Tag: choir

Relationships after 50: Friendships

I’d like to consider here friendships, particularly after the age of 50. These are my experiences and thoughts, let me know in the comments below your views or experience if you don’t mind sharing!

Old Friendships

I sometimes feel that I have lost good friends after the breakup of my marriage over 20 years ago. As a young-ish couple you have couple friends, often with children the same age as yours. We had three couple friends from school days and numerous other couple friends through our children mainly. No one wants to “take sides” (on our divorce), time gets taken up with the children and their hobbies, people move away and friendships take more than an annual Christmas card. Having said that if they were to knock on my door or vice versa I’m sure we’d pick up like it was yesterday……….but it’s not.

All the missed shared times – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, children growing up concerns; GCSE’s, University anguish –these have been missed,  shared with newer friends. I envy people that have kept long term friendships going, it is like having an extended family.

That said I do have friends of old! In particular a childhood neighbour I’ve been friends with for over 50 years, I see her rarely, write to her twice a year and now see more of her on social media! An old school friend who is quite local and I meet up with occasionally. Along with the aforesaid Christmas card friends from days of yore and a close friend of over 15 years, I used to be her Manager in my Accountancy days.

walking in the peak district
My two best friends, Kate and Rufus at Ilam Rock -Dove Dale

You can read about this trip to the Peak District here.

New Friendships

I’m sometimes surprised at the number of friends I have made after the age of 50. They have come from varied places. Massage clients have become close friends to share a meal with or enjoy a dog walk with. More recently, in the last 12 months, I have made new friends through joining a local choir, tennis coaching and a social tennis group. These friendships are in early stages but I’m sure they will be long standing with like minded people.

I joined an online gym over 4 years ago and the community on there is fabulous. The thought of online friends is probably quite alien to many over 50s, and the scare stories of online relationships may put you off. Rest assured the ladies I have met online are delightful, I have now met some of them irl (in real life!), including one visiting from Australia. They are such a supportive and knowledgeable group of ladies, I am honoured to be part of their friendship group.

friendship
Meeting online gym friends irl!

Current Friendships

Here I am in my late 50s with more friends than I have ever had. Some from childhood, some from work places or leisure activities, some clients and my family. I believe that it is important to “work” at friendships. Don’t get irritated if it seems one way traffic or you are more or less available them. Be sure to keep in touch and get a date in your diary for a meet up or drop them a letter or a card.

I have reconnected with people after years and being single makes me more sociable and actively pursue friends. I have a date in my diary to meet a great lady I played hockey regularly with over 25 years ago with whom I’ve exchanged of Christmas cards but haven’t met in all those years. I’m also in contact with an old work colleague through Facebook and arranging a coffee meet up. An old boss dropped his phone number in his Christmas card and said to call.

friendship
1986 British Shoe Mixed Hockey Team on tour

Good friends

I googled friendship and friends here’s what I found “True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils” (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/friend)

“A friend is someone you can talk with about a problem, someone who is always there when you need a hand, someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, someone who makes you laugh, or even someone you can poke on Facebook.” (https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-good-friend)

Good friends may be hard to find and keep, times change, stuff happens, all part of lives rich pattern. Friendships can be made and developed. It’s never too late to make new friends who may well become good and trusted friends!

How do you know your oldest friend? How do you know you best friend? Do you have a best friend? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

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Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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A Great Month on a Budget!

SEPTEMBER – What a great month!

I did lots of different things and spent very little! Buoyed up by my fab August Bank Holiday camping trip, which was full of great budget fun.  I was ready for a fun September!

It may have started ominously as on the 1st I headed over to my ex’s (see my link to blogs below *) to liberate my two lovely acers and a stone sink.

One of the acers re-potted – I hope they survive

My car was laden, I managed to re pot the tree’s and settle them in. The sink is very heavy, as luck would have it my Sister and Brother-in-law were visiting my Dad on the 2nd. I popped over for a coffee and managed to re home the sink at my Dad’s with their help.

The Stone Sink – rehomed!

Sunday 3rd My youngest daughter and I went to Birmingham to the first Eat.Move.Thrive. Wellbeing Festival (£22) , read all about that here

Thrive Festival
Eat. Move. Thrive.
Speakers venue

Friday morning ladies tennis coaching (£11) resumed on Friday 8th after the summer kid’s clubs were complete.

Tennis coaching venue

Saturday 9th I was excited to be able to go to the Leicester City v Chelsea football match, a freebie utilising my daughters’ bf season ticket whilst they were away. A great match, brilliant atmosphere but the wrong result Leicester losing 2-1.

Leicester City Football Club

Autumn TV has kicked in, as the night’s draw in it’s nice to find some good drama to view. I like to have something to tune into at around 9pm for an hour or so.  Some of my favourites are Victoria, Strike, Safe House, Liar, Doctor Foster, Rellik and Cold Feet.  Some of these have been infuriating, confusing and brilliant, not always in equal measure. What have you been watching?

Saturday 16th another free sporting event, this time a trip to Leicester Tigers rugby to see them play Gloucester. I was lucky to be asked by a longstanding massage client and friend to accompany him as his carer (his usual carer being away). He has fabulous seats; I could smell the grass and a couple of the Tigers tries were scored right in front of us. This time the result went the right way with Tigers winning 24 – 10.

Leicester Tigers score a try

Monday 18th thanks to Nectar points a “free” trip to the cinema. My friend and I went to see Victoria & Abdul. Ummm I’m probably quite glad I didn’t pay good money to see this, it was well acted but very light, easy watching. Dame Judy is always great to watch tho’.

Saturday 23rd I had another massage client turned good friend coming for dinner. It was lovely to cook for someone else and we had a good catch up and natter. I think I’ll do a blog post on the meal I cooked and the low cost of it! (less than £4 for 3 courses, excluding pantry items)

Thursday 28th was a meal out at a local pub, well actually the Thai restaurant attached to the pub! A good pint and a fantastic green curry (£15) in the great company of some of the ladies I used to worked alongside at the local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). It’s lovely to have caught up with them now I’m back in this area, and I’m now included on their regular meet ups.

Saturday 30th finishing the month off in style! A charity abseil 20 meters down my local church tower , this was scary but fun, the views from the Tower were great, the descent slow. Firstly I dislodged my shoe and had to dangle to get it back on before I could start to drop down and then I was a little to slender to glide down with ease! I’ve posted a video over on Instagram if you’d like to see it!  I raised over £100 towards the new roof required after the lead was stolen from the church roof.

Just before my abseil descent

On top of all this my daughters have decided to train for a 10k in November and I’ve elbowed my way in to join them! So training has started, 15 miles covered since 20th September, longest run 3 miles so far.

So a pretty social month – I’ve not included a few social dog walks, tea and coffee dates (£10) , Sunday morning tennis (£60 per annum)  and Wednesday nights choir (free).  This has all been achieved on a very tight budget too, less than £60 spent (excluding transport)!

And to top it off I won some undies courtesy of Suzi at Alternative Ageing and  Icon Undies

Icon undies

Do you have any suggestions for some great budget fun?

Thanks for reading.

 

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

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‘* Life update blogs here:
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/the-hit-has-hit-the-fan/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/up-hit-creek-2017/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-waters-part-1/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/calmer-water-part-2/