I was not myself at all yesterday, struck down, I suspect, by a mild dose of food poisoning. No appetite, a painful tummy ache, totally overcome by fatigue with weak joints and an unending wave of nausea, I took to my bed. Safe in its confines, I listened first to the stomach fire brigade spray its hoses of bile on the malcontented and noisy dragon beneath and then waited patiently whilst the sewage cleaning operators in the intestine did their work. In the meantime the extremities resembled the polar ice cap as I shivered my way through the day.
At least in retirement there is no longer any pressure to drag yourself out of bed to fulfil commitments in an office diary. However, yesterday was a Sunday so I didn't even have that thought as solace for my condition.
It is unpleasant being out of sorts but (touch wood) I am fortunate in generally enjoying good health.
As we age, however, I know that it may not always be so. Already wear and tear on vital knee joints, not to mention bursitis and tendonitis can at the least be irritating. Maybe the underlying conditions were always there, certainly old skiing pulls and strains are chief suspects, but it seems only now through attempts at a more physical lifestyle in retirement that they are coming to the fore.
Certainly there is much to be said for recognising your limitations even when it is sad to have to acknowledge them and realise that there are some things that it's just not wise to do anymore. Moving on through retirement, reality begins to catch up.
With reality comes an understanding that life is no longer infinite and time has run out for me for marathon running, mountain climbing, bungee jumping and a host of other activities that I'm sure I really would never have tried anyway. You will note that I am not yet excusing my partaking of the activities that bring enjoyment. However, that knowledge of the finite can make it seem that the pressure is on to fit in everything that you want to do, before infirmity creeps up still further.
I guess that's where continuous planning and the much berated bucket list come in. To stop retirement dreams becoming unachievable or giving way to the dreaded drudgery of routine, regular reviews, flexibility and in some instances lateral thinking are needed.
Forgive me, I'm now off to undertake a rational assessment...