Isn’t Christmastime wonderful? Friends to meet, cards to send, presents to give, family to celebrate with. Then a New Year party to finish the old year and welcome the new.
And then … January.
At the moment I find myself idle and cold. Sometimes I wish I had a job to do, somewhere to go every day, the company of colleagues, feeling worthwhile.
In the absence of that, I have developed the bad habit of staying in bed, if not all day, then in the afternoons. One of the reasons for this is that the electric blanket is the cheapest way of staying warm. I’m not looking forward to the heating bills as it is and I don’t want to heat the house in the afternoon as well as the evening. That would be another plus to having a job – heating laid on.
I do try to make it to the drop in centre for tea and chat most mornings but when I get home at lunchtime the bed beckons. I could set myself tasks to do (housework!) but I have difficulty motivating myself and I prefer to get out of the house.
I enjoy voluntary work a couple of afternoons a week and I also enjoy a hot chocolate locally after taking a walk. I’m busy most evenings with interests and catch up with working friends at the weekend.
My cousin tells me not to blame myself for staying in bed, that hibernation is natural at this time of the year. But the trouble is that duvet days and insomnia go hand in hand. If I sleep during the afternoon I don’t sleep until the early hours when I go back to bed at night-time. Then I wake up later the following morning. It’s a vicious cycle.
To be busy and fulfilling, my lifestyle depends on budgeting, forward planning and time management, and I have a lot of time to manage. A neighbour of mine, who also lives alone, was told by her doctor that we need to have at least one face-to-face conversation with someone else a day. Sometimes that can mean going to the supermarket for something you don’t really need because you know the staff there. I’m also lucky to have a wonderful and interesting elderly neighbour who I visit regularly.
When you take the whole picture into account, I’m not doing too badly. I will take my cousin’s advice and not blame myself. I will try and keep as active as I can. I will look forward to the lengthening days as January is replaced by an oncoming spring.