A perfect resolution for 2024

Photo by Sincerely Media

The New Year is here! And with it, so many traditions that come with everyone that passes.

There are the more common traditions: the big party on New Year’s Eve of course. But I prefer the more low-key traditions.

I have a tradition of writing the year wrong in the date for the first two months. All my cheques are going to be covered in white-out or crossed-out ink.

But the most popular low-key tradition is, of course, the New Year’s resolution!

Common ones include quitting those bad habits — like smoking or alcohol consumption — or starting positive, new habits — yoga, eating well and maybe even taking the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.

But I have a particularly unique new resolution I challenge readers to try out for 2024. It may seem a bit odd at first, but it’s more of a philosophy than anything else.

In 2024, it’s a great goal to try to “Hit da Bricks!” as often as you can.

What exactly does that mean? Well, it has two parts.

Hit da Bricks: getting out on the street!

The first is to Hit da Bricks! by walking more often.

It doesn’t matter where, or how you manage it: but try to walk as often as you can.

We know that physical exercise and just moving as much as possible is hugely important to our continued health.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology says that the more we move, the less time we spend sedentary and the better we sleep will help with a variety of health factors.

Everything from improved bone health and lowered risk of heart disease, to improved mood and a reduced risk of falling, to staving off the potential effects of dementia: we know that movement is good.

But getting started can feel incredibly overwhelming. There are a ton of options and opportunities out there: there’s yoga or pickleball or joining a gym. But that can be expensive and maybe even overwhelming.

So just get out and move.

Walk wherever you can and wherever you feel comfortable. It’s not cheating to use a mobility aid or walking sticks, or whatever you might need.

It doesn’t matter if your walk is five minutes long or five hours. Any amount of exercise is better than none.

That’s what we mean when we say: hit da bricks!

 Hit da Bricks: Just walk away!

The other aspect of our “Hit da Bricks!” philosophy has less to do with physical health. It’s more about your physical safety, your emotional safety — and to be honest! — the safety of your pocketbook.

There are a lot of dangers out there in the world, whether it’s on the C-Train or the web. Scammers and liars will try to worm their way inside your wallet or your heart, and seniors are often specifically targeted.

“The more isolated a person is, they become more vulnerable,” said Louise Day, producer of Old Mule — a play written and performed by seniors taking a hilarious but heartfelt look at the serious subject of online fraud.

“In the play, she’s having a lot of trouble with phone calls, looking for help with AHS or the City, and they keep telling her to go back to the computer, going around in a circle. They are keeping her back on the technology; she might not have experience with.”

“We come from a generation where we didn’t have this technology.”

It’s a serious problem. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) recorded over $9.2 million in losses reported by seniors in 2022 — up from $2.4 million in 2021.

Unison Kerby Centre wants to keep folks like yourselves safe and free from the harm of fraud: that’s why we’re hosting a Scam and Safety Presentation, in partnership with the Calgary Police Service.

It will feature all you need to know to stay safe at home, outside, and on the web. It will be held on Jan. 11 at the Unison Kerby Centre from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m, and you can RSVP by phone (403-705-3177) or by email.

But again: what does any of this have to do with the philosophy of “Hit Da Bricks”?

It’s easy to explain but difficult to realize.

A big reason why scammers are successful with folks is that they prey on either their politeness or their kindness.

Politeness is important! It’s important to be kind to others.

But sometimes we forgo our instincts, the instincts telling us that something is wrong, something is very bad, and that we are in trouble because we don’t want to seem rude.

One of the most common signs the person you might be speaking with is a scammer is that they’ll rush you: whatever you need to do for them, you need to do it now!

And the average, polite and courteous person wouldn’t want to keep them waiting. So what are we to do?

Hang up. Close the door. Shut down the computer window.

In a manner of speaking? Hit da bricks.

The fact of the matter is: that no one can keep you in a conversation you do not want to be in.

If you ever have the instinct that something may not be right, don’t let anyone use your polite or kind-hearted nature against you. Walk away.

If then, you still have questions and worries about the situation you found yourself in, there are plenty of places you can contact.

You can speak with local law enforcement or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

And if you’re having trouble with online forms and applications, there’s one more way to “Hit da Bricks!”

Get your walking shoes on and make an appointment with our lovely Seniors Supports department.

Unison is always looking to ensure seniors are being supported in our communities.