7 days of 2023

2023 has, so far been a good year. Yes we’re only 7 days into 2023 and as we have all witnessed in the previous years, anything and everything can and does happen. I might not make it to the end of 2023 nor may society or the planet but I hope I do, society does and the planet does and we are all in a far better place than we have been recently. But so far 2023 has been a good year for me especially compared to this time 2022 when I was laid up in bed with Covid barely able to do anything at all and wondering when I’d be Covid free. It took all 2022 for me to be Covid free and to start to feel human again.

So what has 2023 got so far that 2022 didn’t have? Finically I’m comfortable. I’m not rich far from it but I’ve money in the bank and the cost of living crisis that has impacted so many other people hasn’t really affected me. My gas and electric has gone up from £49 a month to £76 an increase I can cope with. I’ve cut done on unnecessary expense and I think more about what I’m buying and why and if it will have a useful effect on my life rather than just buying something and using it once and forgetting about it. I spend around £80 a month on petrol because I don’t drive very far or every day. I live on my own which like anything has pluses and minuses, one of the pluses is that I can make a choice on how I spend my money based on my needs and my needs alone. I don’t have to worry about other people and when I turn something on or off it’s because I want it on or off and I know that when I leave the house everything is off and there isn’t someone else at home still using energy which is the case in many households with families. For many people it’s unavoidable but for me it’s not. I can avoid using energy and unnecessary car journeys as much as possible and I consider myself very lucky to be in this position.

Health wise both mentally and physically I’m feeling a lot better than I have done for a long time. I’m back running which is a massive boost for my mental health too. I’m not as fast as I used to be but I’m getting out and doing steady runs of up to 8 miles or so and feeling good about it when I finished as opposed to feeling like I need to be in hospital on life support struggling to walk and talk. The signs are looking good for my running right now. I’m looking forward to running, enjoying running up muddy climbs, through bogs and cold water. It’s great to be feeling like that again.

I’ve changed my gym and my gym routine too and this has had a positive effect. In stead of doing weights to make my legs stronger I’ve started using the X-Trainer and stair stepper to increase my mobility and flexibility and it’s working. I can feel the difference when I’m walking and running, everything feels so much more natural when I move and moving is once again a pleasure rather than a painful chore. The weight is coming off too, slowly but it’s coming off. I put on over 3 stone during 2022 because of Covid, Long Covid and chronic sinusitis meaning I couldn’t run and exercise like I had in previous years. That helps me mentally too.

I’ve been wearing zero drop shoes for over 6 months now and they have helped reset my legs and posture and I’m reaping the rewards now. They have been a big benefit to me getting fit again.

I’m drinking far less too. So far over 7 days of 2023 I’ve had 4 drink free days and one of those days was New Years Day so that’s a massive win for me and I’m feeling far better for it already. I’m sleeping better, breathing better, have more energy and my mind is clearer. It’s great that I’ve felt these benefits in such a short space of time as it gives me the internal encouragement to continue drinking less, especially at home, knowing I am reaping the rewards already. And of course I’m saving myself a lot of money. I have alcohol in my house but so far in 2023 I haven’t bought any alcohol to drink at home saving myself at least £30 which is £1,560 a year. That’s a lot of money.

I’ve still got some things to sort out and overcome not least the mental block I seem to have in doing my PhD which I’m hoping I can overcome by going into uni this week and I need to finish off my story about supporting my mate Dougie on his Wainwrights Round last year. I’ve come a long way in a short space of time and I’m really pleased and happy with my start to 2023 but I’m not resting on my laurels as there is still a long way to go but I can get there and I will.

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