Just don’t do it

Did someone say new year resolutions?

January 06, 2023 03:42 pm | Updated 05:27 pm IST



Since most resolutions gasp for breath beyond the first week of the new year, there seems little point in vowing to do something. This year, with every good intention, I am resolving not to do a few things. Let’s see how that goes.

Do not lose weight: Nine out of 10 people resolve to lose weight. And don’t. Instead, they lose money on gyms and fitness gear (because everyone knows you must have the latest shimmery, stretchy stuff before you can even flex a toe). Fitness instructors are sadists whom you pay to turn you into a blabbering semi-comatose mass, each limb like a floppy pillow after a pillow fight. Then your instructor screeches, ‘30 more, come on. You can do it.’ Let him do it instead.

Do not keep smiling: Another one of those cruel wishes which, if fulfilled, would have you frozen, lips stretched, jaws aching, eyes watering. Painted dolls and scary clowns keep smiling. People are not meant to. Instead, I plan to pout, grimace, laugh (like a scary clown — my new theme), slobber, howl — and let everything I’m feeling out into the universe. Await rain-bearing clouds!

Do not stretch yourself to your maximum potential: Every report card of mine implored me to work harder to achieve my maximum potential. I don’t even know what this means except that it sounds exhausting. Trying everyday to improve upon the previous day is 6.5-on-the-Richter-scale migraine-inducing. I will exert the minimum energy (for example, in watching mindless TV) that gives me maximum joy. The only stretching I will do is for the remote control, cuddled with a dog who’s even less keen on achieving his maximum potential.

Do not learn anything new: Foreign language, tap dancing or clay-modelling. Nine out of 10 people find out they’re pathetic at whichever new skill they’re trying to learn, and detest, avoid and finally drop it, cursing the hefty advance fee. I’ve yet to meet the one out of 10 who succeeds. Rest assured I will not keep smiling at him.

Do not listen to good advice: The moment someone tells you, ‘I’m saying this for your own good,’ is when you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re not. Take this, for example: all the good advice I’m spouting here. Don’t listen to me telling you to not listen to it.

Where Jane De Suza, the author of  Happily Never After, talks about the week’s quirks, quacks and hacks.

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