Make Better Choices This Festive Season

Getting swept up in "revenge" spending and eating? Stop.

By Alywin Chew        5 December 2022

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely looking forward to letting loose the purse strings and partying extra hard this festive season.

After all, it’s been a rough couple of years, and with Covid-19 restrictions finally loosening, there’s naturally going to be pent-up energy and money to spend.

I’m sure you feel the same way, no?

Did you know that there is even a term for this? I recently learned that it’s called “revenge spending”, a phenomenon in which we feel compelled to go on a spending spree because we hadn’t been able to do much of it during the last two years.

Revenge might not be a good thing, but this phenomenon has been an absolutely positive thing for businesses that were severely hit by the pandemic. Case in point? The airlines and the travel industry.

I’m sure you’ve already noticed this on Instagram. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has been travelling.

Wait. Most of these friends of mine showing off their travel photos are women. Hmm, is there a female equivalent for Tom, Dick and Harry? Perhaps Sue, Grace and Mary? Or Dawn, Anne and Sally? 

I’m sure some woke person must have created an equivalent.

Anyway, I digress. 

So, I experienced this “revenge” phenomenon a few years ago. While my reservist mates were moaning about having to go to Australia for Exercise Wallaby, I was very much looking forward to the experience. 

Firstly, I had never been to the Aussie outback. Secondly, I knew I would lose weight and be beach-bod ready. Forget HIIT routines and salads – nothing helps you shed weight like a field camp because you’re almost always sleep deprived and you’re almost never in the mood to eat combat rations.

I did lose a few kilograms after Wallaby, but then something completely unexpected overcame me – revenge eating.

During R&R, I wolfed down pint after pint of beer and slab after slab of steak. I ate like I had two stomachs. 

I suffered from indigestion for an entire week. I also put on four kilos!

Isn’t it weird how humans, when faced with the opportunity to get better – in my case this meant losing weight and being healthier – end up choosing the bad option instead?

Some people take the same “revengeful” approach in life too. I know of many friends who believe that they should be hustling early on in life so that they can earn the big bucks before spending the mountain of wealth they had accumulated in the later years without having a worry in the world.

That does sound like a feasible plan, except for the fact that these people forget to consider one very important factor – they might not live long enough to spend all that money you earned.

You see, s**t always happens. It always does.

You can ensure that your rifle is spotless, but somehow the gun would still jam during live firing.

You can do your best to be the model soldier, but somehow you will still have to get punished because of the proverbial platoon joker.

You can be diligent about topping up your cash card every day, but somehow that card will not be in the IU when you go past an ERP gantry.

So, don’t go about life the “revengeful” way. Maintain a balance between work and play. Don’t be paranoid about getting Covid-19. Go out there and have fun this festive season.

Just remember to hit the gym after a night of feasting. You don’t want to fail IPPT because of that.

And of course, wear a mask and practise personal hygiene.

Please don’t get XBB from chasing XMM.

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

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