No Fog at Sea
On Monday the youngest, who was paying us another flying visit, and I went for a coastal walk, blowing the proverbial cobwebs away. It was a complete change of scenery and colour. Day after day, I am surrounded by the beauty of the countryside but it is definitely green and not blue. Grass and trees sway silently in the gentle summer breezes. Looking out at the North Sea, the waves came crashing in and the expanse of sky above an empty beach created a sweeping azure-soaked panorama.
After weeks in the city on the youngest's part and in the countryside on mine, we both felt refreshed and re-energised.
I was reminded of that feeling reading about research in Italy and Scotland where studies have shown that last year's hard lockdowns affected many people's cognitive abilitites causing them to suffer "brain fog." It's obviously important to exercise and socialise and whilst a routine can be important if you are working or studying, for the rest of us impetuous, novel or exciting experiences are required if we want to keep the old cog wheels in the brain turning.
Lockdown it seems is an extreme version of what can happen in retirement if, especially as we age, we become more isolated, less active and lack spontaneity. We may try to steer away from change and flexible schedules but they are actually good for us.
"Variety is the spice of life;" it's where all the flavours come from. To our taste or not, we need to try them to find out but even if they don't suit our palate, our mood and brains still benefit.