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Thread: Things that have improved my life

  1. #1
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Things that have improved my life

    Anything goes - can be a life-changing event or something small and inconsequential.

    Only opening What's App once a day
    There are only so many times you can watch a cat chasing a dog. Or read a trite philosophical statement from an ex-colleague.

    Contacting people to check they're ok
    Sometimes, they return the favour. It all adds to our collective wellbeing.

    Switching from milk to dark chocolate

    Try it. You'll eat less of it.

    Being happy with quartz
    Well, this is a watch forum.

  2. #2
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    I like the last one!

    Writing postcards and letters to people.
    Sublimates my pen and paper fetish, and makes it into something useful.

    Going to bed earlier.
    Sleep is good, and that nil-nil draw is probably not going to explode into life.

    Buying nice bread.
    Having good bread and butter around in the kitchen is lovely.

  3. #3
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    My Grandsons.

    Teaching the eldest to play the guitar.

    Both are fantastic footballers and I spend Sundays watching them.

    After bringing up three sons it is like life starting over again.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  4. #4
    Exercise

    Lost weight , feel great . I didn’t do any before .

  5. #5
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    Travelling extensively in my 20s (gave me perspective)

    My wife only accepting my proposal of marriage if I gave up smoking (24 years ago)

  6. #6
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    I can only offer rather clichéd responses, but clichés are clichés because That Stuff is popular...

    The Doggos
    I hadn't had a pet since childhood, mainly due to assorted work constraints. Then, I became involuntarily self-unemployed shortly after moving to the boon-ier bit of the East Mudlands, and at that point not having a dog was starting to be a bit rude, frankly, given the hordes of the poor beasts languishing in shelters. The smelly wretches change your life, both for better and for worse, but they uproot this couchspud twice a day for fresh air and exercise, and their boundless (if often misplaced) optimism, and goofy affection gladdens the heart like little else can ever do.

    Moving to the Sticks
    Aspects of it, admittedly, did not go according to plan, and I now have no income and an oversized house, barn, 4 acres of pernicious weeds, four useless alpacas I stupidly agreed to take with the property (and which Lady Sod will NOT let me turn into curry), and tradesmen's bills that will stretch-on until I'm wearing my pine overcoat. Upside is - no more urban ratrace, and Lady Sod now has a job she not only loves, but is finally being paid for doing in a manner commensurate with her skills. I do sometimes miss the presence of social / genetic / retail diversity, but not often.

    The Wristwatch Habit/Addiction
    So this is as much a confession as a lifehack, but "I am Sod, and I like watches". There. I said it. I don't care that they're not from a prestigious brand instantly-recognisable down at the golf-club / Lodge / HMP. I don't even care what they cost - and I don't even care that I may lose some money on them. I buy them for the pleasure of watchfondling - not as some joyless investment. This may be a symptom of noobitis, but a decent wristwatch was something I craved from late-childhood to this, my second one, and only when I sold my former home could I finally set a little £££ aside and indulge. OK, I have gone a bit nuts in the last few years, but I have enjoyed every minute, and continue to - aided and abetted by this free-range open-air asylum of a forum.

    Beer
    Mmmmmmmm... Beer...

    Churz!

  7. #7
    Master
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    Great thread!

    1) Walking more.
    I have taken to walking to and from work. Most days. It's around three miles each way. Done wonders for my well being.

    2) Getting my life in order.
    Maybe it's my age but I have recently felt the urge to get myself sorted. Undertook an entire financial / life review. Updated my will, made a WID file, sorted a budget and a net worth review. All very helpful.

    3) Learing more.
    Mainly in conjunction with walking, I have listened to quite a few podcasts. Very much enjoying learning a few new things.

    4) On a forum related topic, I stopped visiting the Bear Pit. It's toxic really. I get the point of it but I prefer not to invite bad feeling / drama into my life. My forum experience is much better as a result.


    Much work to do but I'm on the right path.

  8. #8
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    1.Buying a Piano.

    After 20 years not playing organ having a piano has been life changing. Wonderful way to unwind

    2. Getting a dog.

    No idea why but the smelly, peeing, sh*tting beast keeps me grounded and shows me endless devotion. Wouldn't be without her.

    3. Vorwerk Thermomix TM6.

    Expensive as hell but now restaurant quality food gets made at home.



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  9. #9
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    Taking up golf. Never played before I became disabled. Within five years I represented my country. After ten years became the club champion. Met so many lovely people.

    Becoming a grandfather is such a fulfilling experience, my grandson melts my heart.

    Reading, I love it. Something I believe has enhanced my life.

    Playing chess has been with me for years. It helps to keep the grey matter in check ( excuse the pun).


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  10. #10
    Craftsman djjuk's Avatar
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    Getting my full motorbike license a couple of years ago. Instant solitude and freedom whenever I want or feel the need to get away from 'life' for a few hours.

  11. #11
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Changing your lifestyle 10 yrs ago (june), I was hospitalized with heart problems. Things went crazy in the ambulance and I remember running staff pulling my bed to the operating theatre. But I escaped and I decided to 'keep it cool' from then on. Sad thing that you need a hard reset before you realize that your lifestyle 'as is' is not a healthy one!

    Early retirement
    I started saving from the moment my working career took off, in my early 20s. Sort of FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early) avant la lettre. I can recommend this!

    Getting a dog Like others wrote: it's a great experience.

  12. #12
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    When I quit smoking my health, finances, and prospects improved enormously ... and made many new friends ... but upset old pals and family who were/are still addicted to tobacco.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  13. #13
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    early(ish) retirement
    took this at 58 a couple years ago. Best thing ever!

    painting
    art is interesting and maybe a skill I didn’t know I had

    planning to move
    still plans to move home - not there yet but it’s fun trying.

  14. #14
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post


    3) Learing more.
    Mainly in conjunction with walking, I have listened to quite a few podcasts. Very much enjoying learning a few new things.
    Tell us more about the Learing in conjunction with walking; do you point out to fellow walkers that "as flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods, they kill us for their sport"?
    I suppose when you see a brat having a tantrum you can cheerily say to the hapless parent as you pass "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!"

  15. #15
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Very good Simon
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    Memory Foam Pillow - best £40 I’ve ever spent and have had two of the best night sleep in years.

    Dog - love him to bits and the most loyal beast in the world.

  17. #17
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    Lot of people saying DOGS in the thread! Good to hear.

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    Sertraline.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Sertraline.
    A mate has just started taking it.

  20. #20
    Grand Master
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    First 12 weeks or so can be a bit rough depending on dose but really effective long term.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Leeds View Post
    A mate has just started taking it.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    First 12 weeks or so can be a bit rough depending on dose but really effective long term.
    Good luck with the pills mate. Same could be said for escitalopram

    Sent from my IN2013 using Tapatalk

  22. #22
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Guacamole
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  23. #23
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Can you share any experiences? Think it might help many posters who don't post much but are possibly suffering in silence.

    I mean the SSRIs not the guacamole. Although guacamole stories would be interesting too.

  24. #24
    Master Possu's Avatar
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    Buying a decent robot vacuum cleaner. Not only does it take care of most of the tedious hoovering, the best part of it is that it forces us to keep things in their places and off the floor. Our home is now very much cosier and it’s easier for me to enjoy myself and unwind.

    On the same note getting rid of clutter. The less s*** I have, the happier I am.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Travel has always been my motivation, especially new places.

    However you've got to make the most of your current circumstances, so whilst this hasn't been possible I've started walking a lot (15,000 steps a day) and recently taken up golf (badly at the moment). Both are very therapeutic.

    One thing we used to do and are starting to do as restrictions lift is to go somewhere reasonably local that we haven't been to for ages or ever before. There's so much on your door step that you just don't think about visiting and where I live I'm very lucky to have so much amazing countryside.

  26. #26
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Devonian, I'll be back walking shortly. It's Ramadan and my wife who is fasting can't handle the steps and I don't fancy walking around the forest by myself. I'm only fasting between meals so finding it much easier than her ;)

  27. #27
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    My dog. Other people’s dogs. Encountering a stunning Airedale Terrier last weekend was a particular highlight.

    Feeding the birds in my garden. Been doing this each and every day since New Year’s Eve. Some of them are so tiny you wonder how they ever managed to survive a harsh Winter.

    Walking. Always walking.

    Barely watching television. Life is better without it.

  28. #28
    Shaving my head. Hair is overrated.

  29. #29
    Grand Master
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    I'm pleased you clarified that!

    I will absolutely do that

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOmega View Post
    Can you share any experiences? Think it might help many posters who don't post much but are possibly suffering in silence.

    I mean the SSRIs not the guacamole. Although guacamole stories would be interesting too.

  30. #30
    In no particular order:

    Moving to the countryside

    Re-joining a gym after years of convincing myself a run around the block was a substitute

    Getting my motorbike licence

    A quality coffee machine

  31. #31
    I got married three years ago, lived alone for 15 years, I think it has improved my life.
    Last edited by adrianw; 27th April 2021 at 12:12.

  32. #32
    Similar to several replies above, going for long walks, both locally, stopping to chat with the local dogging community and further afield in the New Forest, and coastal spots. I drove to Lymington this morning, stopping for the Beaulieu donkeys like everybody else, and saw some deer further on towards Lymington.

    Simple pleasures are often the most rewarding.
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  33. #33
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward point View Post
    Similar to several replies above, going for long walks, both locally, stopping to chat with the local dogging community and further afield in the New Forest, and coastal spots. I drove to Lymington this morning, stopping for the Beaulieu donkeys like everybody else, and saw some deer further on towards Lymington.

    Simple pleasures are often the most rewarding.
    Beautiful part of the world. I'd never been until visiting GOAT one year for a transaction but I'd love to go back. Never seen so many Bentley's in my life - I think the poor people there drive Range Rovers.

  34. #34
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Devonian, I'll be back walking shortly. It's Ramadan and my wife who is fasting can't handle the steps and I don't fancy walking around the forest by myself. I'm only fasting between meals so finding it much easier than her ;)
    Ideal mate, though don’t do as many as last time as you left us all miles behind :-)

  35. #35
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward point View Post
    Similar to several replies above, going for long walks, both locally, stopping to chat with the local dogging community and further afield in the New Forest, and coastal spots. I drove to Lymington this morning, stopping for the Beaulieu donkeys like everybody else, and saw some deer further on towards Lymington.

    Simple pleasures are often the most rewarding.
    I'm surprised the "Dogging" community aren't too busy to stop & chat! Lol

    Lovely part of the world for it though.......

  36. #36
    Grand Master
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    Just over a year's apprenticeship as a mechanic. From childhood I knew I was going to be a pilot. The RAF agreed right up to the point that I did a light based, rather than a paper based colour blindness test. For a short while after that I seriously lost my way, until an aged motorcycle mechanic persuaded me to go for a job at Blue Garage in Earley. I realised fairly rapidly that this wasn't my future and moved on to working with cows, but the time spent there taught me not only how to fix anything, but, as it was a Mazda garage, at the height of the popularity of the RX7, that being intimidated by anything is more mental than real and the trick is to just get on with it.

    It's as Zen a job as you can get both in terms of thinking yourself into a fault finding solution and subsequent stripping and repairing. I can't be sure, but I think it ignited my love of watches. While I ended up with careers that involves a lot of theoretical stuff, working as a mechanic left me with a strong sense of the relation between the theoretical and practical which was really ignited when I encountered Aristotle.

    Aristotle. He nailed mental health two and a half thousand years ago. You want to be ok, read Aristotle and just do what he says. IMHO.
    Last edited by M4tt; 27th April 2021 at 14:47.

  37. #37
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Great thread, A-O - in no particular order:

    1) Meeting Mrs Cain - soppy, I know, but a great deal that is good in my life comes from sharing it with someone who manages to be as silly and irreverent as me while also being considerably more intelligent. 25 years, this year.

    2) Gardening - any gardening is an act of optimism, they say, and I find it reassuring to reflect on the assumption inherent in sowing seeds and planting bulbs: that we will all be around to see them grow. I enjoy being outdoors, I enjoy doing practical things (especially as my professional life is almost entirely theoretical or intangible) and I absolutely love tulips and dahlias. It's win/win, really.

    3) Car tinkering - frustrating though it can be, I do enjoy a good weekend spent chasing electrical gremlins or repairing/replacing mechanical bits. Limited time and equipment precludes any serious Heavy Messing, but (again) I find it refreshing to be doing practical things, and working out what's gone wrong and how to fix it.

    4) Developing a sense of perspective - after a fairly heavy mental health episode a few years back, I have worked hard at remembering my place in the universe; in other words, that I am one of a population of inquisitive apes clinging to a rock in a vast and indifferent universe, and that very little that I count as important has any lasting significance whatsoever. I've found this process liberating on many levels, and it's helped me to come to terms with a lot of things which used to trouble me quite badly.

    5) Exercise - covered better and more articulately above, for sure; but any form of exercise makes me feel better almost instantly. Except running, which I find dull, and burpees, which can just GTF.

  38. #38
    Bicycle, its the highyway to health, for me.

    Growing stuff. this year it is sweetcorn

    Still to do, declutter.

  39. #39
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    Many great posts, but PreacherCain’s 4th and 5th points nailed it for me


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  40. #40
    Master
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    I guess after my glib comment earlier, i owe a proper response to an interesting thread.

    Food projects:
    My wife takes the mickey out of my little fads or obsessions, but i do seem to take inordinate pleasure out of perfecting my fermenting, sauerkraut, kombucha, keffir, biltong or smoking projects and even she admits this one has lasted longer than most. Definitely feel it's improved my various stomach issues too.

    Exercise
    WFH has been a PITA for me with increased pressure & vastly longer hours but the one thing i have managed to fit into most days is some form of exercise, whether that's Peloton, Battle Ropes, KBs or weights and that & the fact i've cut the boozing down has contributed to a 2st weight loss. Probably more importantly i've enjoyed it & not had to drag myself to do it.

    Beach walks
    Various lockdown rules permitting (we've followed them) we've been down to Whitstable often & a restorative stroll has been a pleasure, often taken. 5 year old son loves nothing more than looking for shells or running along sea wall etc, so always guaranteed to raise a smile
    Last edited by luckyal; 27th April 2021 at 20:28.

  41. #41
    Journeyman
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    Putting some work into making the garden a nice place to be

    Quality cookware and kitchen tools

    trying to be more pleasant with colleagues and finding it reciprocated

  42. #42
    Master yumma's Avatar
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    My wife.

    My cats.

    Counselling for my mental health/depression.

    Skiing.

    Losing weight & getting fit.

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyal View Post
    My wife takes the mickey out of my little fads or obsessions, but i do seem to take inordinate pleasure out of perfecting my fermenting, sauerkraut, kombucha, keffir, biltong or smoking projects and even she admits this one has lasted longer than most. Definitely feel it's improved my various stomach issues too.
    Fermented foods are great for your tummy! Gut health has a MASSIVE impact on our overall well being.

  44. #44
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    Getting cancer in my early 30s.
    Wouldn't have been much fun if I hadn't survived, but seeing as how I did it turned my brain around 180 degrees from wealth and improvement to contentment and gentle pleasures. Instant removal from the rat race.

    Fly fishing
    Very contemplative on the off days; a good source of trout and salmon fillets and steaks on the good days. But always an awareness of all things nature.

    Happy marriage.
    If you have a dependable baseline to your existence, you can cope with anything.

  45. #45
    Master
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    Dog
    Islam
    Career (generally)
    Soon to be at 55 early retirement or semi-retirement I hope.

  46. #46
    Master
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    No 1, without a doubt is Mrs Cyrus, we met when we were 19 and have been together 20 years now
    No 2, realising the power of contentment, we all strive for more, but you can do that while also realising how good you have it and appreciating that
    No 3, my two girls, a daily source of love, wonderment, fun, demands, tantrums and everything in between
    No 4, Exercise as others have already alluded to, you need headspace

  47. #47
    Craftsman
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    What a genuinely great thread.

    Some simple things that I have found to be pretty efficient to improving my life

    - having a cleaner, unless you enjoy cleaning, it is an incredibly efficient way to spend a fairly small amount of money
    - keeping busy, that doesn't mean hectic and stressed, just occupied I guess. When I have too much time to ruminate, not a lot of good happens
    - being slow to anger and impatience. I used to wear my short temper and impatience as a badge of honour and how I got things done, that was nonsense and harmful to myself and others
    - a motorbike - turn the commute into an enjoyable experience and park where you want!
    - a family dog that was more my dog died a few years back, I don't have one at the moment but I truly believe they improve your life


    A not so simple thing but most important is my wife - no matter what happens she is there and she is just an incredibly kind and content person.


    I struggle on a very regular basis with what I want to do in terms of work, I am a doctor and chose to become one far too young (16-17yo is a silly age to make that decision). Sometimes it is great but I do find it very stressful a lot of the time.

  48. #48
    Master
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    I concur, very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by watchstudent View Post
    having a cleaner, unless you enjoy cleaning, it is an incredibly efficient way to spend a fairly small amount of money

  49. #49
    Craftsman
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    great thread; quite a therapeutic read

    here's mine

    1. getting divorced - tried for many years to deal with my ex and her narcissism, drinking etc and approaching 50 decided that I couldn't do it anymore
    2. Addressing mental health issues - unsurprisingly this was heavily linked to point 1; nearly went down the meds route but found that just opening up about it and talking was a massive help
    3. Music - go to quite a few gigs and find that bit of escapism from day to day stuff is a massive help
    4. Dog - have always had a dog for the past 20 years and they have definitely kept me closer to sane than I would have otherwise been
    5. exercise - dog walking, football, cycling; all help keep the ying and yang of life in order

  50. #50
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    This is a fantastic thread and there are some great thoughtful posts. I will only add this whilst acknowledging I am posting this on a watch forum

    "The best things in life aren't things"

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