Monday, January 11, 2016

Are we too old for new resolutions?

A new year, and plenty of resolutions are made, consciously or unconsciously.
Here are mine for 2016:

1. Save whenever you can.
See that tree that fell on our house just before Christmas? It was not planned. It was never anticipated, and its removal sucked more Christmas gifts and Christmas trips from our already thin wallet.  Yes, you say, we save what we can; but hey, don't we deserve to live a little while we can? The trouble with not saving is that these events that suck you dry happen all the time in unexpected ways. Better save for them.

2. Make a list of your needs and wants and get yourself a want often.
Counter-intuitive? Perhaps. We drive past a store that sells ice cream in cones. We tell ourselves that we will stop each time and have an ice cream. Each time we drive past. Last year we stopped only once, when our grandchild was around. The rest of the time we feel ok to skip, choosing not to indulge, but knowing that we can if we want to.

3. Don't skip your needs. You need meds, exercise, visits to doctors, a healthy diet. Plan these activities as stringently as possible, and don't even think about skipping. I have scheduled my weight lifting exercise just before I shower, five minutes or so each day, followed by a shower, followed by rubbing lotions. I can't afford a spa day, but I can afford a spa hour. I've planned my housework in a similar way, with folding clothes providing me with stretching exercises. When I plan my weekly menu I include one meal a day that is all vegetarian, a salad or a soup, for instance. This way I help myself to more servings of fruit and vegetables recommended by the doctors. I intend on trying new recipes that will keep my taste buds happy and curious all through the year.

That's it. Three focus areas. I can still count to three.

Friday, January 1, 2016

This year, pledge to notice much.

We have driven this road, going up the Elk River, numerous times, on the way to our favorite place up the winding road, to admire the white waters and be astounded by the pristine forests still standing in this place. We hike a bit of road down to the river, then we attempt to hike a bit of the unspoiled forest nearby. We had never stopped here, in this spot.

On this day, just a few days ago,  Hubby stopped because of a clear straight wide stretch, the river on the left, the meadows and livestock on the right, and plenty of sunshine. Let's walk here, he says.

We walked over a mile before we realized how stunning the place was. A mile is our daily pace.
Look, look how many little creeks have been formed recently, I noticed out loud, with so much water around the cows have to be careful not to be swept down to the ocean. There the cows stood, all in concert, at about noon, waiting for us to pass on. But we didn't. We stared right back at them. There were no other people around, so we took our phones out and shot this picture.

In a square mile around us, river, mountains, pastures and habitations dotted the landscape. Cows stood out above all. Contented, unhurried, friendly toward each other as one or two ate together, mostly nearby others. There were no people around, though cars were rushing by at unusually fast paces for a country road.

Nearby, fishermen and lumbermen shacks abounded. Occasionally, a mansion of sorts, overlooking the river, with additional pastures curated for golf swings, not cattle raising.

After I took the picture, I noticed my cell phone had not connection and told Hubby we needed to get back to the car, back to the major highway where one can make 911 calls and be aided swiftly.

If we had an emergency on that stretch, I told Hubby, we might not get help easily.
Nah, people drive by often, and they would notice something.
Not really, look at how fast they all move. When we drive, we too move fast, and don't notice much.
We'd notice if a car had been parked for a while.
How much is a while?
A couple of hours. Most people leave their houses for errands and are back in a couple of hours.
Nah. Most people drive too fast to notice much.