Being busy

It’s a tough time for most folk right now, especially for those like me, who live alone and have a partner who can’t be visited because of the lockdowns at all Aged Care facilities. Being ‘stuck at home’ can also have its upside, too, if we are well enough to use the time to keep fit. Today, despite it being so very cold, I donned my facemask (kept my nose warm!) and had a long walk in the sunshine. I am so lucky to have comparatively good health and I know my wife Dorothy is in good hands; it is somewhat ironic that she doesn’t seem to miss my visits, but I do miss seeing her. By keeping away more often at this time, I am trying to minimise the stress on the staff and the management of her care home. I am so proud of the work they do at her home and I think it’s right to do what we can to help them retain their health and good spirits in their constant and challenging work. Coronavirus times in those locked-down facilities is no ‘walk in the park’!   

For us at home, finding productive, healthy things to do within or near these four walls will continue to be an ongoing chore. I’m aiming, like many others I guess, to rediscover lots of unfinished jobs around the house and things that need sorting, culling and tidying – yes, there’s plenty to do, it just isn’t always easy to get motivated!

The cold nights are a good excuse to go to bed a bit earlier, too, but then (I confess) I find it hard to crawl out in the mornings! We have had lots of sunny days and, when the weather permits, I like to go on walks which are now restricted to my nearby tracks around the neighbourhood. I am lucky that there is access to walking trails just outside the gate where I live and on three or four days a week I try to notch up at least three kilometres each time, as I did today and also a few days ago on my eighty seventh birthday, so I reckon that’s not too bad! To mark that day, our daughter, who lives nearby, arrived with her husband and children and we had a carefully-distanced and very brief (it was cold!) outdoor ‘party’ to celebrate (love the socks – just what I needed!). Sometimes our daughter and her two school-age daughters ride their bikes over to here, about three hilly kilometres, to bring me a little cake or treat they have baked. How good is that!

Most of us retired people are fortunate to live in an era when we have computers, clever phones, TV and radio to help us know what’s happening in the world. At our age and with time to spare, we can literally explore the universe, watch some incredible documentaries and movies, listen to great music and be entertained, all in the comfort of our lounge room at night. For more brain food, I also love doing crossword puzzles, and even started to write some notes about my life journey – a little side-project to tackle and add to, every so often. And, of course, writing this blog helps to keep my old mind busy, too.

I am otherwise inclined to become lazy, introverted, and melancholy and that is not where blokes like me need to be! This enforced separation from Dorothy should have its ‘upside’ and am trying to use the time to develop activities which will keep me productively occupied. It would be easy to sit around just reading books, watching TV, or haphazardly surfing the web, but that’s not me – so I have made a rule to walk each day and to make or do something, even if it is only completing a word puzzle! Strangely, I just can’t get motivated to become proficient as a cook, but maybe I’ll experiment, just a bit….. It always seems I never have the right ingredient at the right time, and if do stock up on something for a recipe the rest of it doesn’t get used and becomes yet another packet or can ageing in the pantry. Cooking for one is no fun, so basically, I don’t!

I’ve done the crosswords, and my laundry; I’ve also had good walk. Now it’s time to get busy – choosing which prepacked frozen meal to open for dinner tonight…..