No Point in Being Bitter

Mon 27 Feb – Sun 5 March 2023

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I saw a great statement this week that we all have to decide whether to get better or bitter. It was written in the context of mental health. And it rang a bell for me. In previous recent blogs, I have written about the importance of living for today and making the best of the time you are in – witness my previous blog ‘The Best of Times Is Now’. Linked to all this, I don’t think you can be happy if you live a life of bitterness.

We can all look back on the past and think how things could have been improved with us in a better place now. And we can be resentful of where others are. I can certainly think of people in my life who basically betrayed me and treated me very badly. Yes life certainly could have been better than it is now.

But to dwell on this and centre life around it is simply being bitter. Things happened and the world moved on. What is gone is gone and can never be repeated. Yes, there are some things I can’t forgive but there is no point in letting them tie up my life. Indeed, I barely think of them now. As someone once said, the best revenge I can have is the life I live now.

And yet I see people around me so unhappy and bitter. It is very hard to move them on from this as they can feel that you are downplaying their pain. It’s not that but rather it is saying that the pain is only affecting them and ruining their lives – it does nothing to the people they are angry with.

Health and Efficiency

Gym

I could be bitter and resent the time I have lost in trying to keep fit during my life. I definitely wish I hadn’t been a fat kid who hated exercise. And that more people had supported me to lose weight plus find sport that excited me. But the key thing is that I now know what exercise I enjoy and it gives added value to my life.

3 great sessions again at my gay gym. The usual story of either me on my own or me sharing the space with a couple of other people. Then spending extended time to check out new exercises, machines, and levels of weight. Followed by chilling out in the sauna. It’s a gay gym so it’s quite normal to be relaxing in the jacuzzi with RuPaul’s Drag Race on the big screen next to it.

21 gym sessions since the start of 2023 divided by the annual membership = £23.50 per session.

Rugby league player in skimpy trunks

Jog-run

So happy that I have started the slow route back to regular jog-runs. Managed to get in 2 last week – Thursday and Sunday. The exciting thing is that the programme has moved into more jogging than walking. Thursday was 5 mins of jogging interspersed with 3 mins of walking. Sunday was 2 jogs of 8 mins with a 5 min walk in the middle. Both sessions felt good and relaxed.

I have also been helped this week by the inspiration of watching the European Indoor Athletic Championships on the TV. Just beautiful to see great athletes in action. On a personal level some good news in that I had hoped to get to a full 5K jog-run by the Coronation. This might actually be achieved by Easter which would be excellent.

man busy jogging

Walks and weight

In addition to the jog-runs, I’ve also been doing several long walks. My watch measures the number of steps (and calories burnt) each day; for the former I always try to do at least 10,000. I love walking, it makes me feel happy.

Delighted to say that my weight is OK. I do seem to have hit a ‘new normal’ around 13 stone and 8 pounds. I think it’s the famous plateau people talk about when you try to lose weight. It would be lovely to get under 13 and a half stone, that is my next aim.

Family and Friends

Mum’s is slowly recovering

I have been really worried about mum this week. She was still very ill at the start and I went with her to the doctor’s on Tuesday where she was given new antibiotics. Towards the weekend, she started to be a bit more of her old self. Not always a ray of sunshine but more able to move about. However, this illness has knocked it out of her for several weeks.

Obviously, I realise she is slowly getting more limited with her health and mobility due to the ageing process. Comes to all of us and I have seen so many people get older and more ill. Like the old chaps I kept an eye on, Brian and Bob.

Trying to avoid bitterness as we age

It’s particularly easy as you get older to get bitter. You look back on your life and that means to so many people just the opportunities missed and the wrongs done to them. It’s easy to say I hope I don’t get like that. Indeed, as you get older I suppose the future gets less and less whilst the past weighs more and more.

Friends

Not a great week for meeting with friends apart from catching up with Patrick on Saturday who is stoically dealing with his knee problems. I love seeing my mates but I’m also feeling pretty busy (despite not working LOL) and don’t want to push myself to being knacked like I have been in the past. However, I am talking to several mates and looking forward to face to face catch-ups. Starting with my long-time mate Dom next week.

Books and Reading

‘A Comedy of Terrors’ by Lindsey Davis

After the brilliant but heavy ‘Demon Copperhead’ of last week (read about it in my previous blog here), I turned to one of my favourite contemporary writers. Davis is like a comfort blanket to me, I love catching up with the next installment of her series about a family of Ancient Roman investigators. This book takes place around the riotous Saturnalia festival and people being evil to each other for the sake of money. My main criticism would be aspects of the family’s life are a bit contrived and the plot is confusing in places but it’s still a fun book.

Davis is a prodigious writer and has covered the adventures of the father who has now passed his investigation trade onto his daughter. It’s interesting to note how far life in Davis’ Rome is similar to modern life. But perhaps that is the truth – that human life now is little different to what it has been for the last several thousand years. You can read more about Lindsey Davis here.

Theatre

Christopher Fowler RIP

Terribly sad news last week about the death of this brilliant writer. He died of cancer on Thursday. I love his horror and sci-fi books as well as the wonderful Bryant and May detective series. Fowler lamented many aspects of contemporary society (like the rise of xenophobic nationalism and general right wing extremism) and particularly the loss of old London. I don’t think he was bitter but, like me, he accepted things had changed without welcoming them; it is what it is. You can read about him here.

It is a tragedy to think that there will be no more of his brilliant writings. Though, apparently, there is the third installment of his autobiography to come. His death reminds me of the loss of my best friend James to the same disease in 2016. I still miss him. I suppose these ‘little deaths’ of people we love and respect makes us think about and prepare for our own ‘big death’.

Dying but still beautiful flower

Sustainability

Trying to be better not bitter

Do I feel bitter about the state of the planet? I wish (and believe) that things could have been better. But we also have to make do with what we have, do everything positive we can, and hope for the best. It may well be that the damage is done and all we can do now is try to mitigate the more extreme options whilst living with the problems that will come like rising sea levels and more extreme weather.

My commitment to the circular economy could be seen on Tuesday when I took a load of books to the Notting Hill Exchange in Notting Hill – some I have read and some that I know I will never have the time or inclination to read. The cash offer was low so I took the exchange offer and found a (smaller) bundle of replacement books.

book exchange

I could be bitter about the money I have wasted on lots of unnecessary things in the past. But what is the point of such regret? It achieves nothing and the key thing now is to focus on eliminating stuff in my life I don’t need to be able to travel lighter into the future. Perhaps also the things I no longer want will go to somebody who will appreciate them more.

Personal Development

Enjoying the progress being made

A bit like my love of exercise, I have a love of languages. But I wasn’t good at it in the past. But no point in being bitter about the opportunities and time lost. Rather it is about making the best of things whilst I can. Brilliant that I managed to get some Duolingo done every day. And focusing on Spanish but branching out into German and French as well.

The Week Ahead

  • Carrying on with the theme of not being bitter and getting on with the future, I am looking forward to 3 more gym sessions. And 2 more jog-runs, each one will be a bit of a step-up.
  • Will be spending time with mum and hoping her long recovery continues
  • Catching up with my old mate Dom for dinner on Mon night. May also be meeting Phyllis at some point to look at all his holiday photos…
  • Should finish the Robert Silverberg collection of short sci-fi stories. And start on some nice, new fiction.
  • Failed on any great Art or Culture events in the week gone but hopefully this coming week I will get some in. Interesting that Dave went on his own to see ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ this week and loved it.
  • Another QPR defeat last week and we are in a relegation fight. I’m not bitter but I am pissed that a team of well-paid professionals simply don’t appear to be bothered. And the senior management team continues on apparently without a sense of honour.

And Finally…

Quotation by Einstein about value

2 thoughts on “No Point in Being Bitter

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