Happy New Me


There's something very special about New Year. There I am at 11.59 pm on 31st December waiting for the clock to strike; I whisper a few resolutions; the New Year rushes in and I am a transformed being. Except it doesn't work like that. Least of all last night, when I couldn't keep my eyes open late enough to witness the ushering in of 2022. It continues to be a hard life in retirement (she says smiling).

 I was up this morning, however, with a good thirty minutes to spare before welcoming the first dawn of the new me, assuming of course that I had remembered to make some resolutions.  I hadn't. 

It wasn't so much that I'd forgotten to make any as, to be honest, I genuinely couldn't think of any. Of course, nobody's perfect but in retirement where everyone strives to live in the present, resolving to socialise frequently, regularly ring Great Aunt Betsy (another figment of my imagination), shed pounds or come up with anything to alter your life for the better, it has just become too difficult. 

It wasn't always like this and in the early years of retirement I did take on board all those oft-repeated but broken resolutions from my past. I strove to get fit; to lose weight; to get out more; to be creative; to simplify and declutter. Bit by bit, I've been making progress and it's true that, as I have, there is less I want to change. Lazy? No. Thoroughly content with my lot? Perhaps.

Of course, nobody wants to simply sit on their laurels and congratulate themselves on how satisfied they might be feeling. However, and after a torrid Christmastime in 2020, the past week has been a ball. We were joined by the youngest, the eldest and Dilly and as well as our moments together hosted a larger family gathering with traditional party games. My mother trying to guess that she was a Brussels Sprout or my brother pinning a carrot onto a snowman was definitely hilarious; finding the child within ought to be available on medical prescriptions.

Back to the dilemma of New Year's Resolutions, which in more recent times I have been replacing with the setting of personal challenges for the forthcoming year. Needless to say there has been a significant shift in my retirement journey and I no longer feel the need even to sit down and write a list of these. Are plans simply on hold because of the pandemic or do you actually reach a stage in retirement where self assurance and confidence take over? You know the direction in which you are travelling; the exploration along the way is fulfilling, time is finite and you don't need diversions.

Inevitably this morning's newspapers had a repetitive selection of hints and tips all picking up on those popular themes of health, happiness and prosperity with more than a fair share of print devoted to dieting. I skipped over them all but confess to being drawn to an item published by The Guardian headed "100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying." That had to include something relevant without requiring too much effort and it goes without saying that however contented life might feel there's always room for refinement.

Number 32 "Connect with nature: stand outside barefoot for a few minutes - even when it's cold." Not quite how I'd envisage life enhancement therapy, but there could be scope for experimentation if only for the purpose of retirement blogging.

In shoes or bare feet: Happy New Year everyone.




Cathy said…
LOL the #32 idea is great, especially for many in the northern hemisphere who would find it foreign to be shoeless....however there's no way I would've stood barefoot on the ground anywhere yesterday- outside temperature here in Melbourne was over 38c! Definitely not a good idea at the beach 🙂
Caree Risover said…
I have enjoyed yoga on the grass in the summer, grounding to the Earth with bare feet but I’m not sure to what extent repeating the experience in sub-zero temperatures will improve my life experience. There must surely be a serious risk of frostbite! As for 38 degrees, well that’s off the spectrum (and unheard of in Yorkshire)!
Marksgran said…
I have to be honest and say I often walk about outside in bare feet! Mainly because the dog steals my slippers and I can't be bothered to look for other footwear before heading out to the bins or the greenhouse, I've even been known to do some gardening in bare feet (usually not planned gardening but that thing where you're outside and spot a weed or five and stop to pick them out) I don't feel my life has been improved in any way due to this habit, but who knows perhaps my life would have been very different if I didn't do it!! I'll probably never know lol. Happy New Year and new you although I'm sure the old you will do just fine! x
Caree Risover said…
Marksgran, you are a definite inspiration!
Jan said…
I love walking about with no shoes on - it does feel good to feel the grass under my feet. I haven't made any resolutions this year, just going to slow and enjoy life.
Treaders said…
When I first retired I filled up my life with different things/classes I'd wanted to do for ages. My friend warned me I'd overdo it and she was right. While I enjoyed everything I found I didn't enjoy having my time so regimented and when covid caused pretty much everything to fall by the way side I decided I wasn't going to pick them all back up again. I'm never going to be particularly good at patchwork, or perfect my Italian, or get good at pilates and you know what - that's ok! I think I've finally learned to live in the moment and while there are lots of things about me that could do with improvement, if it doesn't get done, well that's all right too, isn't it!
Caree Risover said…
Jan and Treaders, I think we are all on the same page. Thank you for that.
Jennyff said…
I haven’t made any resolutions and I think the days of setting challenges are over. However I have so far been finishing off my shower with a blast of cold water which is supposed to be physically and mentally beneficial. Watch out for the new improved me.
Caree Risover said…
I am clearly not alone - must be a certain stage of life/comfort/who knows what kind of thing. Moreover I confess that I always step into one of those ice drench showers before swimming- it was sometimes the only way I could ever persuade myself the water was warm enough to get into the pool and now I find it so envigorating that I do it every time, regardless. Same old me when I get out though!
My resolutions seem to have transformed into more of a to do list for the year. Things like replace our kitchen backsplash and renew our passports. It does get old to see year after year that the quest to exercise, lose weight and save money never get met. The barefoot in the grass idea is a good one. Simple things like that are the real jewels in our life experience.
Caree Risover said…
I confess I do still have a To Do List but without it, I’d never remember which day the bins go out, when to renew insurances, or even how long since I’ve cleaned the filters in the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Definitely not the stuff of resolutions though.

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