Member Lindsey Betteridge reflects on her difficult start to the year and how she’s found support in The Joy Club community…
It’s been a strange old couple of months. My family and I went through such a range of emotions over the Christmas and New Year period – the sheer jubilation at winning £72.00 on the Lottery for a £2 bet, three joyous days spent in the wonderful company of my daughters and five grandchildren, videoing the children (and the dog) ripping open their presents to ensure the memory is never lost, ten people around my table for a huge Christmas dinner. Then the shock at the very sad news on New Year’s Eve of my mother-in-law passing away brought us all back down to earth and knocked me completely out of kilter. With over a month to wait for the funeral – and everything else that goes with a death in the family – it’s been a ridiculously stressful time and I’m only now beginning to feel like I’m getting back to some kind of normality.
I like routine; it’s a bit of a safety net for me and suddenly I didn’t know what I’d be doing from one day to the next and found it really difficult not being able to block book any of The Joy Club classes – I really didn’t like it! I wasn’t able to attend anywhere near as many classes and talks as I usually do. But, when I did get chance, there they were waiting for me like a faithful old friend, just when I needed them, with all those friendly faces of other members, never judging. All felt right with the world again. Some sleepless nights were helped by hitting on the blog tab and attempting some Sunday solves (the emphasis being on the word attempting!), feeling comforted by some members’ wonderful poems and dipping into some of the recordings. The Joy Club, and members, you were there for me when I needed you and I thank you for that.
I was free to join the ‘Scam awareness’ talk on 11th January, a really useful presentation covering most online scams, how to avoid them and what to do if we do get caught out. I already felt fairly confident about being able to spot scam emails, messages and calls but was really pleased to learn more, so many thanks to the ladies at Nat West for the information.
I was also able to log on to meet Shelter, the homelessness charity on 23rd January and – my goodness – this brought me straight back down to earth. I learned so much about this wonderful organisation and the work they do to help the homeless. It was quite an eye-opener to learn about how people are at risk of homelessness, often through no fault of their own and what lifelines Shelter have available. By the end of the Zoom I was feeling extraordinarily blessed and perhaps it was just what I needed to ground me.
Another ‘go to’ to help me get back on track has been watching recordings of Kris’s Face yoga classes. I felt sad when I heard Kris would no longer be giving her regular Face yoga lessons. These classes, always with lots of members in attendance, were a joyous way to spend an hour with exercising our facial muscles, stimulating glands, stretching, head massage, gentle breathing, relaxation and meditation exercises so, The Joy Club, can I please ask that you keep the recordings available so I can continue revisiting them, as I’m sure many others do who also find these sessions really relaxing.
We had our last Cardio class with Erin on Friday 17th February who had temporarily replaced Jill for her Friday morning classes while she’s been away. Having slightly different exercises has been fun, for the first couple of weeks I thought Erin’s class was much harder but, on reflection, I think this was just down to the different method and movements. By her last class I no longer felt that way and feel sure that once we’re back with Jill next week I’ll be imagining that her class is now more difficult! Both instructors demonstrate both the low impact and higher impact movements we can make, depending on our own level of fitness and as both Jill and Erin would say, there’s not much gain if the classes aren’t challenging!
I also joined the lovely Valentina later in the day for her nutritional class about optimising blood pressure. While my blood pressure appears to have remained stable throughout this extraordinarily stressful time, a close family member has suffered terribly and ended up on medication. So this class was perfect timing, very thorough as Valentina always is and she’s always happy to take lots of questions. I’ll take my family member through the details of the presentation and know that Valentina’s advice will be of help.
I looked after some of my grandchildren during the half term holiday but unfortunately we weren’t available on 15th February to join the live call on ‘Lets go on a mission to Mars‘ and, having joined two of Colin Stuart’s previous expert talks, I knew it would be good! So, a few days later, I watched the recording with my five grandkids, aged between 7 and 13. They were transfixed by Colin’s fascinating description of what the journey to Mars will be like, when it most likely happens in 20 – 30 years time and they now know that any one of them could actually be the first ‘Martian’ to land on Mars. They loved him talking about the sports car being sent into space and – of course – the very detailed description of how astronauts use the space toilet on the International Space Station! This was a splendid talk aimed at children but in my opinion no less enjoyable for the adults and if my science lessons had been presented anything like this, who knows what a different life I may have led! If you have grandchildren and haven’t caught this yet then it’s well worth watching the recording with them.
Finally, I was really upset to hear Chloe is leaving The Joy Club. She was the first person I met on my very first Zoom when I joined The Joy Club, in the ‘Welcome session‘ call. I felt very nervous and really didn’t know what to expect but with her reassuring, friendly, kind and funny demeanour, within a couple of minutes I felt completely at ease and knew being a member was going to be fun. Being the person she is, she has the world at her feet and her new role in Marketing sounds like it’s going to be a real adventure for her. The Joy Club’s loss is certainly their gain and I wish her all the luck in the world on her next journey.
Want to see what’s coming up next month? See our full events calendar here.