Tuesday, December 10, 2013

As hard as I've tried to avoid it,

I'm afraid Reality is just too close to ignore any more. (This isn't as ominous as it sounds.)

Between still being in the healing-from-loss process and the life-after-retirement-adjustment, it has taken me a long damn time to get here. After losing Bob, I spent about 5 years continuing in my profession but it took a harder and harder toll on me. It's only in recent months now two years later that I have begun to realize just how used-up and strung-out I was by that last day at work.  I am so, so lucky to be able to retire young and have enough money to live on. I suppose many people would not consider my post-retirement income to *be* an income, but I have pretty low wants and needs. I'm pretty healthy (get to that in a bit) and therefore, so terrifically lucky in that regard, also. I've planned carefully and should be OK barring further shenanigans from the 1%ers and their pet lawmakers.

But in terms of day-to-day life after retirement, it's been pretty pants. I mean, living by the seat of my pants. My bedtime has drifted ever-later. My arising time is all over the map. Some days I do nothing, some days I do lots of different stuff, some days I go gangbusters (which are then followed by several Doing Nothing days). No rhyme, reason, schedule - BECAUSE I'M RETIRED. That's been my mantra so far. I *have* achieved a few larger projects around the house and yard. There is SO much more to do (my vague aim being, not having any extra Stuff lying around anywhere that I don't use).  I've been kind of a hermit. I'm an introvert and it's been heaven just holing up by myself for days at a time. I get out, socialize, when I want to, but it's been predominantly solitude I've sought.

But looked at overall, it's been kind of chaotic - for a very VERY low-energy, snail's-pace version of chaos.  I'm having a hard time figuring out whether that's good or bad, or even either. I'm feeling dissatisfied with how I'm moving through life now.

One source of dissatisfaction is my health. Given disgustingly good health, I have, it seems done everything in my power to undercut that. Inertia, inactivity, over-eating. Just saw my doctor yesterday and gee, those health goals I've been working so diligently toward? Looks like I'm almost there. My glucose and bad cholesterol are elevated. The dread words "statins" and "pre-diabetic" were uttered. And I've known bad news was creeping up because my knees have been hurting (obesity - and inactivity) and my sleep has been pretty chaotic, too. So now I'm waiting for the blood work results so we know the actual numbers. And I'm thinking, I can still save this. Or at least, I want to give myself the chance. I do NOT want to go on statins. And I most certainly, heartily and dreadfully do not want to dance on the edge of diabetes any longer.

So it looks like today is when I finally have to get serious about what I've known for a long time. From here on out, if I want to have a *good* old age, my daily mantra must be "The most important thing I do today is exercise."  Simply getting out and walking, or going downstairs and getting on the Tunturi, and using the weight apparatus downstairs, for 30 - 60 minutes a day, has got to be my A-1 priority every single day. That, and cutting down on the bad foods I eat, and not eating after 8 p.m. But I have been reading for years that simple regular aerobic exercise will improve almost every one of my problems: excess weight, lack of stamina, lack of energy, lack of strength, deteriorating hips and knees, high glucose, high bad cholesterol (and especially low *good* chol.), poor posture, poor breathing. It also helps me feel more capable which I have found is HUGE in my general feeling of self-worth. Another way to say that is, regular exercise drives depression and inertia right down into the ground. And stomps on it.

With all those benefits, what the HELL has been holding me back? I guess, depression - though mine takes the form of inertia, not emotional anguish. No suicidal thoughts here, no worries. I LOVE just sitting in one place. I also LOVE getting stuff done. And I would much prefer to not have to deal with all the health shit that I've been putting out the welcome mat for all these years. My life needs shaking up, my routine has to change. This might involve even moving furniture around. I don't know. But it has to change, and today is when it has to start.

What a pain in the ass.

Edited to add: I'm amazed - the doctor's office already has my blood work results. They called me to give them to me. It turns out, he must have been mostly concerned about the blood glucose because he only ordered the A1C test and fasting glucose, and some organ function indices (no cholesterol analyses). My A1C is still within normal range, YAY!!!! A mite high, but still normal. My fasting glucose is a bit elevated, but is the same as when I had it measured back in May. It's still under the usual benchmark for diabetes.

So I look on this as  reprieve, an opportunity to get the ol' system working better again. No change in direction, then. This is encouraging.

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