Thursday, 1 April 2010

Merely existing, or really living?

"Don't count the days, make the days count." - Muhammad Ali

Do my days count for much?

Would they be more worthwhile if I went out and engaged more with the outside world? I am not sure. I am happy here at home, doing nothing much. I am contented doing little, and in a comfortable rut. However, all I read says "Go out and live!"


My 'living' would mean a walking to the supermarket (thrilling?) or round the block, or over the waste land, down by the river - a Site of Scientific Interest. Equally as thrilling - not -  because I have been to these places many, many times. I am not curious. I could drive to the local park where I'd pay £3 for the privilege of parking and walking round the park...or could have a trip in to town which would cost me petrol, car-parking charges and a lot of bitterness because I couldn't afford to buy things I saw and liked. I wouldn't feel good about sitting down in a cafe and spending £2-£3 on a coffee either, because I have no disposable income at all really. That is a small luxury I can't afford, and that makes me sad. I worry. Cheaper to go home and make one.

Today I have shopped, at the supermarket and in a home store nearby. I have lugged the bags to the kitchen, unpacked them and filled the freezer and fridge full of meals for the boys this Easter weekend, as I am going away with OH and two other couples. I have done some ironing and part-packed my bags. Interaction? Well, with sons first thing. I chatted with the girls on the till in the shops and with another customer as I queued, I talked to our big cat, stroked him for a while and fed him. I have read articles online...all worthy, and I have replied to my brain has been active. I have spoken on the phone to a couple of committee colleagues and agreed to drive two member to an out of town training session next week. I surfed for maps and directions, and then cooked myself a 'Healthy Living' microwaved chicken tandoori with spinach and tomatoes for lunch..

That's the sum total of my activities today, although I did get up at 6.45am this morning to iron a shirt and trousers for my son, make him sandwiches for lunch and drive out into the countryside where he works, in rush-hour traffic...then drove rush hour traffic to go shopping. I also went to the chemist to get my prescriptions made up and had a long wait as the pharmacist was rushed off his feet. I chatted to others as we waited - all small talk..nothing earth-shattering.

Not so slobby, but not active either. I have the exercise bike in front of the TV but I haven't used it.
Do my days count?

I think they do, but they are mainly filled with the mundane. Some things are quite pleasurable, some things are duties. I have the freedom now to make my days as busy or as empty as I want them to be. As far as I am concerned, that is a fabulous luxury and a wonderful freedom. I appreciate that I am lucky to have retired so young. My pension, hard earned over thirty years of slog, just about covers household expenses, but there is nothing left over. I worry in case we have a household emergency as my savings have been used over the last five years to shore us up. I worry lots. I can coast, because I don't want to rush about every day as I used to, when I was working. There are a million and one things I could do around the house and in the garden, but I don't feel inclined to do them. I have the time, but not the inclination - which is rather like my weight loss campaign, or rather my lack of a campaign!

I want to lose weight because a) I don't look good being this blubbery, and b) my body would thank me. My health is important, and being fat and fairly inactive is not healthy!

I have to commit, but I am not accountable to anyone any more. I am the Queen of all I survey and one day can be pretty much like any other now. I have to make the changes. I feel my days do count, but not in terms of living a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps I NEED demands to be made of me?

Contentment can be a double-edged sword, can't it?

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