The most important lesson I have learned in the last ten years, other than beer and Baileys mixed in the same glass should never be imbibed, is the absolute power of being positive.
By rights, me, Pandora Behr, probably should be a negative nancy. I have a session booked with the HR department of Tin Can, String and Whistle tomorrow where I know that they are going to tell me that my position is redundant and that my last day at work is going to be the 22nd of December. I'm overweight. I'm not overly good looking. I'm 42 years old. I don't have a significant other and never have. I only have an ordinary Arts Degree. My knee is playing me up at the moment. I have a personal trainer named Pinochet who makes me ache on a weekly basis. I take in people's cats when when they go on holiday - and I like it as it gives me something to talk to while I'm at home.
Rather sad existence, eh?
My attitude to all this is "F*ck 'em. Life is going to be amazing. Just you watch."
There's a rather wretched book out there called, "The Secret." Many would have heard of it - it's a new age classic allegedly teaching people how to get rich.
The central message of the book is that like attracts like - one of the general laws of physics. Okay, when I heard this statement a few years ago, at the mention of physics, I turned off immediately. See, I'm no good at physics. Just as I'm no good at running, computers, losing weight and getting well paid fullfiling work. Hmm.
Okay, like attracts like. Let's see how this works.
Okay, so one of the things that came out is surround yourself with positive people, some of it will rub off. And you think, yeah, alright, maybe.
Well, I've taken this on as my mantra.
There's been some fairly big occurences happen to me over the last few days. On the grand scale of things they may appear small but they've rocked my world enough to make me feel secure, engaged and hopeful.
First up, a friend asked for a bit of help. She's not in a good way at all - probably as low as a person can go without doing something stupid. She explained her situation, that she needed somebody round on the weekend to keep and eye on her as she was in a bad way. I said I'd be there. It's not that she's part of my inner sanctum, far from it, but I know how dreadful it is when you feel you have nobody to turn to when things truly turn to shit. Being there for her was a given - I'd never want anybody to feel like that - even if it's just being on the end of the phone - she knew somebody was there.
Knowing that the situation could have repercussions on me, I made some plans for the Sunday. A visit out to Blarney to cuddle the babies and Maow Maow. Arrange for Grounded Dutchman to come and receive his birthday reflexology treatment. Things I like doing that make me happy. Positive things to take away any residual angst from the other friend.
It worked - all is on the level. Chance and Lance (Blarney's babies) and the Maow Maow (Blarney's cat) got cuddled within an inch of their lives and Aunty Pandora felt restored. Grounded Dutchman left with his size twelve clodhoppers all shiny and new and with a big relaxed smile on his face and Reflexologist Pandora feels good because she's made somebody feel good.
Maybe there is something in this.
Next small occurence - I ran into an old university friend in the street. I remember Frank for many reasons. He was the obnoxious nice guy at college - Arts Student mocker and computer nerd. Nothing to look at really, often referred to as Fat Frank. Frank had an IQ off the chart and this gritty determination that I always admired from afar. I think Frank lived in one pair of trakkie daks and his college shirt for the full two years of college. At the end of my time at college, Frank started to go out with a friend of mine and I got to see a different side of him - the nice guy I suspected was under the prickly facade there was proven to be so. Since then we've occasionally bumped into each other at the airport over the years. He always stops for a quick chat - and it's always great to run into him.
Running into Frank on Bourke Street the other day I was amazed. He's 40 kilograms lighter and looks absolutely amazing. He looks confident and happy - there's this wonderful inner glow about him - it was a real revelation. He told me what he did to achieve this and what made him do it. "I just got sick of being fat."
Know the feeling. But I almost what a before and after shot of Frank to put up on my fridge - but a photo wont capture his inner glow. If Frank can do it - so can I. Okay, so I may not be able to run at the moment - but that's no excuse not to push weights, swim, walk and monitor the diet carefully. All it takes is consistency and the will. I know this.
The drive is there to once again get on the horse and start losing again after what has been a difficult year. It feels great.
They may seem like inconsequential occurences - looking after somebody - something I seem to do a bit of, and running into a friend on the street - but there seems to have been a paradigm shift within me.
Even job hunting. The word is slowly getting out that I'm leaving Tin Can, String and Whistle. And I have a big smile on my face. Well, of course. New opportunities. New people to meet. New things to learn. The job market is currently good, I have good skills. For the first time in my life I have money in the bank. I'll put in an hour a day job hunting - though I already have two pimp* interviews booked for Thursday. I hope to be working again by February, but that will give me some time to swim and write and de junk my flat. I can also start thinking about replacing Andrew for a new to me Mazda 2 (been told off already for drooling on my computer screen.) And more funds can get put into my housing fund. And maybe a two week break somewhere with a pool mid year. And you never know who you will meet and how they will effect your life - always for the good.
I like this positive attitude thing. Okay, call me Pollyanna, dong me on the head for being bubbly - but I can't go back to believing I'm fat, ugly, crippled and stupid.
Positive, with an attitude of gratitude for all I have - friends, family, abililty and hope.
I really can't ask for anything more. The attitiude's doing me well, thank you very much.
*I use the term pimp as a loose term for recruitment consultants. Like real estate agents and insurance brokers I know they have a point, I just wish that there was some substance to them. They're a necessary, though somewhat pointless evil - and I'm thankful I don't have to deal with them very often. Also, when you find a good one who treats you like a human being, hold onto that person's card - follow them from agency to agency - they're gold.