This week has been a rather unexpected (but welcome) change of pace – and quite out of the blue I have seen my circumstances totally change.
Back in my very first post (here), way back in February 2016 I had a plan. I’d decided that I’d leave my job and that I’d spend a year changing my life. For the very first time in my life I decided to take a massive chance and I ‘outed’ myself in public as someone that had a drinking and an eating problem.
I’m not sure that (to those who knew me well) either of these things were exactly a revelation – however, to those who didn’t know me intimately some of what I was going through probably came as quite a surprise.
Ultimately however events conspired to change my decision and I stayed in my job while I dealt with the drinking aspect of my (multiple) problems – only (ironically enough) to be made redundant anyway slightly further down the line.
My feelings about my company hadn’t really changed in that period though, and I still felt a real sense of dissatisfaction with the type of business (shareholder owned and dollar motivated) I worked in and their attitude to revenue generation. Although I would never say I was badly treated (in fact quite the opposite) ultimately everything came down to money – and people were eventually seen as just numbers in an expense ledger.
After a while we numbers became surplus to requirements and were replaced by cheaper numbers in countries elsewhere.
Ever since then I’ve been a little stumped about what I could do for a career and what would genuinely be different to what came before.
If I’m honest it’s been rather paralysing.
I’ve found myself torn between the romantic notion of living an uncomplicated life in a job that’s largely manual (Postman) and the other side of me that deep down fearing that this would most likely leave me feeling mentally unchallenged and financially much worse off than I really wanted to be.
But what was the alternative?
Then – quite out of the blue last week I was offered a job interview.
This was a very last minute affair – and I didn’t know that I actually had it until almost 5pm on Thursday. My interview (I was told) was scheduled was for 10am the following day.
Thankfully a lot of things were already in place. I’d managed (with a lot of hunting and frugal choices) to find just enough items to form a nice smart interview outfit. I’d only managed to get a cheap pair of nice trousers that fitted me on WEDNESDAY.
The great thing was though that I felt really really good about myself when I put them on. Everything felt just right and I didn’t feel like I looked out of place or abnormal. I had (without consciously trying to) put together a complete outfit from charity shops made up entirely of high quality M&S clothing – and I felt good.
It didn’t stop me popping into a shop with a huge full length mirror (I don’t have one) before my interview though just to make sure.
It’s hard to overstate how important this photo is to me.
Anyone who knows me from my previous long term employment will never have seen me in the workplace like this. These kinds of clothes were impossible for me to wear – and I dressed in the same gear regardless of whether it was for work, home, special occasions, weddings or funerals.
This outfit (and a few other shirts) is pretty much what I wore ALL THE TIME – day in, day out.
After looking in the mirror for a while I moved on to my interview and shortly after I was starting a two hour question and answer session and desperately trying to recall the finer details of the brief online research I’d done the previous night about my prospective employer.
I wasn’t sure how it was going. I felt I’d messed up early on – and at the close of the session I was then asked the question that I’d been dreading.
‘What have you done with the last year?’
I’ve been worried about this not because I felt I hadn’t accomplished anything, but because of the shame I used to feel about how out of shape I’d let myself get before I took action.
In order to talk about my triumph I would have to admit my abject failure, and for a long time I’d seen that as something I was completely ashamed of.
However, in that moment, wearing those clothes, and feeling physically great I decided to say that with my year off work I had lost over fifteen and a half stone, changed my life in more ways than I had time to describe (although I did try) and that I had become essentially a new person.
I still left convinced I had screwed up the interview and that I hadn’t got the job.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when two hours later I received a call to tell me that not only did I have it but that I started immediately after the weekend on Monday!
As I type I’ve just finished the second day.
It’s very early on, so I can only be cautiously optimistic, but so far I appear to have found an ethically aware and community focused employer that genuinely believes in existing for the greater good. Furthermore it has something that for me is the holy grail.
I can walk to work and have exercise and fitness built into my job!
I’m now one of those lucky people who can wear two types of footwear in one day. Trainers for my 2+mile walk to work and smart shoes when I arrive.
This might seem like nothing to most people. To me it’s everything.
I will also get to use my brain a lot – and there appear to be many potential future possibilities within this company.
So – at the moment I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve managed in the first two days alone to walk 17 miles. This is just the distance to and from work with a stroll at lunch, and pottering about later in the evening! Added to my weekend walking I’m currently bang on 40 miles for this week with three days still to go.
I’ve been getting up a little early to take the long route and it’s been lovely getting fresh morning air as I make my way to my new job. It looks like I can relatively easily keep up my rough average of 60-70 miles a week, and they’re good miles that get my heart rate up!
However – I’m cautious. It all seems a bit too good to be true at the moment – and I’m just waiting for the hammer to drop from somewhere.
Hopefully it won’t. I have my fingers crossed that this will work out.
In the meantime I’m just going to carry on as normal. For me it’s business as usual in my personal life. It has to be about exercise and moving forward to get to my target weight.
In my work life – who knows?
I am finally on a new path internet and it’s really exciting!