I rise at 6.15. I’m in my pyjamas and I water the garden; Wednesday is one of the two days we are permitted to water. Wednesday and Sunday are our days.
Watering the garden takes some time because I have to make sure to move the sprinkler every 10 minutes. Apparently overwatering is nearly as bad as underwatering. I’ve applied soil conditioner, so the water sinks in instead of pooling and then running off. This is because the soil in this garden is sand. Beach sand. Hydrophobic.
I finish watering and Yoga asana practice follows. I have breakfast and then get dressed for my volunteer job at the Seniors Centre. So, I get in the car and off I go. My seniors are happy to see me and I get a lot of hugs.
Every morning, every single morning, I practice some Yoga asana. Now, I read the literature and this is, apparently, not a good thing. In fact it may even endanger physical health. The danger lies in the repetition, day in and day out. In my favour, I do vary the asana although there are three or four postures that I do every, single, day. Sometimes I put in more effort and other days I’m more relaxed.
So, where’s the conflict? Do I carry on as I have for the past two or three decades or do I cease forthwith? I am used to doing this daily practice and I enjoy the physical and mental stimulation.
I tend to believe a lot of what I read on the Internet and that is probably my downfall. Maybe I’m just a silly old woman in need of some different interests. Retirement is not all it is made out to be.
Volunteering takes many forms here in Australia. There are those who volunteer as firies (fire control officers), ambulance officers, in op shops (charity shops), teaching numeracy and literacy, and so on and so forth. At my age I don’t have the horsepower to join the volunteer fire brigade or volunteer sea rescue.
For quite a long time I volunteered on an adult literacy program. Nowadays, I volunteer with a group that works with the Senior Citizens in the community. We hold regular classes in which we teach the Seniors a series of exercises to strengthen their balance and so prevent falls.
As a trained Yoga teacher, I find this rewarding – although the exercises are not yoga asana, they make sense when viewed as appropriate for older people – some in their 90s. The program is put together by two physiotherapists who keep a close eye on the instructors.
I went walking with my good friend this morning. First coffee, then wandering down the the beachfront. She talks and I listen all the while. I think she finds it easier to talk when we don’t have eye contact. She has recently come through the chemo fire.
Fortunately, her husband is tremendously supportive. He is also quite alone in this space. He walks ahead of us with my husband, also talking and divulging many things to his older friend. It is therapeutic for both wife and husband and we are good listeners, my husband and I. We listen and we hear.
The subtext is what matters sometimes. Neither of us are giving advice. Well maybe a bit of advice.