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Power of reinvention only causes tension

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Yes, I am a creature of routine, and what’s wrong in that? I eat the same breakfast every morning and wear the same old tracksuit pants to write this column.

For some reason, though, people like me are considered pariahs, as January has been designated the month of change – the season when we must cast off old habits and embark on a dramatic (and painful) process of reinvention. From which we will emerge – according to the so-called experts – cleansed, revitalised, and improved.

To which I say – bog off!

Obviously, being cooped up in the home with the nearest and dearest for two weeks brings tremendous strains.

Consequentially, January 2 was the day when more people than ever logged on to dating sites in the hope of finding a new partner – more than a million hoped the click of a mouse might produce someone who might change their lives for the better.

Granted, these days the internet is how a third of new relationships start, but I question the mindset that results in taking down the decorations, binning the holly, and as the lid closes on the wheelie bin, thinking this will be the year you’ll meet someone who is 75 percent better than that all-too-familiar overweight soul snoozing on the sofa.

The same applies to our tortured relationship with eating. January has been designated the month to reshape our physiques and feel younger. Ha, ha, ha.

Good for you if you’re following the 2-Day Diet, but in defiant JSP-style, I have no intention of dividing my week into dieting and non-dieting days. Neither am I re-planning my life to conform to five days of technology and two without, or four days of drinking ginger beer and three back on the vino.

Our obsession with lists has been transferred into a need to split our lives into On and Off days. Before long, we’ll be told that unless you’re having sex, flossing teeth and reading a book on the 5/2 pattern you’re just not on the programme. On Monday more of us signed up to look for a new job, convinced our existing one is dreary and doesn’t use our talents to the full.

That might be the case, and I’ve always advocated self-belief and boundless ambition, but remember that radical change usually means only one thing – you don’t like your- self very much.

Never mind the spurious concept of toxins lurking within, the biggest toxin in modern society is the relentless drive to self-improve and the huge industry it has spawned.

Why not reflect on what is good about life, focusing on the positive rather than the negative, and then do more of that?

Our lives, like trees, don’t need constant pruning. The truth is, we need to live in the moment, work with what we have, and not set goals we’ll inevitably fail at and then feel even more depressed.

Sausage and chips anyone? – Daily Mail


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