Stepping into the new year

2007-12-27 00:00

I was thinking about Jos-eph’s prophetic dream about the seven fat cows, followed by the seven thin cows, which represented years of abundance followed by years of famine. Then I thought about that cracker advert where at the beginning of the month the cracker is festooned with prawns and yummy delights, but by the end of the month it’s a dry non-event.

Life’s a bit like that, especially at this time of year. People fast and then splurge on wonderful gastronomical delights. We may swing from periods of overt discipline to sheer indulgence and back to discipline again; the kind of all-or-nothing principle.

The year-end is packed with festivities, many of which include feasts and excessive indulgence. We groan about weight gain, but feel compelled to participate. One would feel like a veritable party pooper, while crunching a sad-looking piece of lettuce glugged down with chilled water, when the others at the table are scoffing down calorie-dripping fine faire, accompanied by a good wine.

The New Year arrives and with it one may attempt to wipe the slate clean. The indulgences end with a jolt. One wakes with a multitude of new year resolutions and the poor body goes into shock mode as it is abruptly deprived of delectable delights.

Instead, it’s self-inflicted punishment by new year with the lean cow period kicking in.

Humans are fragile creatures. We’re exceptionally different from computers. Sure the latter can crash, but they don’t require oodles of rewards and doses of TLC. An infant’s survival depends on the breast or bottle. Humans become programmed for oral gratification, later substituting the breast with chewing gum, chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol or junk food. Giving up all one’s oral pleasures is bound to lead to a mood disorder, whether depression, anxiety or extreme irritability. Not a great way to start the new year.

Stepping into another new year equates with the old adage of when the fat and the furious assemble, an array of staggeringly unrealistic resolutions result. We make dire promises that we’re going to turn over a crispy new leaf.

We’re going to spring-clean our lives from the interior of our handbags or car cubby holes to every drawer or shelf in the house and office, as well as the garage and maybe even the bloke’s down the road, too.

We’re going to lose those uninvited kilograms, which gate-crashed into our lives around the time we were trying on a new cozzie for that annual beach holiday. We’re going to start that religious exercise regime from tomorrow, read Tolstoy’s War and Peace or enrol in a challenging course with a view to fast-forwarding our five-year promotion plan. Our “new- improved-me” list includes multi-tasking, like munching celery sticks while dodging traffic, consuming bucketfuls of tap water while painting our toe nails and doing bum squeezes while flossing our teeth.

Our intention is to make peace with our archetypal enemy and go on a pilgrimage in pursuit of the omnipotent guru who oversees universal peace and goodwill. We’re going to refrain from indulging in an abundance of plonk and carcinogenic charred braai meat, quit smoking or drinking Coca-Cola, limit our negative vibes about the doom of the planet by taking up transcendental meditation and avoid using aerosol cans to save the planet from overheating. We’ll even give steak a miss to reduce the number of methane-farting bovines. We’re going to pick up litter and embark on a hefty citizen’s arrest on anyone who so much as dares to throw a match on the pavement.

We will bite the bullet and assault that well overdue nightmarish root canal treatment or was it the mammogram or prostate thingy that had to be done?

Roll on new year. I, for one, require my annual spring-clean.

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