Tag: Christmas

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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Christmas Guilt Free – here is some advice!

Christmas doesn’t have to be a blow out. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Enjoy the festivities, the food and drink, the company and the catch ups. None of this is bad for you or something to feel guilty about, have Christmas guilt free.

Food Choices – Christmas guilt free

Be mindful of your food choices and portion size perhaps but do not feel any guilt. These special festive foods may only be around at this time of year but there are plenty of days over the festive time to partake of them. It’s not necessary to eat them all ‘now’ or in excessive.

Giving yourself permission to enjoy them will help you to partake of them in a more rational way – eat them when you want or wait for another time. Beat the binge, starve “diet culture”. Ok this won’t happen overnight but perhaps now is the time to consider addressing your attitude and motivation towards food, fitness and body image. Let’s come back to this next year, for now have fun and find happiness in your choices. Stop beating yourself up, this fuels the binge/diet cycle.

Drink Choices – Christmas guilt free

Christmas guilt free
A great alternative to mulled wine

You don’t have to turn to drink to have a good time. Raise a glass or two by all means, but drink plenty of water too. It’s amazing how great it is not to lose the precious holiday time to a hangover, to remember that conversation you had with a loved one or how that heated debate panned out. Too many times, in the past, I’ve struggled to remember what I said and hoped it wasn’t offensive or misplaced. This article in The Guardian looked at a range of alcohol-free drinks and some literature examining sobriety. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/26/millennials-discover-mindful-drinking-non-alcoholic-festval

This website http://girlandtonic.co.uk/ may also give you some inspiration and help on cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol.

christmas no guilt
No alcohol red wine that tastes good

Activity Choices – Christmas guilt free

Finally, keep moving. Helping to tidy the wrapping paper, playing with the kids, carrying to and from the dinner table, washing up, so many little opportunities to keep active why not take them. I always prefer to take a walk after my Christmas dinner I’d rather aid the digestive process than immediately flop on the sofa ……I’ll do that later. Hey why not play some games too, charades or famous people or even a game of cards. All so much more fun and inclusive than the TV.

christmas no guilt
After a good walk!

Do you have any advice to have Christmas guilt free?

Have you read my recent blog on the festive season stress’ ? This may also help to make Christmas guilt free!

Thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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I did Dry January in 2017, read it here

Do you find the festive season stressful?

Festive season stress

December is fast approaching and many people find the looming festive season stressful: family dynamics and arrangements, gifts and money, food and entertaining can all be contributors, on top of all your usual day to day concerns.

My family are no different. Since my divorce, many years ago, my daughters have alternated Christmas between their Dad and I. This year, now they are in their late twenties and with bf’s families to factor in, my eldest breaks the tradition! She wishes to host Christmas with her sister and bf, her bf’s parents and me and my Dad, all invited for the day (giving me two consecutive Christmas’). I’m not complaining!

Here are my thoughts on dealing with the stress’ of the festive season.

Family arrangements

I have previously found that it is the making and settling of these arrangements that are the most stressful thing at this time of year. Once these are made I can settle to making preparations.
Ensuring everyone is happy with the plan, no one feels excluded or left out and no one is forgotten can involve clandestine conversations and diplomacy second to none!

Festive season
Festive fun with my Sisters and Dad!

Gifts

My younger daughter is saving hard for a house deposit and wants to limit her Christmas spend. She is good with her money and will achieve this. I limit my spend on the people I buy for, which now number around 10 people, and I budget for £10-20 per person on all but my daughters. Making sure I have the money to do this and not running up a credit card bill are important for me.
I also ask my daughters for a wish list, just like their letter to Father Christmas. That way the money is well spent and not wasted on unwanted items.
Shopping early. shopping online, planning your purchases and sticking to it, keeping track of your spend and keeping to your budget will make for a happier time, with less stress both now and when the credit card bill arrives in January!

festive season

Food

The Christmas festive season is a wonderful time for good food and entertaining. But we neither need to over indulge or spend a fortune.  Like at any other time of year – meal plan, portion control and make from scratch. This goes for your everyday meals to Christmas lunch to the Christmas drink drop ins. Don’t be tempted by the many and varied foodstuffs on offer in our supermarkets, when did a Panettone, Stollen, Christmas cake and Mince Pies all become a requirement for us to have at Christmas?
Be savvy with leftovers. A good turkey can be made into many things here are some great ideas!

Do you have any tips for a peaceful festive season?

Looking for ideas, help or inspiration for Christmas on a Budget? Then just put Christmas on a Budget or Christmas Food on a Budget into Google and lots of useful and interesting things will pop up!

Last year I blogged about why I was excited for Christmas, read it here, most of it still applies 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!

Further reading on Stress Awareness here

Have you wondered if your Mindset may help you deal with some of life’s stress’? Have a read of this