Work is not an option for me right now. Some days in the fortnight I reckon I could probably phone in an hour or two of sub-par productivity but, in the interests of extending my lifespan, I am focusing on recovery as a full-time occupation. Whilst this might sound idyllic and a bit of a lark, as someone who doesn’t cope well with boredom, it isn’t as simple as just chilling out all day. It needs structure. I need something to do. Every. Day.

Since the Christmas holidays ended I have been building a repertoire of daily activities that make me feel like I am contributing something to the world and something akin to kicking Alan in the dick.

So…we have a personal trainer, Leah, coming to the house twice a week for resistance training. I try and walk Murray most days with the help of a family member (I can’t pick up the poops because of toxoplasmosis). I am reading again and have roped some friends into a book club. We are calling it TOOFAACC “Too old for an actual club, club.” I plan and prepare an evening meal every night except steroid nights when they won’t let me near the knives. I get in the water and swim as much as possible – I want this to become more like lap swimming but at the moment it’s just being in water. I write the blog. I rest when the fatigue hits – usually at about 2pm. I know. It all sounds like really basic stuff, stuff that many of you fit in regularly around full-time jobs and parenting.

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe basic stuff is the stuff some of us crave when our worlds are in a state of flux.

It has not once occurred to me to go seeking alternate therapies, prayer circles, spiritual enlightenment, personal development workshops, holistic pulsing, or any other remedies that people facing cancer often embrace. It’s not me. And it shits me to tears when people who know me well try and sell that stuff to me. People who know me better don’t even go there. My open-mindedness has limits. It’s not what I want.

What I crave more than anything, I think, is human connection that is as normalised and familiar, and reassuring as possible. When we do normal stuff together and you are normal around me, I feel normal and well, and like I’m not constantly reminded about Alan.

This is why I chose the yoga class run by the local council in a church hall. I knew before I arrived I would be the youngest person there by thirty years. I knew that nobody would be wearing anything by PE Nation or fucking Lulululululemon or whatever that brand is called. I guessed that it would be Hatha yoga. I guessed we might not start with a salute to the sun. I knew people would introduce themselves to me immediately on arrival and then proceed to praise the seventy-five-year-old instructor in the loud whisper that comes with old age, “She’s VERY good.” I knew there would be a high proportion of Margarets and Glenys’s and I was right. I was right about it all.

Not once did we stand. It was all floor-based and focused on an extended Shavasana. People smiled at me and looked towards me to make sure I was coping. They asked about where I was having treatment and loud whispered in response, “They’re VERY good there.” My body felt strong during the lesson and calm at its close. I felt supported by a group of strangers too old to be awkward in a social setting. It felt beautiful. I never once felt self-conscious. I never once had the thought that I wasn’t good enough.

So I’m adding Yoga to my weekly schedule. It’ll be good for my body but it will also be good for Alan to know I’ve added about ten senior citizens to my army. And many of them have had dealings with Alans before either directly or indirectly.

PS. Hair update – my friend Sharyn (at my insistence) shaved my head for me (number two all over) and we then decided to bleach it blonde and dye it lilac. I absolutely love it and I should have done it sooner. A lesson in trusting my gut and being decisive.

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10 thoughts on “Nana Yoga

  1. Absolutely love the hair….love your strength and positive attitude! Admire the fact you cut ally joined a Yoga group when I have been planning that for years and never got round to it!

  2. Rockin’ the do Gibbo. Really love it!! I joined a choir a while back with people of the slightly older generation – so liberating!! (but then again, I always have been a bit of a “Nanna”!)

  3. Nanna yoga is just the ticket! Love a bit myself! You are absolutely rocking that hair Gibbo! Bloody fantastic!

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  4. Love this so much!! I really want to do yoga or Pilates once I’ve recovered from ducking surgery number 2… cancer is a real prick!!
    Absolutely loving your hair ❤️

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