Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Crafts

Unique Christmas cards have always been a favorite for me and this one just arrived in the mail. It is hand-stitched by my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter. This is a keeper. The amount of time and effort that an item like this takes makes it very special to the person receiving it. I understand that each card they sent this year has a variation on this motif. The stitching is very meticulous.

The inside of the card is as neat as the outside.  The green backing covers the back of the needlework that is on the face of the card.

It is an honor to receive such a special Christmas card, so it will have a special display spot in my house where we can see it daily throughout the season. It will also become part of my annual Christmas decorations display in my house.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Moving On

Re-inventing ourselves is a life-long process; some times are more dramatic than other times. Ruts have a limited shelf life for me. I like to move on to new things and do a lot of stuff that change places I go and activities that appeal to me. Friends and acquaintances come and go, hobbies come and go, and life is as changing as waves on a shore. I love the ebb and flow of day-to-day events and seeing what is around the next corner.

Retirement is wonderful in the way that it opens so many doors, it is hard to choose the next door. Sometimes I like to sit myself down and have a chat with myself. Where am I going? What do I want to do next? I have a "meditation" chair where I sit and contemplate my future.

Recently I made a major change and we older people don't adjust to changes well as a rule. At least, that is what I heard someone near me say to another silver-haired gent with whom he was having a profound conversation.  I was shamelessly eavesdropping. I have to agree, it takes a bit of assertive, maybe aggressive effort to decide what to do next and where to put my efforts. My major change was to move from one gym to another.

After two weeks of attending the new gym for two hours plus each morning, I find I am more than a little pleased with the decision for many reasons. I can already see the benefits of my efforts and it has almost become like reporting to work every morning. I try to follow a schedule and arrive at around the same time even though I don't pressure myself and I relax with it. It keeps me centered to have a routine to follow on weekdays. Three days a week, I work out on over 20  pieces of Life Fitness equipment, then I walk on a treadmill as fast as I can for three miles. On two days a week, I don't do the equipment, but I walk four miles and try to do that in one hour. It really works up a sweat so I can't forget to take along my towel.

I like the treadmills because they have individual TV screens and cable TV so I can watch CNN, or major networks, or movies, etc. Sometimes I set that on closed caption and watch the news channels in the morning while listening to my music on my own MP3 player. I am so occupied with my music and the headlines, I barely notice that I am exercising. My next change will probably be to expand into some new cardio machines like ellipticals, bikes or rowing machines. I like variety so I will try some new stuff again soon.

I don't know what it means, if anything, but I am seeing a lot of faces at the new gym that I used to see at my previous gym. How interesting.

I am meeting new people and I enjoy the conversations with other people who like to exercise. The early morning crowd includes many other retirees so I can relate to them and we have some things in common. However, it has a big age range which is good too. I don't want to exercise where there are only old people or even where there are only women. I think the decision to try a new location has been an exciting change and it inspires me to look for a lot of other new things to do. 

I don't find it daunting as an older person to "change" things. I find it invigorating.