So today it is finally a grey, rainy day and I hope for Nature´s sake and my own sanity that it will keep on raining for a few days! This summer has been the hottest ever, and not just in Sweden but in most parts of Europe. Except Iceland perhaps, they have had the worst summer for years…(remind me next summer that I should go there again!).
I have a few days left on my summer holidays and so I’m already hatching plans for next year. I haven’t travelled at all abroad this year and have no plans for the next few months. Work will keep me busy at home, so there will be no room for weekends and stuff on this side of Christmas. As always the end of summer holidays fills me with a sense of sadness. And it also makes me reflective. This year maybe more, as I’ve turned sixty and I wonder where the years gone and what I want to do with the rest.
I had a chat with an old relative the other week. He retired at 61 for different reasons, and never regretted it. He is now 83, active and in good mental health. Apart from an aunt who is 87, he is my oldest relative, we just don’t get very old in my family, nor do we stay very healthy in our old age as a rule. It reminds me that doing what I love and spend the years wisely is important.
To me August is a lot like New Years Eve, making promises I will break and planning things ahead to keep me sane and positive in the dark months to come. For the year to come I have a few things on my mind.
1. Be careful about my health
I am rather healthy, a bit overweight but not extremely so. I’ve been stressed in an un-healthy way, especially in the job I had before, but I think I’ve managed it fairly well. I did some yoga and mindfulness to keep myself grounded and it did help. However when things calm down you tend to forget, right? And the good habits slip away. Well, time to start some kind of routine again I think.
I also have knee-arthritis, like a lot of older women. My right knee is a real pain atm so I even saw a doctor and will get an X-ray to check it is nothing worse. Arthritis can not be cured, but it can get a lot better with exercise and some painkillers when it is really bad.
Good health is getting more and more important as you get older and people around you get ill or even die. My mother died in Alzheimer and that is my worst nightmare, exercise, social activities are key elements the scientists say, let’s see!
2. Learn something new
I think it is important to stay interested. I just signed up to a six-week course in beginners French. If nothing else I will learn a few phrases to use when going to Paris next time:)
3. Be social
I´m a natural introvert. I like my own company and feel happy being alone. But I need to push myself a bit in that area, or I would easily turn into a recluse.
Problem is I rarely meet people I like enough to want to get to know better. And sometimes when I get in touch with old friends they really annoy me, having turned into stupid racists, or just intolerant mega-egos…Getting older I find it harder to tolerate stupid egos, or waste my time on them. I think this is a subject I will have to write more about in the future.
Anyway, I guess I will have two work on my tolerance-level or search for better company?
4. Reduce debt and minimalize
I donat have a huge amount of debt, but before I retire I want to get rid of it altogether. Same goes for stuff – I want to minimize Life is about experiences not stuff, and even if I think when you get really old it is nice to have a few familiar things around you to evoke memories, I still have too much clutter. It is an ongoing process to get rid of stuff and make it easier to take off.
5.Do things that makes me happy
The problem with this is that it is not always easy to understand what makes you happy.
I say writing makes me happy, but it also makes me crazy when I can´t find the words or the ideas (like this summer) and travelling makes me happy but also frustrated and sometimes scared as I do it alone. I enjoy the arts but don’t get around to actively enjoying it as much as I could (and to be honest, if I have a bad experience at the theatre or exhibition it putts me off for months!).
I guess a lot of people would say family-life makes them happy, but my family is basically my dear son and he makes me happy and frustrated at the same time! I’m not totally through parenting yet, even if he is slowly becoming an adult in more and more ways…
So I still have areas to work on and investigate and improve. And isn’t that what life is really about? Keep finding interesting new things and learning new things until you stop breathing? Some things will be boring or bad, but that is also a part of life. Not doing anything is the worst option of all!