Time, Health, Money: the Key Variables

Time is finite

Someone said (can’t remember who) that if we lived for 1,000 years then we could do everything we wanted to and fulfil all our dreams. But we only have a finite amount of time and so many of the things we would want to do have to be foregone. The reality in life is that the clock is ticking and choices have to be made. For everything done, there is a trade-off of what cannot be done. And thus we have to focus on what matters, what makes us happy without hurting others.

Health matters

The claim that time is everything is challenged by the ageing process. Living for 1,000 years and doing everything you want works so long as you don’t get to 100 and become decrepit so spending the next 900 years just existing. With the absence of good health then the importance of time diminishes. Indeed, poor health may lead to a desire to have less time and end your suffering.

Life is easier when you are rich

I was once given a bollocking for saying that it is better to be ill and rich rather than ill and poor. This was in the context of mental health and it was claimed that all people suffer mental health issues equally. This is nonsense. Money and health gives you the ability to pay for private counselling, scans, and even access to doctors. Look at America where you can go bankrupt and die on the street via the cost of tackling cancer and no-one cares.

The balancing act

I find now that my life is about balancing these 3 variables. Time is limited, I’ve probably got about 20 years left. And so I need to decide what is and isn’t important. In my previous blog (read it here) I highlighted that work doesn’t really feel very important any more compared to things like supporting my mum with her ongoing health issues.

And I’m trying to balance this focus on wise use of time with keeping my own health good. That’s why I exercise and worry about my weight. That’s why I take my daily cocktail of meds. And why I try to avoid things that hurt my mental health. Meanwhile, I’m not rich but I’m trying to sort out my finances such that I have enough money to survive now and still have some left for the future. Definitely no point in dying with loads of money in the bank.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

Dale Carnegie

Perhaps apart from balancing time, health, and money – the other key thing that probably matters in life is ensuring you have a good support network. My family are great and I have some wonderful friends. Though I am also guilty of not cultivating those friendships as much as I should. Increasingly I wonder what happened to certain friends I have lost contact with. Perhaps this is something we all feel as we get older plus wondering if there’s more to know about our family history.

Mum: Another week, another hospital visit

I was due to take mum for a scan on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully before we set off to get on our Uber, there was a call from the hospital saying it had to be postponed due the substance to be injected being unavailable.

So off we went again on Saturday afternoon. Thankfully no problems with Uber or traffic either there or back. We left around midday and got back about 3.30. It was quite an involved process of mum being injected with this radioactive substance and having to rest for an hour before the scan being done which took about half an hour.

No other medical events this week. Though I did persuade mum to come on a visit to the local shops on one day. Apart from that, our time was spent staying indoors together watching TV. She is pleased that the current load of hospital visits is over. And she has decided that if her consultant asks how she is then she is just going to say she is fine to avoid another round of visits unless she is really ill.

Patrick: Dave’s doing a cracking job

Me and Dave continue to support our friend. He’s doing really well at the moment. Every Saturday morning we meet for coffee and I sort out his meds for the week. Last week Dave also took him to get his ears unblocked and met a surveyor with him. The latter is in the hope of his bathroom being adapted so he can use it better. Blindingly obvious that people can only stay at home if their homes are adapted to enable that to happen.

Fang Fang and Spencer

Lovely to meet my old work colleague on Monday night. We went out to a local Korean restaurant and Fang Fang brought along her partner Spencer. It’s always great to meet new people and the chances of this happening seem to decline as we age. A nice, relaxed chat about general life issues.

Emma: The joy of a long, lazy lunch

My mate is over from Australia to look after her parents. So me and Dave jumped on the train on Friday to travel down to Haywards Heath to see her. We did a walk around the town and ended up at a restaurant where we bumped into her dad. Emma had left him in the house with no idea he was also going out for lunch LOL. A lovely chilled time chatting about everything and nothing the way old friends can do.

Our Future is Greater than our Past

Gym: 3 good sessions

Time is finite and I like exercising. I love the way it makes me feel better and I know it is good for my health. The good news from the week gone is that I am feeling better after my cold. I’m still full of mucus but don’t feel as awful as I did towards the end of the previous week.

As me and Dave would be visiting Emma on Friday so that meant gym wouldn’t be possible that day. Managed to get in my 3 sessions but not as well paced on the mornings of Mon, Tues, and Thurs. All good sessions with focus on particular body parts I wanted to focus on that day. Though a commonality of leg exercises to try to strengthen my weak knees and Achilles.

27 gym sessions since the start of 2024 divided by the annual membership = £20.40 per session.

range of dumbells

Swim: 2 nice swims in a busy pool

Managed to get in 2 sessions at the pool. First on Wed morning then again Sun morning. Both time it was busy though on Wed at least we didn’t have any of the lanes taken out for swimming lessons. Just 20 leisurely lengths done both times. Primarily front-crawl. But also some back-stroke and occasional bursts of breast-stroke to get past the people in my lane who were swimming very slowly.

freestyle

Weight

A slight increase on my very low weight the previous week. This was based on not eating because of illness so I am cool about the rise. I think my current weight is realistic in terms of what I eat. And it’s nicely under the 13 stone mark which makes me very happy.

My current reading book: The European revolutions of 1848-9

One of those rare times when I failed to finish at least one book in the week gone. I am still reading ‘Revolutionary Spring: Fighting for a New World 1848-1849’ by Christopher Clark. It is an authoritative and majestic near 900 page overview of the revolutions that swept Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. When people struggled to overthrow absolute monarchies. They were seeking to replace them with liberal and nationalist governments. Ultimately failing but setting Europe on course for its modern development.

Rows and rows of beautiful books

Celebrity Big Brother

I’ve always enjoyed Big Brother since it started. It’s had its ups and downs but it is one of those programmes I find reassuring to know it still exists. This Celebrity edition has been really good fun. A nice group of housemates and no real big conflicts which is nice. Constant arguing can get boring. Dave has also loved it and we have enjoyed our time simultaneously watching it in the evening. I wanted Louie to win not least because he was great for gossip. But David was a fun winner – loud and camp.

Flare

Once upon a time, I used to love the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. But then it became Flare and something changed. I find the films now too obscure and a general sense of pretentious unfriendliness. Plus I can’t afford the cost of the tickets which seemed to be aimed at the wealthy and beautiful people. So I stopped going. Now it happens and I’m no longer part of it which is sad.

  • Easter arrives next week, my favourite public holiday. Longer, warmer days are on the way.
  • In theory, I have a fair amount of free time next week. So apart from time with mum, I should also be able to get in 2 or 3 gym sessions and a swim. Good Friday does mess things up a bit.
  • Hopefully me and Dave will be meeting up with my old friends Tim and Bob on Good Friday but that does depend on no tube problems. Also be catching up with another old friend for dinner on Wed.
  • Not sure I will finish my long story of the mid-nineteenth century revolutions but I do need to start reading the next Velvet Page Book Club book: ‘User’ by Bruce Benderson
  • The international break is over and QPR resume their campaign against relegation with a crunch home tie with fellow strugglers Birmingham City
Realising your shelf life and living with it

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