Welcome to 2020…the year to really go for it!

  • This year will be different, or maybe not!
  • Ray’s delight at an unexpected announcement
  • How can four simple daily changes improve your life? 

May I wish you the very best for the New Year, and welcome you to 2020.

As I get older the brash party time of New Years Eve looses its draw for me, and I would sooner have the family around me for a good home cooked meal and an early night.

However, the prospect of a new year is a bit like the fresh exercise books we always got at the beginning of a school year and I look at the empty calendar and dream of the possibilities for the year ahead.

The springtime of long walks in fresh frosty air, a summer filled with long days gardening and smoky barbeque nights, the lazy days of autumn and bountiful harvest and the hearth warming days of winter…and then we are back where we started.

What can I do this year that I didn’t accomplish last?

On a personal note I know my dad is going to need more of my help as his Alzheimers progresses, and that also means being on hand for mum.

The more I find out about this condition the more I worry for my folks, but I am also heartened by just how much there is out there that can help him.

Simple puzzles, the constant interaction with children and their inquiring minds and a never ending list of little jobs are all real boons for keeping the mind sharp.

I am also grateful for those who have shared your own stories and advice with me, I may not always get the chance to thank you personally, but rest assured I do read every e-mail that comes in.

It’s not all gloom though

But a brighter note to start the year arrived with the Christmas cards.

Many of my friends send us letters in the cards; some might call them round robins, which I love to read as it keeps me up to date.

I don’t know about you but I rarely get much time to phone people up to catch up on their news, and it is these missives which tells me the news I missed.

In this case it was the best news ever.

Two of my chums got together in their late thirties after previous traumatic relationships, and yearned for a baby.

Nature was stubborn and they turned to IVF as an option.

Over the course of last year they had two unsuccessful attempts and commenced on the third, and final treatment at the end of September.

We all waited and dared not ask.

The news in their Christmas card was the best ever. Not only was she pregnant but she was expecting twins!

An instant family for two very deserving and lovely people – I am so happy for them and took great delight in whizzing a congratulations card off that very day.

Make your 2020 special

I hope you have all taken the pledge for the coming year and resolved to keep reading the Good Life Letter – hopefully you will have introduced a few of your friends to us as well.

In addition here are a few simple things to do as a daily routine to keep yourself in shape.

  1. Work on your balance. Keeping yourself in trim isn’t just about getting to a gym and pumping iron, it also relies on working out the muscles at our core. These are the ones that keep us upright and in line, so don’t neglect them.

One of the simplest things you can do is to stand on one leg and try to avoid wobbling whilst you count to twenty: If you can do this with ease step up the challenge by trying to stand on one leg whilst brushing your hair or teeth.

  1. Every time you put the kettle on to make a hot drink try taking ten good deep breaths, fill every available space on the in breath and then push every little bit out.

This will help your posture and your mood as it really relieves tension. I have resolved to do just this every time I feel like shouting at the news on the TV!

  1. Eat a square of good dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids every day which really boosts your anti-oxidant levels and keeps a smile on your face whilst improving your immunity levels.
  2. Resolve to learn something new every week, a new card game, a new recipe or simply a new word. This will keep your brain alert and maintain your intellect.

As it happens this is my dad’s new workout programme as well…

I really do wish you all the very best for the New Year and ask you to look out for my letters, I can promise you more of the same bad jokes, appalling grammar and occasionally something that might just save your life!

Happy New Year.