The Word Is Comfort

Some people make resolutions come New Year,  I gave that up a long time ago. I figure you don't need a date on the calendar to inspire a determination to make changes in your life.

After some thought, I decided what I wanted was best summed up in a word and my word for 2019 is "comfort". How does comfort define a year? For me, it means both physical comfort and emotional comfort.

Let's start with physical comfort;

I turned 60 last year and as much as I have tried over the last decade to ignore it or hoped it would go away, the fact is I simply can't do all the things I used to be able to at the speed I once could. Arthritis and some disc damage mean I have to be kinder to myself and respect my new limitations. Ignoring them sets me up for a day or more of pain and discomfort. I am learning to be aware of my weak areas, the triggers that can cause flare-ups (weather, overdoing it) and listening to my body when it's telling me to slow down.

Physical activity is important at any age, even more so as you get older or if you have joint issues. It seems like a contradiction, doesn't it? But lack of movement can actually make matters worse. It also helps keep your weight in check, which is important not only for reducing the strain on your joints but to avoid developing other issues like diabetes or heart disease.

I love walking and cycling, the latter especially is great since walking sometimes gives me sore feet and legs, but cycling doesn't. I'm fortunate that the arthritis isn't at the stage it was when my mother was the same age I am. At 60, she was becoming increasingly disabled by it and required regular treatment and medication. New therapies and access to information means, I hope, that I will continue to be active well into old age.

Now for emotional comfort;

Your body goes through a lot of changes with the arrival of menopause (and ageing in general), some of which you may not like. But they happen, there's no getting around it and accepting the fact is important if you want to be happy.

The French say it best ... being comfortable in your own skin.

Emotional comfort is also coming from stepping back from the screen. There are a lot of nasty, hateful people out there, mob mentality and trial by social media has become the norm. You're fooling yourself if you think it won't start rubbing off on you. Negativity is insidious. It drains your energy and takes the focus away from the positives in life.

I have cut back my time online, returning to my life long love of books which was suffering from my nose being in a screen so much. I make a conscious effort to get away from my desk every day (I work from home) and outside for some air and exercise. I limit time spent watching or reading the news and keep in mind that there's no help for human nature.

Simple enough. No unrealistic goals, no adding more pressure to life. Step back, rethink, find comfort.