Maintaining Our Comfort

HEALTHY LIVING / Christine Harness

AAH! Another new year greets us with the usual question, “Have you taken the time to make some New Year’s resolutions?” As we all know, most of us do not seriously carry out the ones we make at the beginning of each new year, and high on our lists are the ones we promise ourselves to lose weight. Well, I’ve chosen to modify that old standard: my resolution is to back down and aim for simply: “I will not gain another pound of weight this year”! This should be attainable!

My husband and I have both agreed to devote more attention to maintaining comfort in our daily lives. For example, whenever we enter a restaurant, the hostess usually escorts us to a table with chairs that lack padding – hard. I quickly interject, “May we please have a booth instead?” (With comfortable padded seats, of course!) I have also taken the time to redesign and construct new foam padded cushions for all the front porch seating. Two-inch thick pads definitely extend comfort and seating tolerance.

For many years, my husband refused to wear any pants other than jeans. He did concede to substitute cheaper brands when prices for Levis rose. And now he has discovered ‘cargo pants.’ He reports they are far more comfortable, with no skinny legs, far easier to retrieve his cell phone from a pocket, and the prices are actually more reasonable.

During our many years of antique car touring, we enjoyed dressing up in all of those period clothes. Not only dresses and dusters, but also our hats, purses and shoes needed to fit the year of your car. I loved my ‘hobble skirt,’ appropriate with our 1913 Rambler touring car. We did sacrifice comfort for style and fashion, however. The skirt demanded of me care and attention to take small steps and avoid overstretching. The dresses and hats were easy to come by; those of us who sew enjoyed creating our own outfits, adapting to fit. Shoes were always a problem. In the earlier years, women were more conservative and wore out their shoes, and the remaining examples we might find at an antique store or yard sale are those far too small and far too narrow and far too uncomfortable. Gradually, we saw the trend; we gave up the search for the right shoes and resorted to wearing our favorite tennis shoes. No one cared; we gave in to comfort. Only the duster remained the wearable coat, and yes, it is comfortable. I somehow believe gradual weight gain and retirement laxity had more to do with the decline in this dressing trend. It’s just not the same, looking back through all of those glorious pictures we accrued throughout our years of touring, proudly displaying our ‘era appropriate’ outfits of long dresses, gussy hats and purses, etc. So much for comfort! I truly miss those days.

Christine Harness has worked in the field of Occupational Therapy throughout her adult life, both in and outside of the Kern River Valley. She has helped countless individuals to maintain or regain their independence. Christine believes that enjoying and taking satisfaction in one’s day-to-day activities is the key to a meaningful life.