Approaching the end of the year I've been reflecting on the things that matter. I'm in a good place with respect to most of these, and aware, I hope, of just how lucky I am in being so. To take one example, and a vitally important one, I seem, as does Noi, to be reasonably healthy. We did quite a bit of walking on our recent trip, often wondering if we were hitting the 10,000 steps a day that's said to be so good for us. At the end of our holiday we had firm evidence in the form of data from Noi's smart phone that we had generally exceeded that target in a big way. It seems that the phone tracks the number of your steps even if you don't tell it to. Fifi showed us the figures on the journey home otherwise we would have been oblivious to the good news.
When I consider the fact that at various times over the last twenty-four years I wouldn't been able to stand for over fifteen minutes without experiencing debilitating pain in my back, or legs, it seems to me a bit of a miracle to now be keen on covering the longest possible distance in a day. This is something I remind myself of pretty much every time we're out somewhere.
Also I'm sort of celebrating the fact that despite consuming fair quantities of various foodstuffs over the last month I've somehow contrived to remain just below my fighting weight. Apart from other considerations I have a suspicion that being reasonably light helps relieve my back problems. What I now need to do is get back into the routine of visiting the gym.
I've also cause to celebrate the well-being of other folks. Just about everyone we visited in the UK looked hale and hearty. We managed to spend an hour at Bob & Cynthia's, for example, who are well on age-wise and they looked in very fine form. It seems that Cynthia is now 75, which is astonishing since she looks so youthful. And it was good to see brother-in-law John not letting the loss of his leg stop him from being as feisty as ever. Sadly there are exceptions to all this good news, but even with these not all is hopeless. Osman is out of hospital, I'm pleased to say, which is surely a good sign. We'll know better when we visit, hopefully soon.
I suppose Maureen is the only case where I can't help but feel a sense of hopelessness. She's dealing with so many problems, chief amongst them her addiction, that it's difficult to see a way forward. When we told Bob and Cynthia about her condition they were really surprised, still thinking of her as the vibrant, very together lady she was at the time of her marriage to John. We're hoping that some of the old Maureen is still in there somewhere, fighting to get out and take control again.