We’re headed for that time of year when people start thinking about their waistlines.
Oh, I know the commercialisation of Christmas is a tragedy; certainly, for myself, in the absence of small children in the family, Christmas has become a difficult one for me. With the majority of my family gone, the usual joys of Christmas are somewhat absent and I miss them just as I would miss my own heartbeat, especially at this time of year.
And so, the easiest thing to do is focus on the easier, more puerile elements of this march towards turkey-related bowel-blockage and occasional explosion.
It’s the season for indulgence. We spoil our children, we spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, we spend stupid amounts on stamps in order to send cards to people who might indeed have died during the past year, and yet, we do all these maddening things which, at any other time of the year would drive us to distraction, but not now.
Now, we do all these things, and with permanent smiles splashed across our faces. Because we are surely happy about our impending financial ruin.
And once the turkey is but a bitter, dried out memory, and the tinsel has spilled across the carpet, and the relatives have returned to their homes, and the cards are recycled (because we have to take care of the planet even as we kill it), and the bottles are stacked up for New Year’s, and we promise to be better to ourselves this year, even as we line up the wines in order of value (starting with the good stuff, and concluding the evening with cheap plonk from the corner store), and plan to drink until we can’t think about how many zeros are in our bank accounts, we consider how fat we have become.
Indeed, ’tis the season, and we pulverise ourselves in so many ways.
We challenge our stomachs to hold more than an aircraft hangar, we drink enough to total at least two livers, but we do this in order to tolerate the company of people we have invited to come and celebrate with us, we listen to years-old Christmas pop on the radio that makes us feel momentarily young and then devastatingly withered as we come to the sudden and vomity realisation that Last Christmas was thirty-some years ago – we still remember every word, we don’t remember what we had for breakfast but we remember Karma Chameleon from the intro to the fade out.
And then we consider jogging. Perhaps we haven’t put our bodies through enough with all the bacon and the turkey, the potatoes and the sprouts, the gravy and the pudding, and the in-laws and the booze, and the boxed biscuits and tins of chocolates. A slight thickening around the middle is surely par for the course. But no, we have to consider our weight gain. We will feel bad about ourselves for a moment and then we will invest what meagre funds did not get spunked away on crackers, and spend them on sweat bands.
If we make it up the nearest hill, we may consider putting ourselves forward for the London Marathon. Certainly, that would show the stomach and its attendant wobbliness who’s boss. In the meantime, we will just try and jog around the block without having an asthma attack.
Perhaps we’ll make it. Maybe this will become an inherent part of our routine. We will become svelte. Lithe, even. We will have muscles that we don’t know the names of. We will have to buy new clothes because nothing we currently own is designed for thin people. And there we go again, spending when we could be reading. When we could be talking. When we could be helping each other, surely something that will make us better people and therefore people who feel better about themselves, and instead, we stretch and sweat and spend until we’re bankrupt and frail.
A couple up the road from me have started jogging already. I don’t know who they are. They jog at night.
Presumably, they are not ready to wear their lycra in front of people. They veritably thunder passed my house in the small hours; their tiny, flickering head-torches bobbing up and down with every awkward bounce.
They will be lean and mean and exhausted come the day itself.
And if this post have left you feeling grotty, please know that was not my intention.
Here it is: please be good to yourselves. Don’t injure yourself with roasted bird, or booze, or company you don’t enjoy, don’t push yourself up that hill with the coming of the New Year.
Spend time with the people you would choose for yourself. Enjoy them. The time is more important than the money.
Spend the time. If we all stopping pushing ourselves towards one ruin or another, we’d all be happier and no-one would feel the need to punish themselves for the looks of other people. The hell with them. Enjoy yourself.