Wishing you and yours a very merry Xmas and all the very best for 2023!
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now TOYL away! TOYL away! TOYL away all!”
Last year I was hopeful that this would be the last Covid Christmas! Ha!! So much for wishful thinking! Covid-19 might be leaving us albeit slowly but now we have sky high inflation and a cost of living crisis to join with more war and a breakdown of general political niceness – give it a break guys – It’s XMAS!!!
Much of the western world has had a good degree of vaccination against Covid-19 and we are hopeful this will be active against Omicron and other variants too.
We’ve worn masks, social distanced, had lockdowns, isolations, quarantines and find that different parts of the world have vastly different rules making travel more difficult and in some cases impossible. Has it made a difference, I think so – vaccines have literally been life savers for those who would otherwise have contracted Covid-19. Remember those having the vaccine are doing the unselfish thing and helping to protect others as well as making it far less likely that they themselves will become hospitalised or die.
However we are seeing more and more cases where survivors are not fully recovering, the so called Long Covid where symptoms persist long after the virus itself has been neutralised. Let us in the northern hemisphere use these next few months of winter to hunker down and keep safe. It would be a great shame if we relaxed our collective guards and spread more unnecessary morbidity and mortality. Isn’t it best that we are extra careful this festive season so that we can be sure of having a few more?
Another killer at this time of year is the cold and with the fuel crisis some are having to choose between heat and food. This is a tragedy at any time of year but it’s even more so. So keep warm – some simple tips are keeping one room hot, sitting in a sleeping bag and a warming gilet powered like an electric blanket – I remember when we had a water shortage the drought restrictions were many and various (If it’s yellow, let it mellow but if it’s brown flush it down!) my favourite was ‘shower with a friend’ so maybe ‘cuddle up with a friend’ is more appropriate. Keep warm, put another log on the fire or maybe give it (actually or metaphorically) to a neighbour – why not invite someone to share your warmth and save money whilst getting to know someone better?
OK Santa, off you go and take Corona with you! (Actually the North Pole is one of very few places on the planet without it Covid-19 (yet)!!! But it is damn cold!!!
(PS. These aren’t Christmas baubles!)
So onwards to TOYL after the TOIL!
Retirement can be the fulfilment of a dream or a living nightmare for some. It’s NOT usually about the money but likely relationships or rather the lack of them. Leaving work and the companionship and camaraderie, even if it was seemingly always a moan about the boss or the working environment can be a loss. Likely all your previous co-workers are jealous and assume you are living the life of Riley, however if this isn’t the case maybe Xmas is a good time to reconnect? Patch Adams once told me “Reach out and you’ll never be lonely!” and it’s very true and has served me well over the years although often at the time it can feel like a bit of a ‘stretch’ to cold-call old friends or colleagues for ‘no reason’ after all this time! Xmas gives us that opportunity – “Hi, I thought I’d ring to wish you festive greetings and see how you all are – how about meeting up one evening – busy? – How about we put a date in the diary for the New Year..??” – You’ll be pleasantly surprised about how good it makes them feel to have been thought about positively and more likely than not you’ll have a mini-reunion on your hands!
If retirement is working out well for you, share the news – pass on the tips for a happy transition from TOIL to TOYL, if not reach out and reconnect with those you have lost touch with. Social Media for all it’s faults and negatives can be useful. It’s relatively easy to track people down these days and reconnect. When I was organising my 60th birthday supper I remembered on old mate I’d had vague connection with on Facebook and invited him along – we reconnected with another school friend who like me hadn’t seen him in almost 40 years!
New year, New you? What’s the plan? …and why wait – get on the case TODAY!!
Health Wealth and Relationships are the keys to a happy retirement or indeed a happy life.
My little Xmas gift to you…a few posts you may have missed ….
Get planning for a New Year and a New YOU!