Does 2022 really seem like a new year??
We’re still stuck with the same old C-19, but now with the new ‘O’ strain – something ‘new’ for all the wrong reasons!
Pubs, cafes and clubs in Sydney are half-open, with hordes of staff missing in ‘isolation’; hospitals and paramedics are under pressure and parents’ worst nightmare – home-schooling – is looming again.
We miss our Gladys (Gladys Berejiklian, the former NSW premier). She was the rock we clung on to when the seas were choppy. We felt her sympathy and knew she cared. It doesn’t feel right without her at all.
What concerns us? Jobs, family, friends, finances – and of course our health – because without health everything else is thrown into chaos.
We need to be kept busy and working, but unfortunately not always in jobs we like. We hang in there because we need the income and wait for the time when something better comes along.
There were days when I absolutely hated being at work – this was not because I hated my job but because of our managers. Some were insensitive and controlling; they invariably had their ‘favourites’ while the rest of us looked on in frustration and despair. This made me so angry, and resigning was not far from my mind. But I didn’t. I resolved not to allow any one person to take away the job I loved. I took deep breaths, calmed down and got back into work.
On the plus side, the ‘bad’ managers eventually moved on and nicer people took their place. Staff morale was restored, we actually enjoyed being at work. But such managers are rare; make sure you thank them!
How is a good family life important? Simply, it builds close relationships which benefit us for a lifetime!
I had a large family in Singapore – my parents, siblings, grannies, many aunts and uncles. I learned so much from each of them: investing, saving money, stamp-collecting, telling stories, loving music, playing an instrument, being kind and generous, amongst others.
Those beautiful memories stay with me each day – and your kids need to experience this too. Be there to engage, teach and talk to them. Recognise and nurture their talents. Pushing their pram or holding their hand in the park while fixated on your smartphone won’t cut it.
Raising a family to eat well from infancy is also crucial. When I had my son in 1983, Norman Walker’s Diet & Salad was my guide. No biscuits, soft drinks or mushy cereals – only rolled oats, freshly-squeezed orange juice, yogurt and fresh vegetables. No fruit after meals either. We all had less tummy problems! My hand-held ‘Bamix’ blender pureed every meal for him – rice, potatoes, meat, chicken, fish and vegetables. The time I sacrificed avoiding sweet snacks and ready-to-eat meals meant less time at the doctors. And it was well worth it.
I treasure each one. My best friends mean as much to me as my family. Forty years working in a large hospital put me in touch with people that remain close to me till today.
We started work each morning with “How are you?”, or “How are your kids?”; or if they didn’t look happy, “Is everything alright?” When I now see signs along the corridors of our hospitals reminding us to ask “R U OK?”, I shudder. Do we really need to be told? I believe this sign should be aimed specifically at department managers!
In my entire working life, particularly after the 1990s, never did a manager stop by to ask, “Shirley, how are things going?” In fact, concern was only shown when a staff member fainted or rushed to the toilet in tears.
By contrast, in the ’80s and ’90s our supervisors had a sense of humour, and always passed by our desks with a greeting. It was an environment that promoted happy people getting the job done. It appeared very few had mental health issues then.
Attitude amongst those receiving the highest wages has worsened since the smartphone became an appendage. Their personal lives and problems now override their duty of care. Smiles or a “Good Morning” are sadly gone. If you’re in such a situation, I suggest you stay true to your values. Be kind and caring and look out for your colleagues – you need each other. And if you’re lucky enough to have a caring and empathic manager that actually stops to listen, thank them!
Your pay is your lifeline but it shouldn’t be your only source of income. Sam and I will continue to give you simple steps to building wealth.
Feeling secure and living an active, worry-free life in retirement is what we want you to achieve.
So what’s been in the news since 1 January?
Lots and lots of advertising … white goods and home-tech especially, the lure of 2 years interest-free with a minimum spend of $1000 … retail outlets in partnership with credit card companies who deduct your payments once you’re approved for the loan. And the added $1000 gift card is so enticing – as long as you sign up and make the $10K minimum purchase.
But before signing, think of this: Do you really need to spend $10K to get the $1000 gift card?
Your interest rate would rise to 22–26% p.a. if you don’t pay your loan off within the interest-free term. Worse, if you request a reprieve for “financial hardship” your credit rating will take a dive.
For large purchases, I suggest using a credit card with an ongoing low interest rate. If you have a mortgage, use your offset account instead.
Now for some good news on my side: I finally finished preparing my paperwork for my 20/21 tax return, thanks to Sam. He’s put me on a cloud-based software called ‘Share Sight’ and at last, all my ASX contract notes and ‘CHESS’ certificates have become a joy to behold! It’s now so easy to evaluate my losses and capital gains and updating them is a breeze. I’m so relieved. (Sam will tell you more about Share Sight in his next post.)
We’ve lately seen many ‘tips’ written by dieticians in the newspapers. Peta Bee writing in The Times this year gives “8 Simple Health Hacks for the Over-40’s” as a daily regime:
1. Eat 2 tablespoons of sunflower, pumpkin and/or sesame seeds (or my ‘LSAs’ – linseeds, sunflower seeds & almonds)
2. Have some yoghurt (for gut health)
3. Don’t sleep with a health-tracker (they’re only 38% accurate)
4. No nibbling late at night
5. Take Vitamin D (especially when you don’t get too much sun)
6. Walk an extra 1000 steps
7. Eat a veg to fruit ratio of 3:2 (middle-agers with a flavonoid-rich diet have on average 20% lower risk of mental decline)
8. Have a 10-minute run at the very least (it promotes both physical and brain health).
The Times, January 4, 2022.
Also have a read of these recent articles in Australia’s The Sun-Herald:
As expected, “gut health” and “gut microbiomes” are mentioned a lot – but I’m curious why the word ‘colon’ (which is really your gut) hardly ever is. Avoided because it doesn’t sound as ‘nice’, and harder to sell? [insert carrot pic & video]
What we read today is what I knew 3 decades ago. It’s very simple:
- The colon (our ‘gut’) is responsible for 70% of the health of our immune system
- The colon needs 2–3 litres of water per day to properly eliminate waste
- Fruits are the body’s cleansers and the best detox – pink grapefruit and pineapple particularly (for optimum absorption & less bloating all fruit should be eaten at least half an hour before food or 3 hours after food
- Raw vegetables: if you had to pick one, chew on a carrot – one of the most valuable and complete foods containing essential fibre and all the nutrients & vitamins required by the human body
- Exercise – the colon inherits its benefits and passes it on to your brain.
My Diet & Your Colon posts provide all the information you need on keeping healthy. And naturally, there’s a new video too …