Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Calling ‘Time out!’

Photo by Any Lane on

…in pace. After the year I’ve had, I’m taking a break from work and from blogging. It’s time I took my own advice and sort out my own ‘oxygen mask’ before helping anyone else with theirs. I’m worn out mentally and physically. I’m planning on not planning the days, except for the big three: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Those days require me to be on top of my cooking game, rustling up some kitchen magic in the form of food and drinks for the family and need military-grade plans to pull it off!

I will be concentrating on eating healthily, staying well hydrated, and moving more. My mojo has gone awol. The same cannot be said of the pounds gathering around my middle like an unwelcome spare tyre! With short days and freezing temperatures, I’m heading off my own excuses for not exercising by purchasing an exercise stand for my bicycle. I can hole up in the garage, free from frost and rain, listen to some music and pedal like fury to shift the Michelin middle before the holidays arrive.

Photo by Luis Fernandes on

I’m reliably informed by our family doctor that getting more active and out of breath will greatly improve how I feel all round. In addition, it should stop my mind wandering too close to rabbit holes of doom. Never a good move. Improving my mood will have a positive knock on effect on the waistline. Hooray. A win-win situation.

As it’s been a while since I did the Ageless Goddess 14 day program, now seems like a good time to kick-start that as well. It doesn’t take a diary planner to do this either – although I could work it in somehow, to make some use of the otherwise-redundant year planner. In a pocket at the front there’s a letter to myself written at the beginning of the year, before life went bonkers. I can’t remember what advice I wrote so it will make interesting reading. given the twisted turns 2020 took.

Before I sign off, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for virtually holding my hand each step of the way this year, for your kind words when things were particularly tough, and for your humour when I needed to remember how to smile. I shall keep your energy tucked up safely in my heart while I recharge my batteries.

Photo by u0158aj Vaishnaw on

I wish you all a safe and healthy Christmas, and see you in January for Linda G Hill’s legendary Jus-Jo-Jan challenge.

With love

Cath xx

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Use it or lose it!

Out of my comfort zone

Photo by Jan Antonsen on

It’s funny what a short break in my routine does to my body. Nearly every day I made time to practice a little yoga. But the run up to Christmas 2019 was somewhat fraught with challenges to my normal day. For a start, it was Christmas, with all that extra stuff going on. And then to add to the packed diary, both my parents were in hospital at the same time, resulting in me decamping to Scotland to tend to both and give my long-suffering sister a hand. No time for yoga and my normal eating plan. Both were replaced by pacing the hospital corridors and eating takeaway.

Crisis over, now back to normal… or not?

When Dad was discharged home and I was satisfied he was on the mend I returned home to pick up the threads of Christmas prep as best I could. What I didn’t pick up was the yoga routine or the healthy eating. I felt too drained and too busy to do either of those key self-care things. So I ignored these needs and got on with the festive season. Not that I minded a daily gin but I knew I couldn’t keep this up forever, well not without consequences.

Friend or foe?

Days became weeks. The weight crept on and I developed aches and joint stiffness. Getting back to my food routine after Christmas was a blessed relief. I don’t know about anyone else, but by the end of the festive season I was starting to crave simple foods like beans on toast. I didn’t want to see another roast meat for the foreseeable future. The daily gin and tonic had to go too (boo) but it was all for a great cause… the extra pounds soon fell off. Nice. So my joints should be happier.

Urgh! Pass me the oil can!

Wrong! It’s like the ascent of Man, watching me get out of bed. I slowly uncurl as the minutes pass. I’m only in my mid-fifties. What will I be like in a decade? Time to shake thing up. Looking though my yoga journal I can see a plan at the beginning of each week, great intentions, but by Monday lunchtime it’s derailed. In essence I have deprioritised me.

This week is different. I’m tired of feeling stiff, anxious and jittery. I’m reprioritising me. I realise that virtually all the things that got in the way were not urgent or important. They can wait. It’s all very well to say to myself ‘I’m going to do x, y and z for me today’… I realise I need to say this out loud… set my agenda out for all to see.

Testing the theory

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny. To all and sundry, including the dog, I declared the time after work to be my yoga time. I declared the office off-limits when I have the door closed. This means I am either in a business call or meditating! I was surprised at the response… or lack of it. Nobody batted an eyelid. It seems I put the barriers in place!

This week’s yoga sessions have shown me how much emotional baggage I’m carrying in my lumbar spine and hips. It will take time and daily practice to regain flexibility. I’m not doing the same program every day. I’m shaking up the routine. As I have membership to a well-known on-line Yoga site, I have a wealth of styles and teachers to choose from, keeping my brain engaged as it follows each new program.

Shake it up

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Speaking of shaking it up, I’m making a conscious effort to wear as many different outfits as I can instead of the usual skinny jeans and default top. As my lovely Granny and Great Granny left me a treasure trove of jewellery, now considered antiques, I’m wearing their earrings, broaches, necklaces and rings to add to my outfits, giving me a reason to remember those wonderful women.

Let’s not become trapped in the age cage. Let’s use what we have and shake up the old routines.