“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” Charles Darwin

We live in interesting times and as the year draws to a close its always a thought provoking exercise to reflect back.

My Christmas was spent going backwards and forwards to the University College Hospital, London as my Gran was admitted after a fall, to put this into context she is 88, has had stage 4 bone cancer for 10 years, suffers with severe OCD and still refuses to have any help even though its available. After two nights stay, pain relief & antibiotics for a chest infection she was released on Christmas Day, having been given a sleeping tablet to which she said she now knows what death feels like & will pass on a repeat experience she walked out. No one really knows how, my husband says its a trait of the women in my family. Stubborn they say, Willful I argue.

Aging is a fact of getting to live a long life.  Many of you may remember the little dog I bought back from my Cyprus Pilates Retreat in 2014, a little dog I was told to leave to his fate, well we didn’t and in spite of the challenges a small dog can bring it turns out he was always destined to be a therapy dog, a visit to my gran one day proved this naughty little pup actually had a purpose all of his own. This year he became an official Mayhew Therapaws dog (the photo was taken with permission on a visit). https://themayhew.org/therapaws/

Most of the residents in the home he visits have some form of dementia and varying degrees of wellness but he see’s only people…with biscuits, not old people or sick people just people…with biscuits. However cliched I’ve learned a lot from this little dog. Mainly that he can drive dog walkers to distraction when I’m away travelling but also that he can show unbelievable patience & calm just when you would least expect him to. A thrown away dog it seems can teach us a lot, or at least me.

This year has seen ‘kindness’ become a brand & ‘veganism’ is the new black. Suddenly I find my once totally uncool choices made over 15 years ago have been floodlit into popular culture & debates about ‘vegan’ hate speech are making headlines. I have every expectation to return to being uncool as the dust settles & once again being the ‘special needs’ guest at the table but I am pleased some discussions are happening to do with animal welfare issues alongside environmental impact. We have one planet, breathe the same air & rely on safe drinking water for survival so we might as well all give it a little thought & even debate.

This year as I turned 45 I also decided it was time to take on some new challenges. I returned to my first love, Ballet & took to the Static Trapeze. It has not been easy, I have been unbelievably frustrated at times but I have continued and at some time or other hope to be a sparkly diamond of sorts. I’ve been asked repeatedly if I don’t think I’m a little too old to be doing such things, in all honesty I haven’t really given it much thought, too busy trying not to land on my head to worry about whether or not I should be pursuing safer pursuits. Its not moving that will kill you I reply but sitting. So as we enter 2019 I urge everyone to instead of giving something up to take up something you’ve always wanted to do instead. And if people try to deter you then I’d say to absolutely do it. But then of course that could just be me being all willful again..and as for getting older I think I’ll put that off for another year…For now I’m off to get a Tutu fitted…Happy New Year All…Suzy http://www.seraphinapilates.com