"Keep the faculty of effort alive in your by a little gratuitous exercise every day..."
William James 1842 - 1910 "The Principles of Psychology" 1890 ch 4
"Up down, touch the ground
Puts me in the mood.
Up down, touch the ground,
in the mood for food."
a song sung by Winnie the Pooh
With all the extreme weather we've been having here on the Coast it's been easier than I thought to stick to my New Year's resolutions: diet and exercise and writing. Fitness for the soul and body.
As the wind howls outside and the icy rain pelts down I'm hibernating in my cozy apartment with the fire blazing in the hearth and inspiring music playing on the radio. I actually enjoy being alone, especially in my new surroundings, and almost hate to leave whenever I have to go out on errands. It's even been a bit difficult to get myself out to go to the fitness centre and swimming pool, but I've done it. And already I'm beginning to feel the benefits of my new regime -- well, not exactly a 'new' one, but a 'renewal' after several months of being off-track what with moving, travelling and having a house guest for almost two months in my small space.
I think it's important for mind and body to exercise and feed them with nourishing food as well as the other things that help inspire creative thoughts and activities. I usually start my day doing cross-words while I have my breakfast (yoghurt and fruit). I think cross-words are a good way to exercise the mind, get it ready for the deeper thoughts once I sit down and begin work on my novel. So far, I've managed to stick to my plan to write a bit every day, whether it's editing, notes or actual composition. And to date I have almost finished another chapter segement.
My TBR pile has grown over the last months. I usually only find time for pleasure reading while I'm riding the buses, but I must start making more time for that now I'm at home. I'm reading a book titled "Venice" by Jan Morris which is inspiring me to start planning for my next trip. I have started to write on my travel blog about my trip plans and will add to it as the time goes by. (In mid May my girlfriend and I are going back to Greece via Venice, another dream vacation. And my return to Greece will be a reunion with other friends including two who are my classical scholar friends from when I lived in Athens. )
Making a decision to stay home has helped me get back on track with my diet program too. As much as I am a social butterfly and known to be a party animal, its been easier to stay away from the bistros and jazz bars for awhile. (Believe me, a test of will power but helped by the fact I'm broke until I start teaching classes again!) So I have planned out my menus and made sure I had the necessary ingrediants on hand so every night I make myself delicious meals that don't rack up too many points on my Weight Watchers program.
"I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"
Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956 "When We Were Very Young" 1924 "The King's Breakfast."
I was supposed to start back to WW last Friday but because of the sidewalks ankle deep in slushy snow and impossible traffic conditions I didn't get there. The best of intentions...
But I definitely will make it there this Friday.
Meanwhile, I have been following a daily exercise regime going to the fitness centre, water fit, and taking daily walks. I'm also trying to get back into the habit of doing daily stretches in the morning, a practice I stopped some time ago to my regret. Already I am feeling the benefits of exercise and I'm not waking up half a dozen times in the night with hip and back pains. Also feeling more energized. This is enough to keep me back on track.
"Early to bed, and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 "Poor Richard's Almanac" October.
Yep, I'm even trying to get to bed a bit earlier than usual. I have to admit that on these dark, gloomy mornings it's a bit hard to rise 'early' though.
In all, I'm feeling proud of myself for sticking to the regime. It helps to have a plan and lots of positive things to focus on. I sometimes even allow myself the luxury of sitting down to veg out in front of the TV (I just watched the second part of a good Knowledge Network program about the Bronte sisters.) In two more weeks I'll be out and about every evening as my night school classes start up again, so I'll only have the days at home to do my writing. So I'm taking advantage of this time to refresh myself and relax. And it's great to see how much I'm accomplishing and how great I am starting to feel!
"Health and intellect are the two blessings in life."
Menander 342-292 BC "Monostikoi" (Single lines.)
"Time for a little something."
A.A. Milne "Winnie the Pooh" 1926 ch 6