You Can’t Get Away from Yourself

One of the things that excited us about retiring early and moving to a new country was that we could both develop new — healthier — habits. We felt (as do many) that our working life was geared to taking care of our employer’s needs rather than our own. Even when we were relieved from hours of daily commute by the pandemic lock-down, we found ourselves needing to be more aware of when we were “on the clock” and not so as to be good employees, rather than slackers.

Let me be clear that our feeling/perception was not at all based in anything said to us, just a lifetime of acculturation. Nonetheless, it was how we operated on a day-to-day basis. So much so, that we worried about how we would manage with all of our time “free”. How could our days be filled without getting bored?

(I think that needs to a different post.)

My point is that we felt that our new lives would give us ample time to do all of those things we’d never found time for previously. We’d get more sleep. Eat more vegetables and fruit. Enjoy a lot more exercise. To some extent we do all of those things, and its technically more than before. But not enough.

Turns out that we brought ourselves with us to this new life, and we’ve got years of being sedentary keeping us from achieving those objectives. Some days we don’t leave the apartment, despite having actual errands to run and things to do. Often, its having a date with someone that pries us out — and we are so grateful to everyone who whatsapps us on a whim to invite for coffee or a meal. This staying in happens despite feeling safe in our neighborhood (and city) and genuinely being interested in what is around us in all directions.

It’s habit and inertia.

Coming to this realization means I need to deal with it. For me, that’s a process of bluntly confronting it directly. I ignore lists, and brightly-colored notes. For me what works is to simply do it. Starting today, there is a good long walk ahead, some beginner yoga/ stretching, and several days of balanced meals.

No more excuses, this is the new life.

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