…and what a year it has been. Its been the kind of year that I’m happy seeing the back of, and waving good bye and good riddance and such like. Annus Horribilis. I need 2010 to be an Annus Miraculus. Or whatever a nice year is called in Latin without the queen getting into the naming of. Now that I’m on the verge of waving 2009 off into the void of time/space where I can only return if I ever live to see a time machine and maybe a young Michael J Fox in it, would I like to go back to 2009 ever? No. Not in my life. Never. I would have to be brought back molecule by molecule, screaming into the ethers of space vacuum (soundless screaming I think that would be, if I’ve got my sci-fi right), fighting valiantly all attempts to have this year happen to me again. But the year has had some good moments. And I have had some serious mindshifts. For those who have been regular readers of thirtysixandcounting, you would understand how earthshaking these mindshifts have been in the house of Manral.
I’ve come to appreciate Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “Women are like tea bags, you dont know how strong they are till you put them in hot water.” And boy, have I been scalded this year. Scalded pink and raw. Hopefully, the next year will have the water at a more pleasant temperature. Overboiled tea leaves can turn bitter. I’m not turning bitter.
I am not overboiled tea leaves. To think of it, I’ve ditched the tea and coffee habit and now I am healthier than ever thanks to my new great regimen that involves me staring longingly at the coffee jar, and physically restraining myself from twisting the lid off and brewing myself some. To be honest, during the initial days of going off tea and coffee, I could be found sleepwalking to the coffee jar, spoon in hand ready to spoon some granules straight into my mouth. It was not easy. I am the kind of person who takes her addictions very seriously. And coffee has been the kind of addiction that has seen me through trying deadlines and pressure cooker levels of stress. It would seem disloyal to ditch it so abruptly, but one must be ruthless. Given one’s hands had started senile trembling if I was deprived of my morning cuppa. To be honest, going healthy, stopping tea/coffee/carbonated beverages and overeating has been the biggest thing I’ve done for myself this year. Add to this cutting down on needless shopping for self and child. I think I’ve earned my halo, polished to mirror shine. I’ve started taking exercise seriously. Not serious exercise mind you. Just a regular one hour evening constitutional. At a relatively easy pace, going upto the brisk if one feels the need for a little sweating to prove to one that one has exorcised some grams of fat. They are stubborn things these grams of fat, they have the survival skills of cockroaches. In the aftermath of a nuclear war, the only thing that will survive are cockroaches getting oversized because all the fat from the humans has migrated to surviving cockroaches. Which is all well, because they can then open fat farms.
Another big lifechange for me has been the giving up of unnecessary buffet dining. I stick to a la carte. Its worked out better. I order less. I can actually see my fellow diners across the table and not find my vision blocked by the mountain of food on my plate. I dont feel compelled to ‘get my money’s worth’ and proceed to the buffet counter for a minimum of six rounds, and then request a wheelchair to be taken to the car due to lack of mobility caused by insane overeating. I have nightmares of getting stuck into my chair at one of them buffets and needing a carpenter to be called in to extricate me.
I also began getting Serious White Hair this year. I mean serious. I mean white hair that pops up in nostrils and eyebrows and places on the body unmentionable in a public G rated forum that makes you feel truly old and at the point of giving up the ghost. I gave up hair colour. I turned to henna. I decided not to tempt fate into multiplying the number of grey. Wouldnt do for the child to still be in the primary and moi to look like I was ready to marry him off. I’ve stuck to henna. The grey on the scalp gets camouflaged a bit. The grey elsewhere I ignore. The spouse knows better than to bring it up in a casual conversation. He may be a brave man, but he is also not a foolish man. On the flip, the spouse has gone completely salt and pepper and rocks the look. Life isnt fair. Should I decide to let the grey be untouched, I will find people offering to help me across the street.
Recession deprived me of another one of my most favourite things to do in life vertically speaking. Shopping. No more impulse buys. No more strolling into stores and buying new clothes, shoes, bags, just because. In fact I think my last pair of new shoes and two new hand bags were bought in June. By the man. As a birthday gift. That was me falling down in shock and breaking the floortiles. Six months of no new bag is a first. This calls for a news crew to be here, interviewing me. This calls for me to write a book on how I cured myself of Shopaholism by Going Broke. This is the kind of book that I just see as a best seller, and me doing book tours and appearances on television where I just hope the host gets my name right and holds the book upto camera for three seconds before moving onto the next guests and leaving me free to yawn and snooze off on the comfy sofas they normally have for this kind of show.
This is the kind of self restraint that I admire in folks like monks and nuns and such like. I think I could try the bed of nails next. If I can stay away from shopping. And buffets. And coffee, I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to. Except cook a decent meal, maybe. Is the shine from my halo putting the sun to shame?