Agenda for my boot camp


bootcamp2015-small 2In which I bully myself into making 12 lifestyle changes in a single year, aiming to increase my health and happiness in old age and reduce the chances of getting dementia. This is my personal boot camp for the extra years—the bonus years that I never expected or desired. The years of aging and old age.

As you plan for your own old age, what’s your agenda? If you could do one thing that made a difference, change one habit, what would it be? And by the way, changing one thing may have a mighty impact by starting a chain reaction.

These are the tasks that I decided to complete in 12 months, ending 24 February, 2016. Don’t laugh, I know it’s a crazy list — but I managed most of it.

  1. Adapt housing for old age
  2. Get finances in order
  3. Establish an exercise regime
  4. Audit eating habits
  5. Commit to hobbies
  6. Make two new friends (this year and every year)
  7. Banish ye oldie voice
  8. Learn a new skill (this year and every year)
  9. Cultivate meditation techniques
  10. Align happiness factors
  11. Be who you are
  12. Come to terms with old age and death

Legacy of my 12-month boot camp for the bonus years

On ten of my self-imposed tasks I made satisfactory progress.

However, I delayed getting a grip of my finances until the end of my year of growing old. Then I was suddenly in a hurry to sort them out, and with the help of three professionals, I did, more or less.

But by far the most excruciating challenge was, and still is, number 12. The main barrier turns out to be my own inner ageism. There it is, an ugly lump of prejudice against old age and old people, which is, by definition, prejudice against myself.

I won’t be done until my thinking is straight and I can be who I am with pride and happiness: an old woman. Watch out, ageism: I’m on to you!


12 thoughts on “Agenda for my boot camp

  1. Dear Rachel…. I came across your blog by accident ( Sorry) when you were replying to the lovely Malaysian boys blog re IELTS… saying you used to teach at the school there. As I have just ( a few days ago) returned from KL…. my interest was aroused. Also, even more interestingly, I was only in KL because I had been to New Zealand for the New Year. So, look at all these tenuous links!

    I have spent a very enjoyable 15 mins reading your blogs and how they made me chuckle. What a skill you have in making life amusing. I love your lists… ( can I be one of those new friends?) and I am going to read more of them. Are you still in NZ now?
    My God having read this back I seem like a sycophant…but I am not really… more a ballsy cow
    Anyway point of this is that its a bloody good read – and so I thank you
    Be interested to know more about your life working in Malaysia as well

    1. Hello hello! What a heap of coincidences! Except one I must correct: I’ve visited Malaysia quite often but not taught there. I’ve taught at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto, done some corporate training in China and Singapore, but in KL, I’ve just visited my friend’s school (ELIT Language Centre). Yes, I live in NZ now — and no way did you sound sycophantic. Let’s keep in touch, my friend.

  2. Onwards and upwards indeed! I have one more for your list: stand up straight (lucky 13!) There’s nothing more demoralizing than catching sight of yourself in a shop window bent over – difficult with the aches and pains, but it helps with morale! Pleased to meet you, and thanks for the follow. Marina

  3. Oh yes hubby (already “chilling” in his relatively young retirement) and I are in the same position. We are sorting it all out and making decisions. It is a challenge to coordinate our bucket lists but we are getting there!

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