Sunday, February 22, 2015

Walking with George

I've been sedentary for so long that I decided this past week to begin taking a daily walk---and not just to the mailbox! My timing may have been a bit off, since we had zero temperatures most days. It made for an interesting perspective on the world, as I trudged along in a burka-like getup, my eyes peering out from a double wrap of scarves.

One advantage of living in a neatly defined housing development is that you can easily set your  goals. This week I went as far as George Place.  George and I had a nice chat. Next week's goal  is Barbara Ave; followed by Florence, Ellis, Victor and eventually all the way to Calvin! That will take about two months if I keep progressing. I haven't decided yet if non participation should result in back slippage to the previous week's goal.

I've also loosely defined "daily", allowing for substitutions if I've been on my feet a lot shopping or if my leg starts acting up again.

Silly as it sounds, I felt quite accomplished this week and energized with my modest walk and peaceful time just breathing, enjoying the neighborhood and having an imaginary chat with George. Now granted, I am no way near the Fit Bit crew out there. I know I would be severely embarrassed to see how many steps I log daily. But, just putting it in writing here does add a little motivation.

"Isn't it wonderful?" I keep reminding myself.  I try to emulate a little guy who laughs from the sheer joy of movement. And he doesn't even know yet that someday he'll be walking unassisted and then running, jumping, skipping....

Monday, February 9, 2015

Tuesday Movie Day Revisited

A friend asked if I still did Tuesday Movie Day. No, I replied. Every day can be Tuesday Movie Day now--right from my own family room couch. That's good and bad.

I miss the sense of adventure and the pleasant anticipation of sitting in a theatre and watching the big screen either alone or with a friend. I don't think I've seen as many foreign and independent films as I used to at Claridge Cinema in Montclair. But I do have so many options now.

We get HBO and Showtime as part of our Silver Cable package. I still get Netflix DVD's in the mail twice a month. Many of the foreign and independent films only appear on DVD and not on streaming. My son was amazed when he was home one vacation to see the bright red envelope and he promptly ordered Netflix online with a few clicks of the remote. Did he pay for that? Not likely. I was also informed by Amazon that I had access to their Amazon Flicks, since I became an Amazon Prime customer for the free shipping. There's also Public Television. What would we do without our British imports? And the always popular Saturday night at the movies with a classic film followed by an independent film and then a short (if you can stay up past midnight) 

I dont' want to add up the price of all these services, but presumably they might be less than the steep movie tickets, even for us seniors at the matinee discount.

And it's so easy...I have to plan my day, so that I don't succumb to full time TV watching. I just digested Amazon's 10 episode season of Transparent in the course of one week. (but in fairness they were only half hour shows) Another friend had recommended the BBC's Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch which had been on Public TV. We found it on Netflix and yes, I have become a Cumberbitch.

It's hard to replicate the delicious abandon of sneaking out of work early, when Tuesday Movie Day first started. I was still working then, but had already been told we would be merged out of existence within the year, so it was the perfect way to add a little excitement to a job in a holding pattern. Today I try to do all my non profit work now in the morning and early afternoon so I'm ready by 3 pm to indulge--not every day, of course. Well, let's say, not every day in the good weather.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

One Line a Day

Last year I bought the blue One Line a Day 5 year Memory Book, like the one my son has. For some reason I started on February 1, not January 1, a delayed New Year's resolution. The format of the book is simple. There is one page for each day and space for 5 entries(years) per date. The advantage of the one line a day is that it’s not too burdensome to maintain. Even if you wait a few days, you can remember what happened during the week and log some thoughts (usually!). It’s not intimidating because it’s hard to get really serious or philosophical in a few lines. My mother-in-law used to write in a notebook and her posts consisted pretty much of the weather report. I try to be a little more creative than that. I suppose the modern equivalent is posting a status everyday on FaceBook or Twitter, but then they disappear.

And the fun really begins in the second year, when you can bore everyone with entries from last year. Do you know what happened on this day last year? It’s my own little "This Day in History." A few observations:

  • It puts things in perspective- what we worried about a year ago may have worked out or some concerns may now seem trivial. For example, on February 4 last year Beth was admitted to the hospital with premature labor. My entry: “Calm down, little Atticus, you have 7 weeks to go!” Atticus was renamed Alex at birth and he has proven to be a little man on the go even now, cruising the furniture and almost ready to take his first steps.
  • A lot of things stay the same--like this entry from last February 9 “Never got dressed today- relaxing.” Hmm…that seems to occur quite often, although this year I have dubbed it “hibernating.” Need a new word to describe it when spring comes. Also, last year: "Trying to re-establish my exercise routine." LOL.
  • I had thought this would be a stepping stone to a more complete diary, but I am content with the one line a day. I would invite everyone to try it. You can take it as a challenge to dress up your mundane life in 20 words or less. (That's a lot more leeway than 140 characters.) Or, you can just record events so you can figure out what you did this past week or month. I like to think that writing things down is a memory booster. Now when people say, “Did you have a good week?”, you can do a quick check and have something to say other than “Same old, same old“.
Anybody want to join me this year?