The mocking whisperer

The mocking whisperer

The cynic says it's a waste of time, while the romantic within wants to give it a shot.

“I don’t make New Year resolutions, because I break them soon,” a friend admitted, as he explained the futility of the exercise which many of us experience, especially those who love to puff away their cigarettes and cannot sleep without a glass of wine to calm their stressed minds.

“Yes,” I agreed, thinking of the numerous days when I couldn’t resist gorging over sweets and finding it hard to say no when the second helping came my way, despite the protruding stomach pushing in protest.

It must have been 20 years since I made my first New Year resolution, when I vowed to spend at least an hour in workout to keep myself fit and agile. Blindness had put an end to ideas of pursuing a sport, but physical fitness would go a long way in bolstering self-confidence.

On the first weekend of the year, however, I remember stirring in my bed, refusing to get up as the radio blared with devotional songs and the smell of coffee wafted from the kitchen.

And so, the rest of the year was squandered in lethargy, procrastination and a lack of purpose. But cometh the New Year, the need for a resolution would resurface, induced in no small measures by guilt and a sense of regret that plenty of days in the past year had been wasted in useless dithering.

The morning would be spent in the cling-clang of the iron and in the wetness of the dripping sweat that drenched the shirt. As hot water gushed from the shower, a smile would light up the face, the sense of purpose returning like the promise of a transformed husband never to leave his wife’s side for the allure of alcohol. It would last at least for a week. Or, at least, it was safe to assume that.

As the twenties gave way to the thirties and cynicism replaced any remaining romantic ideas of life, it became obvious that New Year resolutions were no more effective than electronic watches bought from street-side wizards. The guarantees would last for a week and, frankly, no surprises when the magic blinked out without a fizz.

Forties are a different period in ones life. The idealistic view of the twenties never returns completely, while the well-entrenched cynicism of the thirties also doesn’t entirely disappear. In fact, they fuse together to produce a curiously different amalgam of attitude that creates something close to the realistic view of people and events.

Of course, you get mad at callous and insensitive people, but a part of you feels sorry for them and you wonder how the great learnings of life passed them by without making even a modicum of impact.

It almost seems like life has come a full circle when the first whiff of a New Year resolution forms in the mind. The cynic within says it’s a waste of time and an exercise in false hope, while the sensitive romantic wants to know what’s wrong in trying it out.

When both those voices sing in harmony like a choir on a Christmas night, a whole new thought surfaces. “If you don’t take yourself seriously; if you fail to back yourself with all the conviction you have, how could you blame your failures on the idea?”

Any project to improve our life, irrespective of when we start, needs a greater level of commitment. The mocking whisperer within us, who scoffs at the idea of self-improvement, would discourage us from moving forward. But if life ought to change for the better, it’s always better to turn a deaf year to that mocking whisperer and get on with your plans.