Farewell to 2016, Wishing a bright and beautiful 2017 to all

I’ve been reading a lot lately about what a terrible year 2016 has been. In the world at large, it probably has been a very disappointing year. I don’t usually get political, but Britain, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? USA, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Okay, I got that off my chest. There is also the issue of many beloved famous people passing on. We don’t necessarily know them, but we feel like we know them. They were not old people. Many of them were contemporaries of my generation. Some were very young. Some, I was looking forward to their next projects, like Alan Rickman and Anton Yelchin.

We lost brilliant medical people, too. People who probably saved countless numbers of lives.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/17/505986552/dr-heimlich-creator-of-live-saving-maneuver-dies

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/da-henderson-disease-detective-who-eradicated-smallpox-dies-at-87/2016/08/20/b270406e-63dd-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html?utm_term=.1687f9b0e45e

Back in Paradise, life goes on. Our economy may be affected by political events, but otherwise, we’ll continue to enjoy the beautiful weather every day and to dread the hurricanes every hurricane season. We’ll join our neighbours and friends for drinks and meals. We’ll have Happy Hour every weekend. We’ll swim, snorkel and dive. We’ll talk about how the world is going mad.

I am encouraged by the thoughtful discussions inspired by recent events. I’m hopeful for the future, based on the young people I’ve met this year. They stand up for what they believe in. They speak out against racism and bigotry. They are brave. I have lots of friends younger than I am, but I’ve never had so many younger people that I consider to be friends, who are closer to my kids’ ages than to mine. It’s refreshing and it’s inspiring to watch them and think about the future. They are not the scientists and entertainers we’ve lost, but maybe they, too, will help make the world just a little bit better. I know they have for me.

 

Leaving Paradise: Life challenges made easier

We’re off island as they say in Cayman. We’ve fled the Christmas and high season madness for six weeks to spend Christmas, not in the deep freeze of Canada, but in sunny Southern California. It’s not Cayman hot here, but we’re getting some very nice weather.

The thing about being here is that it’s so easy to go for a walk or even a hike. It’s not too hot and we won’t be hit by a car or attacked by dogs. There is also a pool. It’s quite a long pool, so swimming laps is that much easier. I can do 20-25 laps and get the same distance with fewer turns than I do at home doing 50-60 laps.

Unfortunately, it is the Christmas season, and I’m in full treat-making mode. We are also in close proximity to the best Mexican food outside of Mexico. In fact we are only about an hour away from Mexico, so we have Mexican food everywhere. Have I mentioned how difficult weight loss is when consuming Mexican food regularly, not to mention shortbread and tarts?

We also find alcohol much cheaper here, but fortunately that hasn’t yet affected our consumption. We’ve limited ourselves to wine with dinner and the occasional cocktail while the sun is going down.

My shoulder is much better and I feel energetic enough to do both a swim and a walk now. I think I can fit in some yoga and a strength circuit. I attempted push ups again for the first time in weeks, but I’m not there yet. Don’t pull your trapezoids  if you can help it! It’s painful and affects so much of your day to day life.

Yes, the challenge to eat healthy and lose weight is actually a much greater challenge here. The exercise part should be easy.

One thing we do have going for us is the abundance of fruits and vegetables. Everything is so fresh when it’s grown just a few miles away. We enjoy the local Farmers’ Market and stocking up on beans and greens and oranges and grapefruits picked yesterday. The market also has tamales. As I said, it’s a challenge!