It’s that time of year that we love and dread. It’s a New Year (we hope it’s going to be happy, as everyone shouted at midnight on Dec. 31), and we look forward to all things “new.”
Starting a new year is not as simple as getting adjusted to writing or typing the date “2023.” We often feel like we must do something different to make our personal year better, bigger, more purposeful.
That’s why some folks make resolutions, set new goals for themselves, and plan ahead for new adventures and such.
It has been quite some time since I made any New Year’s resolutions. Like so many others, I couldn’t keep them past February. But I felt like I had to “play along” with the crowd and make known some sort of intention.
I usually resolved to “eat less, exercise more, and get healthier.” And to stop procrastinating. And I usually didn’t do any of those things, at least not for very long.
Eleven years ago this month, however, I made up my mind to follow through on my broken promises to myself and focused on losing 50 pounds over the course of the year. (If you have been reading this space for a long time, you might recall that I shared much of my adventure.)
I joined a gym, got a trainer, and I did what I set out to do. It wasn’t easy, but I accomplished my goal.
At this point, I’m a little older and more sedentary. I just don’t have as much energy to get up and get out as I used to. Consequently, I have “found” some of what I lost.
Recently, I have been considering going back to the gym, because my new insurance plan includes free membership. In fact, the insurance company just sent me a brochure to show me how to feel healthier “in body, mind and spirit.”I get it. They want me to exercise, eat better and stay well so they don’t have to pay any medical bills related to NOT doing those things.
They even gave me some suggestions for improving my mental and physical health.
It all starts with a positive attitude. I suppose they have not read the title of this column. “Sunny Side Up” is how I see things. Do they think just because I’m of a certain age that I’ve gotten cranky and angry at the world? I was born with a positive attitude!
They tell me I should “get active” because it’s a mood booster and “reach out” to friends and loved ones to stay happy. My mood is generally bright, thank you. And I don’t need to reach out, because my friends and family are already in touch regularly.
But the physical exertion they suggest is what really got my goat.
I’m to start with “exercises that match my abilities.” Well, duh! If I am not able to run 10 miles, I’m not going to try. If I can’t lift 200 pounds, I won’t go near the weights.
They suggest dance classes. Oh boy. They haven’t seen me cutting a rug in front of a live band. (Good grief. Did I just say “cutting a rug”? How old AM I?)
They suggest I “do strength exercises” – things like gripping a tennis ball, or wall push-ups. Do they think I’m a shriveled old mushroom of a woman? How heavy is a tennis ball?
The brochure does make a couple of good points, though. I have been doing some brisk walking, as they suggest. Because when it’s 30 degrees outside, I’m not doing anything slowly out there!
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the concern, and I recognize that I should be a little (or a lot) more active.
Maybe I’ll start after I finish up all the home projects I started last year.