questionshow have you grown in the past year?

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plain and simple, I haven't and don't plan on

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I refinanced my house and paid off my credit cards. I switched to using cash and the debit card and will be reserving the credit cards for emergencies. Through my side business making and selling jewelry I have already put away almost enough money for next year's vacation, and am paying a little extra on the mortgage so I can pay it off in three years instead of the five the loan is for. It's still new, but I intend this clean start on my finances to stay clean. I also have been paying more attention to my cottage business and trying harder to find market niches.

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I have grown by shrinking! I have lost 47 pounds since January with no drugs, no surgery, and minimal exercise. I follow a diabetic diet and I feel so much better! I have taken control of my health for the first time in many years. My one and only goal - don't gain it back!

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Wow! Great financial improvement and health improvement answers! I wish I had something awesome to report, but DH tells me that, since I retired last year, I'm "not as sharp" as I once was. Hmmm. I need to think about this.

I also need to spit in his corn flakes or something.

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Well, I now shop at the Big and Tall store .........

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Let's see,
I have nearly quit posting anything online. I get more done at work now.
I started running in August. I got up to 2.3 miles and broke 10 minutes per mile, but I may go on hiatus for a while. My joints are not keeping up.

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I can do 2.5 pull-ups instead of 0 pull-ups.

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I spend a lot less time on Deals Woot.

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@rayray8822: Sweet. I'm up to 6. I was up to ten but I haven't been keeping up with it. I also do a full length pull up (instead of the bent arms ones a lot of people do).

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I lost 25 pounds, and am back to the weight I was when I was at Navy dive school, 20 years ago.

Oh, and I got married. The extra pounds from the honeymoon were the impetus for the weight loss.

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@belyndag: I am actually a bit worried about that myself. Alzheimer's and related forms of dementia are what the women in my family die of. My mom is already needing a live-in caregiver at 73 and we expect she'll have to be institutionalized in the next year or two. My grandmother was pretty much non compos mentis by 65. My great-grandmother was "batshit crazy" in her 60's. That's one of the reasons why I am retiring at 55, I can hope to age gracefully but I can't reasonably expect it. However, a lot of people's minds deteriorate when they retire and lose the constant regimentation and concentration required by work. So I am looking at different strategies to try to prevent that from happening as much as possible. My strategic plan so far is to keep to a structured schedule, volunteer for challenging work, run a home business and do all the accounting and record keeping.

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@moondrake: You've got a solid start on it then. Hate to sound like a doctor(I'm not, only an amateur gynecologist), but diet & exercise, diet and exercise. Had my mom done either, we'd likely still have her around.

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@havocsback: Yeah, I have fallen away from that and need to get back to it. It's really hard to find the time, with a full time job plus a small business to run, volunteer work, and a busy social schedule. With all the holiday art fairs coming up, I'm working 10 hours a day and then going home and spending 4-5 hours making jewelry in the evening. But I need to wedge diet and exercise in there someplace.

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@moondrake: My first week as a retiree I walked a few miles most days, but then I got roped into taking care of everyone else's errands. I've tried to get back to regular exercise, but just had to give up on walking after I tore up my ankle last May. It's getting better, but still twinges enough to annoy me. I did, however, by good walking shoes and a hiking stick. That should count for something, right?

Re: mental sharpness - I am something of a news junkie (as long as the "news" isn't about the Kardashians or Lohans), and I was hoping that this would keep me mentally sharp, but I'm afraid that my obsession with political topics is rotting my brain, instead. I am trying to back away from that and get back to other things, but every week seems to bring another family issue that only I can handle.

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@belyndag: I keep my family at at least 600 miles distance to avoid getting roped into their drama. My aim has always been a drama-free life, and theirs is just the opposite. I was walking 2-4 miles every day until this past January, when I dropped my tablet corner down on my toe and broke my toe. At the time I thought, "Better the toe than the tablet", but the danged thing doesn't want to heal and at this point I'd gladly trade the tablet for a whole toe. I can still walk casually with no problem, but I can't "power walk" like I was doing (walking 5k races at 4.2mph, beating many of the runners in) because of the way I have to roll my foot to get the longer stride with my short legs. It's highly annoying this getting old thing.

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@moondrake: This getting old thing ain't for sissies, that's for sure! As if the torn up ankle wasn't bad enough, I've developed tarsal tunnel syndrome in my toes from it. Urgh. I was never graceful to begin with, now with toes that alternate between numb and burning, I'm a total clutz.

My family lives for drama, too. That's a story for another day. I am about 170 miles away, but still get guilted in to much of it. And then there are the aging inlaws who do live nearby. And DH, and DS and DD......... And the volunteer work I've been doing for most of my life has taken some interesting turns that are time-consuming, too.

Ok, enough whining. I think I need to slip on those new walking shoes and crank the treadmill down to a slow setting. Maybe I will be able to do a mile or so before the ankle gives out, then I will pull out my banjo and practice for a while. Enough with the physical growth! On to the personal growth!