Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on January 10, 2024 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment

Chair yoga


And… they’re off!

The first week of the New Year is behind us. New year. New beginnings. Leap year.

For many people, the start of a new year signals an opportunity for a reset. I’m one of those people who don’t hold much stock in New Year’s Resolutions. I find this an arbitrary and artificial exercise. I haven’t done exhaustive research on the subject, but my gut instinct is that the success rate is very low. It’s very difficult to just hit a switch to make changes in one’s life.

I was substitute teaching last week and my students were asked to list 5 New Year’s Resolutions and the positive outcomes that these might have. After listening to predictable responses, they asked me about my resolutions. I pointed out that I don’t go by the start of a calendar year. I set goals at times that are not date specific. For example, at the end of the summer when beer and barbeques had garnered much of my attention in July and August, I decided that it was time to change the script. The telltale sign of having to move to the next hole on my belt was all the motivation I needed to smarten up.

I have chronic back pain. So do many of my faithful readers. A while back, I decided to increase my core strength by starting a regime of situps and pushups. My plan was to start modestly – one situp and one pushup a day, increasing this weekly. If I was able to execute this plan, then theoretically, I would be able to do 52 of each by the end of one year. What a joke. The first pushup was respectable but when I got down on the floor to attempt the situp, my back laughed at me and said, “No way”. I don’t get discouraged easily. I decided that I had to exercise my back before attempting another situp. I have resumed chair yoga and hope that over time, I will become stronger and more flexible.

I don’t know about you but to keep myself accountable, I find it both useful and necessary to write down my goals and look at them regularly. I have my chair yoga chart and put a checkmark in my notebook every day. Ditto for my water chart.

I am a big believer in setting goals. New Year’s resolutions… not so much.

If you could choose one age that was your favorite, what would it be? This question was posed to a group of grade 6 students last week. It wasn’t my question. It was part of the lesson plan. I thought the question was a bit premature for a group of 12-year-olds who are just getting started on their long journey. One response caught my attention. One young girl said that she couldn’t wait until she turned 21 so that she could take all of her anxieties and “throw them into the trash can”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that at the age of 21, the stress meter would just be starting in earnest. That led to a wholesome discussion about stress and how to manage it. I told the class that eliminating stress was next to impossible. We will always have some stress in our lives, in varying degrees. I still believe that walking is the best stress buster. And lemon meringue pie!

The students turned the tables on me and asked me what has been my favorite age. I paused for a few seconds. I had to admit that right now was pretty darn good. Despite some aches and pains which is par for the course for septuagenarians, most of the heavy lifting of life is behind us. I have lots and lots of friends and I live simply. I think that’s a pretty good recipe for contentment. I try and laugh once a day.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. On Thursday, January 11th. at 7:00 p.m., I will be at People’s Place library to do a presentation for the Armchair Traveller series. I will be showing images from my recent 800 kilometre Camino walk in Spain.

P.P.S. I attended a “death café” yesterday which I will discuss in a future piece.



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