Showing posts from February, 2019

Never Ending Clutter

  Image by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay Those who know me may find this hard to believe but at heart I am a minimalist. An item on the radio recently, therefore, resonated with me when it suggested that decluttering is the buzz word for 2019. There was even a hypothesis that, in these days of political confusion and upset, by decluttering and organising our homes we are actively seeking order in a world gone mad . Apparently there are professionals who make a living out of tidying other people's jumble for them. Of course, I'd heard of Marie Kondo but I never realised I could actually call somebody to take over and run this mammoth task for me. Except, of course, I never would. Much as I might need their help, my shame would never permit them over our threshold. Global confusion aside, the biggest stimulus for an enormous clearing out spree on my part is always the level of the sun at this time of year. When it streams through dirty windows highlighting jun

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainability seems to be the buzz word of the moment and as we know applies to all kinds of environmental issues.  One of the latest to be considered by a Parliamentary Committee is fast fashion, where cheap and effectively disposable clothing panders to consumerism. Probably because of the cost, very few people these days restrict their clothing to expensive garments made of 100% natural fibres like silk and wool. Instead cheap garments are bought in mass by masses, hardly worn and then jettisoned (I know because I have sorted some of it when working in Save the Children's local charity shop). With the release of plastic fibres in the wash and toxins in its production, as well as exploitation of labour and the bulk created for landfill or incineration, it is not good for the planet. The only obvious solution seems to be for us to buy fewer items, treating them with care and mending them (can anyone actually remember how to darn socks?) or alternatively to wear les

Happiness and Well Being

Using data collected by the Office for National Statistics, a report this week from the Resolution Foundation dispelled the myth that I am in someway unique. Instead it seems that on the life enjoyment curve, I rate as rather average. Apparently across the U.K. personal assessments of happiness and well-being peak in mid to late teens, declining gradually to the depths of misery around our half century and begin to appease only when retirement is on the horizon. Then, as those delighting in the pleasures of retirement will bear witness, subjective feelings of good fortune reach their dizziest heights in the early years following the cessation of work. That is generally the time when worries can be at their lowest, although finances and health as well as living place have an inevitable impact. The report suggests, however, that life satisfaction, happiness and a sense that life is worthwhile, all peak in the early years of retirement together with a freedom from anxiety.

A Bit Fit

Since retiring I have been working hard at my fitness, now doing 8 or 9 classes a week in addition to gym workouts. There have been a few hiccups along the way when longstanding knee issues or calcific tendinitis have intervened, hurtling me to the consultant and physiotherapy or steroid injections. Whilst I know that I certainly have more muscle tone than 4 years ago, it is sometimes difficult to gauge actual fitness levels especially when there are bouts of gaining pounds rather than losing them. Whilst fitness isn't necesssarily about weight, it is also true that any increase, despite all the effort, is sufficient to send me spiralling into the depths of despair not least when I have convinced myself that as well as exercising I have been eating sensibly too. The truth, of course, is that food and drink play a significant part in our social life and travels and theoretically the greater leisure time afforded by retirement can equate to an increase in consumption.

Battery Recharge

I can't seriously believe that I am writing this but my battery needs recharging. I know what you are thinking: "Who is this woman, she has only just returned from one of several holidays and already she's out of juice and looking for another trip away?" Actually it's not like that, but I admit my brain seems to be unravelling. Running around, juggling plates again; a hormone overload; floating above the trivia of every day life with no grasp of reality; the onset of dementia; simple stupidity?  Whichever it is, I excelled even myself on Friday afternoon when I left the key in the ignition of my car. Fortunately the engine wasn't running, but the headlights were.  They aren't anymore!  When I went out to the garage this morning the battery was well and truly dead. There I was in freezing cold weather with a car that wouldn't start. I know we seem to be living through an era of nostalgia when everyone wants to turn the clock back but

Old Year, New Challenge

2019 is already gathering pace and I am yet to blog about my New Year's resolutions Well actually that's an easy topic to dispose of as, enmeshed in the midst of a wonderful trip to New Zealand , I didn't bother to make any. What I have done, however, is to set myself a new challenge. Exploring Planet Retirement, I have established that it is much more than ticking off a bucket list and, by the same token, not a laissez faire place either. It does, however, very clearly include a journey of self-discovery and development and last year I set myself 3 challenges to help that journey along. They were perfectly ordinary activities that I gave myself targets to pursue. Personal to me, I confess that they were hard to fulfil; they would not have been challenges otherwise. Whilst I began them unable to visualise failure, it is a measure of my personal growth and how much I adapted those challenges into my day to day life that, by month 9, counting was no longe