As I get older, the phrase “use it or lose it” is becoming more obvious. Not just the rusty physical parts of my body, but the mental parts like good habits, routines, and comfort zones too.
I’ve never been anxious driving on the highways, in fact I much prefer it to city driving where you have pedestrians, bikes, and cars coming at you in all directions. When I moved to Ottawa from the much smaller town of Cornwall, I forced myself to drive up and down the Queensway (the major highway running east to west through the city) getting off each exit, then back on.
It feels like I hardly ever drive on the highways anymore, in fact, I’ve cut down considerably for almost two years now, since the pandemic shut us down in early 2020.
When I do drive on the highway these days, the first few minutes feel strange. And then the comfort and enjoyment return, the feel of the open road beneath me. The winding roads and the relaxing rural scenery are a bonus, although I haven’t seen much of them recently.
When I worked outside of the home, especially when my kids were young, I was incredibly organized. At least when I look back to those days now, I think I was. Beds were stripped every Friday for a weekly wash. Grocery lists were mandatory, in preparation for weekly shopping every Thursday. Once the boys were out of diapers, bath nights were Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.
I learned that kids thrive on routine, but so do busy moms.
When I retired, and the kids were much older, routines flew out the window with the alarm clock. That might not be considered a bad thing.
How many of you reach for a calculator or your phone to figure out a mathematical equation, even the simple ones? I admit to forcing myself to use my brain power with a pen and paper to ensure I remember how to. It is so much quicker and more convenient to use the electronics so use it or lose it! Your brain power I mean.
One of the reasons I loved helping my granddaughter with her online lessons is that it forced me to think like a seven-year-old again. At that age, kids’ brains are like sponges, absorbing every tidbit of information they encounter. I like that feeling, and I really enjoy finding the right way to answer their never-ending questions. Do you remember how some teachers were so much better than others at explaining things?
When I refer to my rusty body parts, I am talking about my achy, arthritic joints. My ankles, knees, hips and wrists are anxiously awaiting warmer, drier weather.
The problem with arthritic joints is that the less you use them, the harder it is to use them when you want or need to. It is indeed a vicious circle, but the trick (I find) is to make sure you keep using them.
Use it before you lose it!!