Every now and then we have moments that define us
We all have moments.
Moments every day.
But every now and then, there are those moments that will define us.
The ones that change us.
The simple moments that come from nowhere that end up changing how we think, what we want and what we do.
One moment we are getting on about our day.
Then, WHAM! (not the band. They’re long gone), we are hit with a moment.
And that one, tiny, seemingly insignificant moment can change everything.
My life has turned inside out and upside down and back to front in the last few years. I ended up lost, losing everything and feeling utterly broken.
And it happened over and over and over and over.
No matter where I turned I was in this relentless spiral that I just couldn’t climb my way out of.
I was in temporary housing accommodation. I had got out of an abusive and controlling marriage years earlier, had to leave the family home and my younger children, decided #notallmen after a few years and gave another one a chance and ended up homeless, jobless, penniless and hopeless.
Everything I touched went to shit.
I had a breakdown.
I had to build myself back up.
I was desperate and was offered a job.
It wasn’t a job I loved.
It wasn’t a job I was utilising my skillset for or that I had envisaged being in.
It was a job that paid the bills.
I was grateful to have it and I tried to make the most of it.
Positive thinking, right?
Maybe I could have a future in this job, I thought to myself.
Positive Thinking Time
It’s time for positive thinking
So I would positively wake and positively get myself ready and positively go to work.
One morning I was positively sat at my desk, positively sipping cold coffee from my Sainsbury’s ‘Good Vibes Only’ mug. My computer was positively working slower than a sloth on morphine, Adele was positively caterwauling on the radio about her latest gripe and the phones positively hummed into action with people eager to complain about their windscreens icing up during the coldest snap of the last bazillion years.
The colleague opposite me stood up from her desk. And when I tell you she stood up, I mean she stood up with feeling.
Said colleague has worked in this department for over five years.
She does the same thing, day in, day out.
Says the same things, day in, day out.
But today, she stood like she meant it.
She stood like the biggest stander that ever would stand.
And as she stood with prowess and power she declared to all who would listen.
“I ate a whole bag of spinach this weekend.”
Well, what do you do?
My eyes darted up and just as quickly darted away again.
I could not catch her eye.
My brain was telling me to focus on the screen in front of me. My eyes were doing an Aerosmith.
They didn’t want to miss a thing.
Standing Spinach Devourer’s eyes widened.
‘I did!’ she nodded firmly. She pursed her lips and locked eyes on her neighbouring colleague, her hands wedged onto her hips in true superhero style.
Neighbouring colleague was in absolute awe.
‘You didn’t!’ she gasped, her own eyes widening as she asked.
‘I did!’ Standing Spinach Devourer was standing her ground firmly.
‘You didn’t!’ Neighbouring Colleague repeated. She desperately needed to know more.
And Standing Spinach Devourer did not fail to deliver, let me tell you!
‘I did,’ she stated. ‘I bought a bag. You know those big bigs of spinach?’
‘Oh yes! Hmm?’
‘One of those big bags of spinach,’ she demonstrated a big bag of spinach with her hands.
‘And I ate the whole lot!’
‘Yes!’ she insisted, her eyes wider and wider, her head nodding more and more emphatically.
Oh, it’s an eyes wide competition between Standing Spinach Devourer and Neighbouring Colleague.
‘I DID,’ she said. And then proclaimed with such pride the crescendo, the grand finale, the orgasmic conclusion we had all been waiting for…
‘ALL BY MYSELF!’
And then I lost it.
I melted down into my seat like Flat Stanley creeping under a door and willed myself to disappear as the tears started to burn my eyes.
Damn hell yeah, baby.
Or maybe not.
Either way, that simple, harmless exchange about spinach sent me completely over the edge.
Is this it?
Is this what my life is going to be?
Is this really what my life has come to?
IS THIS REALLY IT?
Is This What My Life Is?
That was the moment it hit me.
I was forty-eight years old, living between places, working for just over minimum wage in a job I was way overqualified for, still grieving my dad and my brother (fuck you, cancer), still fighting through the courts for my share of the matrimonial home (because it turns out our legal system is utter shit), and my whole life was in the hands of every other fucker in the world except my own.
My back hurt, my head hurt and all I had to look forward to is the bloody menopause.
WAS THIS IT?
I decided that no bloody way would it be. There has GOT to be more out there.
Whether I manifest it, learn about it, get qualified in it, try it out, test it, eat it, drink it, do it, travel to it, or get someone to convince me of it, there has to be at least a million ways to create the best life ever.
I am not an expert but I am alive, I am living and I am determined.
I also have nothing left to lose so pretty much anything goes. I’m open to suggestion and as long as I can laugh and keep an open mind, I just want to have a good rest of my life.
Five years from now, eating a bag of spinach will not be my highlight.
It’ll be two bags, at least!
So, what was your defining moment?
What do you want to change?
And do you fancy coming along on this journey with me?