Here we are only a few hours into 2017 and I’m beginning to hate it already! It’s the same old New Year’s resolutions over and over again. Loose weight, give up sugar, walk more and organise your life and I know perfectly well that by March I will have forgotten all of them ! So I’ve decided to add a few new ones which might be easier…………………
1. MAKE NEW MEMORIES. The old ones are great but I need to make new ones too.
2. TRAVEL as much as I can. This is getting progressively more difficult now, having to live off a pension. I went to the Greek Islands last year, but that seems so far away in the past and I want to go again, so I’m going to start a small savings account specially for it ! The great thing about travelling is it makes you appreciate your home when you get back. I was once told that what you really want from life is waiting for you back home, but right now in the depths of winter I feel like I could lie on the deck of a sailing boat in the Aegean and make a whole new home. Rubbish I know, but great to fill my dreams !
3. BE KIND. I need to switch my focus to others and always be kind. Did you know that being consciously kind releases oxytocin which will give you an emotional high and reduce your blood pressure ! Being kind to others is paradoxically a way of being kind to yourself, though it has to be done without expectation of getting a pat on the back !
4. BUY A NOTEBOOK and write down your feelings, bits of conversation, pieces of poetry that move you so that you can refer to them on your black days when chronic pain and feeling unable to cope get you down. I especially write down strange things that happen to me when I travel – hence the Blog,
5. SET A GOAL FOR EACH MONTH and keep to it. This is where the old perennials of loosing weight, eating less, no sugar, etc. etc. come into play. Write down your weight (how terrible is this for a suggestion ?) at the beginning of each month so you have something to work towards. At the moment I try to walk in and out of the bathroom and not let the scales catch my eye, so now I have to actually weigh myself and write it down……………. I feel quite faint at the thought of it !
7. I was going to put down EXERCISE MORE but my husband and mentor tells me that as I loose all this weight, I will be able to walk further and thus get fitter and fitter ! Perhaps I should get one of those step counters and right down how many steps I take each day to see if I am progressing, or if I am in truth actually getting worse ?? Maybe the shock of seeing how heavy I am will spur me onwards and upwards, but I’ve a long way to go before I could actually smile at the results !

One thing I have learned over the years is that what I want out of life is not the same as when I was 30 or 60. You just have to embrace all the changes as life goes on. Having RA has not been all bad and I’ve had some great moments and made great friends and it’s these more recent memories that are part of me now. For example, after 15 years of numerous operations, come March 2017 it will have been two years since the last one on my foot and not another one on the horizon ! I seem, at long last, to be settling down joint-wise and just getting to be a regular old bionic granny – Hooray and A HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all !

Me taking notes all at sea !
The Aegean Clipper – in Greece !