Thursday, 7 February 2013

Rother Valley Country Park: exercise and friends really do lift my mood

When I woke up this morning I felt a little fuzzy. I had spent a fitful night which is not unusual for me. As per I had no idea why. I just kept dozing and then waking up with a very dry and uncomfortable mouth. My OH also as per slept peacefully beside me emitting the odd contented snore. At around 7.30am he, fully refreshed decided to get up and I reluctantly followed suit about half an hour later. I had arranged to meet up with a friend so, I decided to shower before breakfast instead of after because it somehow cuts down on the loitering. 

I was really looking forward to meeting my friend but our normal routine is to meet at the local retail park for coffee. I had suggested last time that for a change we could go for a walk. Of course I then proceeded to forget said suggestion. Those of you of a certain age will understand this fully. The rest of you will understand one day! Anyway, the last thing I felt like this morning was a trot around Rother Valley Country Park. I would have much rather met up in Costa Coffee but I'd agreed and I rarely cancel an arrangement. So I arrived with a smile on my face at 10.30am wondering what I'd let myself in for. 

Well as it turns out what I'd let myself in for was a thoroughly enjoyable morning. We trotted around the top half of the lakes rather gingerly at first because it was rather icy underfoot. Me more gingerly than she, because as you already know, I'm a devout coward when it comes to dodgy terrain. Our initial aim was to make it to the cafe for a cup of coffee which we did easily in half an hour. We both enjoy our coffee. I mainline on americano and she prefers the gentler cappuccino. We are both marriage veterans and we both enjoy a few minutes commiserating with each other on our long suffering patience before we start on more diverting topics. Today was no exception and after our catch up the conversation turned to whether it's  easier to be single and retired or, part of a couple.

I introduced the subject because it's something I've been mulling over. I have single friends and family who I think see coupledom through rose tinted spectacles. My friend also has people close to her who are single and approaching retirement age so it was of interest to both. 

I won't give you chapter and verse because I'm hoping that you'll join the discussion. However, my friend thought it was easier if you're part of a couple because you have company, even if that just means there's another body in the room. Mine was it depends on the person. If someone is 'happily' single then I think coupledom is more problematic because you go from separate working lives to potentially being with someone all the time. If you're 'happily' single you're minus work but essentially you still have your own space. However, whether your single or a couple retirement for most is a period of transition. My friend who is younger than me has been retired for six years and I've been retired a year. She seems more contented in some respects than I am but perhaps that's because she left a job she didn't  enjoy and I left a profession I loved.

After our chat we set off to finish circumventing the lakes and when we'd achieved that I felt energised and happy. I think I can positively state that exercise and intelligent chat definitely increase my sense of wellbeing. 

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