarged and squishy middle of me at the minute, I feel inflated and it looks as bad as it feels – I think being good is very much the order of my life for some considerable weeks to come.

But it will be worth it.

Bring on the sunshine – I want to get those shorts out again!

Ageing – the secret no one talks about

There is a lot of information circling around about the effects of ageing – it isn’t a mystery. – the key is in accepting it with grace. Realising the truth in what  one elderly neighbour once said to me, that ‘getting old wasn’t for wimps.’ This  from an indomitable woman who was undergoing hip replacement, had already had knee replacement and was battling the effects of Parkinson’s disease – no, this woman was no wimp.

But I have come to realise that ageing isn’t just about bionic joints, tena lady products and false teeth – there is a psychological and emotional element to it, that no one seems to talk about nor as with myself (or my friends) appear to be prepared for.

Recently I have been having an ongoing conversation with a dear friend – she has been struggling to raise a new online business and despite the fact she had appointed herself a business coach to help motivate and organise her – she was struggling. But not in all the usual business orientated ways – and this wasn’t something her coach had addressed with previous clients, in fact she was hard pressed to understand the issues my friend was battling. I however, felt deeply connected with my friends’ woes – I understood her issues first hand.

My friend is complaining about finding it hard to feel motivated because she feels at 55 she has far more yesterdays behind her than she has tomorrows  to play with and whilst that might seem obvious numeric logic – the key is, it is that actual moment when your ever shortening future really becomes a reality to you, it’s like having  a blinding wake up call.

Suddenly you wistfully look back over all those opportunities that slipped away, those wasted projects and the disgraceful wasted time you have squandered because it seemed that there was  ‘always tomorrow’,

The fact is, that whilst women’s magazines can claim that 50 is the new 30 – once you get passed the big 5-0, you start to creep toward the bigger 6-0 and the door is wide open for reflection on what has been; regrets start to filter in and panic bubbles up that there is little room to manouvre in this shortened future line.

It isn’t that this becomes an enormous preoccupation, but it quietly nibbles at the edges of your consciousness – and it becomes something to dwell on. should have done that differently or I ought not to have done that or why did I waste time.

What has struck me and my good friend is that whilst we are well aware of the mid life crisis – we weren’t expecting this emotional crisis that seems to have started as a gentle swell of uncertainty and become a tsunami of regrets and anxiety.

I personally have come to the conclusion that reviewing my past and regretting decisions is pretty pointless and have suggested my pal take the same view- a bit like a history book, the story can’t be rewritten.

In terms of my future, well yes I can’t deny the clock is ticking fast, and having grandiose plans and schemes like I did when I was 20, may well be a dream to far – I don’t like it, I would dearly love to wind my clock back, give myself a few extra precious years to play with – but that is silly. Better still is coming to terms with my life, making the most of my time now, enjoying the here and now.

A bit new agey perhaps, but there is no point in panicking life is suddenly too short, no point in over planning a future I can’t possibly deliver on – the key, is having joy in my here and now and live it to the max.

 

 

Upcycling – a feel good activity :)

So despite the flu virus and a cough that won’t quit – I am back in the land of the living and have started to make good on my decision earlier this year to up cycle my house, room by room.

The starting point for this marathon upgrage, Room 1 is actually my daughter’s bedroom and was perhaps the easiest to accomplish – it is the only room that doesn’t require any painting. So it was simple  case of making the small changes that would make the room look like it belonged to her finally, instead of it looking like she was squatting in her elder  brother’s bedroom.

She inhabits her elder brother’s room who has now made the permanent move out of the nest. Her room was full of stuff he just couldn’t be bothered with – and there was nothing in there that stamped her personality anywhere.

So we sat and chatted – picked out new bedding and curtains, and we looked at colours she liked and checked out a few things she found interesting

and we changed stuff.

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Lampshade kits – what a great idea? And so easy

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Well this old drawer set was hidden away, and pretty much we thought we might just get rid of it – but it is a useful piece for odds and sods and there wasn’t anything physically wrong with it – and so I made up these  revamped panels to match up with the lampshades – and suddenly a dull and lifeless piece became a little feature, and suddenly felt integral to the room- really easy upcycle.

So the cushions here were the original driver to the choice of fabric for the lampshades – these took some effort to make – they are much larger than they look in this photo and make what was a pretty dull and limp corner of the room, something just a bit different. Big and soft – these are actually lovely cushions.073

Giving….and meaning it.

Today I gave away £50.

Ok that’s not a huge sum, I realise that. But it is truly £50 I don’t actually have spare. All January I have been hemming and hawing over spending £60 on a much needed pair of curtains for my daughter’s bedroom and I have held off, trying to find the right time to part with the cash. So those curtains are now going to have to wait another month. That’s another month of indecision as to whether I have chosen the right pair!

I generally don’t give money to charity. I have in the past, I’m not mean and sometimes I am moved (usually children and animal charities who make me cry!) enough to give one off sums. But charities usually leave me feeling ‘off’. They are all so worthy, there are so many, and they would all bankrupt me to each get a pledge.

And I am angered at how much I see hived off by big charity administration – and I end up thinking – yes laudable, but I need my money. I don’t wallow in spare sadly!

I mentioned a few posts back that I was reading a book which I had asked for as a Christmas present – Matlock the Hare & The Riddle of Treffapuggle Path by Phil and Jacqui Lovesey – and I loved it.

I loved it so much,  I gladly used a christmas Amazon voucher to purchase the next volume – Matlock the Hare and The Puzzle of the Tillian Wand – which I am reading now. These are good sized books it has to be said, and it is lovely to have proper illustrations – I haven’t read a grown up book with illustrations for as long as I can remember – and I love these illustrations, I really do.

I found the book series and the talented pair who write/draw them quite by chance on instagram – I am now an avid follower, Jacqui Lovesey’s illustrations are great and I have promised myself one of my own to hang in the house when I can afford it!

Jacqui works quite hard on social media – working to bring their combined talents to people’s attention and I can see that it is a hard road to hoe.

I see vacuous and frankly stupid instagrammers with thousands of followers – and then there are whole swathes  of the truly talented, who work so hard to get their work seen. And it isn’t just traditional artists, but crafts people, small scale wonder workers – and I find myself really really irritated at how the world seems celebrity obsessed, and these people with vast sums of money at their disposal actually have limited talents at best who just seem to attract more and more for being ever more crass.

Matlock might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But there will be others, completely over shadowed and hidden from us, all desperately trying to get out there.

All January, the Lovesey’s have been campaigning on social media about a crowd funding project they are launching (have launched) today – to bring a new book of art work out in to the light. Funding is to publish the book.

Part of my new years resolution to myself has been to concentrate on the small, to do small things that bring me pleasure – I don’t want to have my life cluttered with junk – both physical (like my house I talk of) and mental ( stresses that make me feel ill). I am doing brilliantly at the minute surrounding myself with activities that feel good – and in turn I am feeling pretty good too.

One thing I have instigated in to my new ‘small pleasure mean a lot’ routine for myself, is to try and go to bed a bit earlier each night and read a small while  – and the Lovesey’s books have been my companion each night since Christmas. I’m sleeping better, and each night ends nicely, calmly and with some  happiness. It is amazing how much better I am since doing this.

When the crowd funding project was announced, I was curious – I checked out the Kickstarter site to see what it was all about. And I was impressed with how modest the amounts being asked for were. Amounts that in themselves I could see would be beyond most people just being able to produce without help, but small enough not to discourage people from offering a helping hand.

This morning the first thing I found myself doing was checking out their kickstarter page to see how they were doing, and in the back of my mind I think I already knew that I was intent in giving them something – I wanted to give. Not for the rewards – actually the Loveseys are incredibly generous, giving out little things to backers. But honestly, I wanted to give them something to help them achieve something lovely- bring a beautiful book to light, but also because in reading their books and enjoying them – I wanted to give something back.

Giving £50 is practically unheard of for me – part with £50 and have nothing tangible to show for it??? Really?

I feel really happy.