If there’s one thing the many articles in the press are saying about New Year’s resolutions is that they’re never kept beyond January.  Hmm. What do you think about this whole business of resolving to do something different, or better in the New Year?

Actually, I think Christmas has, sadly, become an over-indulgence in so many ways; there’s the over-eating; the over-socialising and the over-purchasing of presents. The whole thing makes me long to escape and go somewhere very quiet and peaceful.  I think I’m talking about going away for Christmas – maybe I will one day!!!

So, yes, the New Year is a good time to reflect and re-evaluate some things in my life.  Here’s a few ideas and issues that I’ve thought about over the first few days of January:

  1. Health as we age

Recently a dear friend of mine said to me that she refused to acknowledge her age.  I think that’s great, because we should say ‘go take a running jump’ when 60+ women are put on the side-lines and/or considered ‘really old’.  You know what I’m talking about!  But I also believe that as we age we should take some responsibility for our ageing – so that we age healthily, and remain fit for as long as possible.

However, in the UK the NHS is not really about health, it deals instead with sickness.  Well, of course, you might say, they’re so busy. Even so, I think we should get advice on remaining healthy but, on the whole, we don’t.  Here’s an example; one of the things that happens to the really old are leg ulcers. I have thin legs and the skin on my shin is not of the thick variety.  In order to prevent said ulcers I’ve asked both the nurse and my doctor what I should do. ‘Moisturise’ they say. ‘With what’ I reply?  At that I get nothing useful. What. So. Ever. They don’t know.

Another example is that thing you get on your skin as you age. Don’t read on if you’re young, or of a delicate disposition.  It’s kind of scabby and it won’t go away.   And it’s not psoriasis, nor is it sun related as it appears first on your torso.  I thought, well, this time I won’t waste my doctor’s time I’ll ask the pharmacist.  I described my skin. Was it psoriasis?  No, I said, it’s an age related skin condition.  I got nothing but a blank look because the pharmacist. Did. Not. Know.   Actually, I believe you could go to a private clinic and have laser treatment, but I can’t afford that.  Mind you if these things ever got on to my face….

It’s the lack of local, inexpensive advice for healthy older people who want to stay that way that I’m talking about. Where to go? The ‘net’ of course, but there’s such a jumble of wacky stuff out there (which I can detect having been a nurse).

What to do? I’ve identified a need – any ideas?

  1. Exercise

Which brings me to exercise. I always say I go to the gym and do yoga but do I heck!   I’ve always got some excuse.   This time it was because our yoga class stopped.  Then throughout October I had tooth trouble.  I coughed my way through November with the ubiquitous virus that everyone had, and then it was December and all that Christmas stuff – I must have gone to the gym about twice in 3 months.

And what happened? My back seized up. And I know I scrub up well in a photo, but you should just see me first thing in the morning I was (and still am) bent over and slanting slightly to my right. After some exercises (yoga stretches) and a hot shower I begin to straighten up, but I saw someone I considered ‘old’ at a bus stop bent almost double over a stick, and I thought, that’ll be me in no time at all.

So, last Friday I went to my trusted osteopath (I don’t know why I left it so long) and he reassured me that there was nothing serious. It was just my muscles in spasm (he was a bit more technical). And while he leant in and dug his elbow into my derriere until tears ran out of my eyes, the answer to those tight muscles, dear reader, is not the osteopath, but me taking responsibility for my back, and doing as much exercise as I can manage. So it’s back to my seniors’ class at the gym twice a week and daily yoga in the morning – and not because I’m ‘good’ about exercise but because I want to stay healthy – and stand upright!

  1. Clothes

I have a lot of clothes – virtually none are new so clearing them out is not a problem. But I want to promise myself two things, and then give myself one reward.

First, I aim to buy fewer clothes. I say I don’t buy on the spur of the moment, or because it’s a bargain, but I’m sorry to admit I do buy like that at times. Stop!

Second, I’m going to try to buy entirely from charity shops. I think I can do it. What’ll be hardest is not replacing my skinny jeans bought from Primark, as Primark jeans fit my legs to perfection.  At some point I’ll write more on this subject, but buying second-hand has to be an ethical as well as an economical choice.

And thirdly, this is an indulgence for my 70th birthday in June this year. Deep breath – I’ve ordered a bespoke designer dress from Masato (see it here, do have a look!) and I’ll go up to London for a fitting soon.  I can’t be doing this all the time, but buying bespoke clothes must be far more carbon-neutral than the High Street. Perhaps once a year – you can’t take it with you, is how I see it!

And finally I resolve (and it will be done soon) to start another blog called ‘my other blog’ – watch this space!!!

Last of all, I aim to be up for anything: new challenges, new IT, new experiences.

But do let me know if you have any resolutions and if you have any ideas for 2016.

And if you’re new to the blog and read to the end (!) why not sign up to get my posts, which are approximately once a week – you’d be most welcome!

With love, Penny, the frugalfashionshopper



17 thoughts on “My New Year’s resolutions: shall I make some or not!

  • 10th January 2016 at 1:13 pm

    What a fabulous post. I love your writing style and completely agree with everything you’ve written. Love the dress too – you deserve it. Please keep up the good work. Happy 2016!

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you so much Christine. Re: the writing. I went to a class on writing a column which was transformational as I used to write in a very academic dry way. Thanks so much for the feedback! Happy 2016 to you!

  • 10th January 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Love it, love it, love it!! –
    I, like you Penny, shall be 70 in June and I certainly don’t feel it except for – again like you – in the mornings.
    I resolve to take more exercise, go to the gym et al and then, after a days work, feel too worn out.
    Now I WILL do it, I MUST.
    Thank you for your inspiration.

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Wendy, yes, like you I have a working day to get through, and quite honestly I’d feel too tired by the evening for exercise classes so I carve out time during the day for yoga and the gym! All the very best to you!

  • 10th January 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Penny , you inspire every time you write , love your idea of only pre loved clothes . Reminds me of knickersmodelsown blog of Caroline Jones .

    Me too , trying to buy less but being more inventive with what I have .
    Trying to stick to my style too .
    Happy new year Penny . Loved the previous hat / scarf set .

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Yes, that hat and scarf set needs to be worn at some point! Hoping for some cold but crisp weather in the next few days!

      I like the idea of being more inventive with your own clothes. I think there’s a blog called ‘shopmyclosetproject’ where someone finds an item of clothing they already own and make it look different – that’s a great idea!

      Happy New Year to you, Joan!

  • 10th January 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I think you have some great aims here! My skin is terrible! I should moisturise now! My legs are especially awful! What about using aloe vera? It’s natural! I’ve used it as a moisturiser- we have a plant but I used to buy it in tubes- I should use it again! Someone I know moisturises with olive oil!

    What you say about exercise is also important. I walk between 2-3 miles a day but that’s all I do apart from the odd swimming session or dance class!x

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Kezzie, actually the moisturiser that I decided I would use (and didn’t write about) is organic coconut oil, which solidifies and is quite thick until you put it in your hands and then it thins. It’s wonderful natural stuff. I think the thing is the medics are just not giving people advice – but they are so under pressure. I feel for them and they have enough to do, but sometimes, I think that somehow, somewhere there should be more emphasis on healthy living and prevention. And I don’t mean the public health system – maybe something more informal – not sure what.

  • 10th January 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you for this excellent post, Penny. It is incredibly important that we carry on both moving and learning and your comment about being up for anything is so true. If not now, when?? Let’s all encourage each other with ideas to age as best we can with the raw materials available! We are, after all Baby Boomers who have broken a few rules in our time and are not known for our passivity!
    All the best to you in 2016 and by the way, that Masato dress is going to look amazing on you – perfect for your colouring.

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment Caryll, and yes, we have to keep moving and we will!!! And very best wishes to you for 2016.

  • 11th January 2016 at 4:28 am

    Hi Penny,
    I have had several of those ugly dark spots removed by my doctor using what looks like a huge hypodermic that squirts out what looks like dry ice, he squirts each spot a few times and it does sting a little, the area goes red, then in a fortnight, they completely drop off leaving behind a pink mark which eventually fades, the thing is to get them whilst they are small and they go in one treatment, if you leave them until they are bigger it some times takes a couple of treatments. I am just so pleased with the results as they looked really ugly particularly one on my jawline near my ear but now there is nothing to see! apparently new ones will eventually show up but the old ones are gone forever! Don’t you just love growing old???hope this helps. Carol

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Carol, as your comment has made me think I might well go to my GP and ask what can be done with the slightly scabby things I have. They are so busy, though and it’s not urgent – I think I’ll go in the Spring when the cold and cough season is over. Would be nice to have these removed, so thank you for telling me about your experience – really helpful.

  • 11th January 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Penny – I always enjoy reading your pieces and share a lot of your interests. Just wanted to recommend a fantastic moisturizer for dry legs, and arms and any other bits! I have recently started using extra virgin organic Coconut Oil! A big jar from the health food shop: half goes into the kitchen to cook with, the other half into a jar in the bathroom. My itchy dry skin on my lower legs has totally gone and the moisturized feeling lasts well from one shower to the next. It’s good for you, totally without chemicals, smells nice and not pricey really. The other thing I am addicted to now is my weekly Pilates Fitness class. It definitely helps me feel stronger and less likely to ‘pull’ muscles in my back as I seemed to do a lot before I started the class a year ago. A very Happy New Year to you and all your other readers.

    • 11th January 2016 at 4:36 pm

      You know, that’s exactly what I use Judy!! I love coconut oil and feel the organic version is very pure. I didn’t write about it in the post because I think that somewhere, somehow (and really not sure how) there needs to be good medical advice on keeping healthy. I suppose though, that is what is called taking responsibility for one’s health – finding things out for yourself!!! A very Happy New Year to you, Judy – although the day is rather dampened by the news of Bowie’s death – so sad.

  • 11th January 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Great post Penny. Coconut works wonders. Sugar scrubs are also helpful. Stay out of the sun. Have a great day!

    • 12th January 2016 at 8:18 am

      Hi amanpan. Yes, although I didn’t write about it, because I was thinking along the lines that there should be more emphasis on advice on healthy living for us older people, but coconut oil is what I use!!! I think it’s so pure and good for you. But a sugar scrub now that’s really interesting – I’m presuming you mean a home-made receipe? I’ve looked some up and I’m going to try it – thanks so much for the tip x

  • 1st February 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Uplifting thoughts. Thank you.

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