There is something that happens to you and the way you think when you reach middle age. I think it’s got something to do with your joints and the first few moments after getting out of your bed you feel stiff and its takes just a few minutes to limber up.
Then you start to see people you know dying. It is with a regret that you recognise you too are destined for the end game and that you have passed (and maybe wasted) more time than you have left.
That happened to me this year at 53.
Of course, I have compounding factors to consider; long term conditions that may mean I have a shorter spell here than some others and there is a realisation that this too is a done deal.
So, in the Summer, I decided it was time to act and that if I wanted to emulate Sir Muir Gray in his mission to #Sod60 and #Sod70, there was no better time to start than now, right now, this minute.
It was with this purpose in mind I started on trying to readjust my life just a little bit. The first thing I did was to start to lose weight and I am now 1 ½ stone lighter but still with a long way to go. The second and possibly more important was to start to exercise.
That’s how the hashtag #Anneswims started. I focussed on swimming or exercising in water twice each week and used Twitter as a virtual diary that I can look back on and see how much progress I have made. Twitter tells me I have made 10 entries into my #AnneSwims diary in the last month and it has been really motivating to add each entry as I have gone along, it’s become a routine, doing a blood glucose test, taking a picture and posting. NB learning for me – I can’t do a count of how many times I have used my hashtag as I didn’t register it, I didn’t know I needed to and Twitter doesn’t keep historic data forever 😦
But 2017 is a new year and time for a new approach to #sod53. So this year I have a new way to keep motivated. I have a new jar to fill with buttons, one each time I exercise. It’s a big jar, there is plenty of space so let’s see how full I can make it. The little tin next to it is full of buttons and was one of my Grandma’s button tins (I have no idea why she had a button tin with Sloane Square on it – I don’t think she ever left Yorkshire!).
So, here’s to a new year, not with changed resolution, with an extension of an existing one – so #Sod53 and to a great active 2017.
I do have some other resolutions for 2017; the first is to work with the very lovely peeps that are Victoria Betton and Roz Davies to somehow find a way to deliver #PDDigital17 and to drive strong clinical leadership more deeply into the culture at NHS Digital. These things will be fun and I am very much looking forward to 2017.
Happy New Year everyone – I hope you achieve your ambitions while staying happy and well.
PS Thanks to Sir Muir Gray for the inspiration and I hope he forgives me for #Sod53
Postscript 3rd Jan:
The first button is in the jar and look at my new button tin thanks to Auntie June
Anne. As always a delightful and inspirational blog. I like the way you are using social media as a motivational tool. Shows how we can promote health and wellbeing as well as use it as a way to ‘measure the outcome or desire’
Like you, I didn’t know you needed to register a hashtag, so as they say, you learn new things every day, or in this case two things!
So others know I recommend http://www.twubs.com to register. Easy and free.
Hi Anne! You are so doing the right thing. I started exercising a couple of years back when I noticed some unwanted extra pounds had crept onto the old waistline, and I have never looked back. I’m lucky enough to live a few minutes’ away from a large park, so my own routine is an (almost) daily power walk around it. Half an hour from door to door. And even though I attract guffaws from passing teenagers, I love it and wouldn’t do without it now.
As you know, I have retired from nursing now, but I still write. I think I’ve turned into one of these irritatingly evangelical middle aged people who has started a second life based on the pursuit of their dreams. I now write articles on art and culture for Coventry Today, a new local online newspaper here in Coventry, and through my restaurant review blog, The Veg Diner Monologues, I am trying to shake up the lamentable state of eating out round these parts.
I don’t underestimate how lucky I am to have these opportunities (although there was some hard work involved; I got the newspaper gig on the strength of my writing for Grumbling Appendix). But I can take pride in crossing off one thing from my bucket list. Earlier this week The Veg Diner Monologues was read by none other than Mr Jay Rayner. And he liked it. And he tweeted it!!!!
Do I wish I had got started on all this earlier in life? Do I regret what might have been? Of course I do. But maybe it wouldn’t have worked out when I was younger because maybe I wasn’t ready. So better late than never. I’m 55. And without wishing to tempt fate, in some ways, I feel better than I have ever felt.