When my trusty old exercise bike finally went to the big gym in the sky, I was a bit annoyed to say the least. Replacing it was an additional cost I hadn’t budgeted for, but in all honesty it’d been ‘previously loved‘ many years ago, and in the past twelve months I’d been using it every single day, so it was inevitable that it’d break at some point.
I decided to use the opportunity to upgrade to something which not only gave my leg muscles a decent workout but could also address the horror of my ‘bingo wings‘, so a cross trainer seemed an ideal solution. It arrived less than 24 hours after purchase, and although it was daunting putting all the pieces together; especially when the instruction booklet was written in pure gibberish; after three long hours I finally had my brand new toy all up and running – literally. If this doesn’t fix my flabby arms, nothing will!
When your new employer offers a wide range of ‘Professional Development’ courses free to all staff, it’d be rude to turn down the opportunity to learn new skills, not to mention all the brownie points you gain (and it looks great on the CV too). That’s how I became a fully trained Fire Evacuation Steward!
I can now get everyone safely out of a building and to the nearest fire assembly point, and I know how to avoid potential bottle-necks, as well as identify and use a variety of fire exit locking systems. Hopefully, it’s one of those things I’ll never actually have to put into practice, however, should the need arise in the future I’m now confident I could rise to the challenge. Now, where are all those hunky firemen…?!
One of my favourite Richard Branson quotes is “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say “YES” then learn how to do it later.” …which is how I ended up in an unfamiliar room, in a strange building with people I’d never met before, acting as if I was completely in control of the whole situation!
Obviously, things could well have gone pear-shaped very quickly. However, when your new bosses ask you for a favour, and you spend an entire morning drawing on every shred of common sense you possess in order to justify their unwavering faith in your abilities, doors that had previously appeared locked and bolted suddenly begin to open and new opportunities start to emerge. I must say “Yes” more often!!
New experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Some are funny, others are exciting and my latest adventure was… erm….surreal. I haven’t been interviewed for a new job in donkeys years, but the lure of some lucrative ‘casual’ work within a 30 minute walk from home was an opportunity not to be sniffed at. However, sods law dictated that I failed to get a single wink of sleep the night before and was therefore sporting my ‘well-past-its-sell-by-date‘ look at stupid o’clock in the morning. Not the ‘first impression’ I was hoping for but you simply have to play the cards you’re dealt.
On arrival I was shown to the interrogation room, where my brain cells decided to die and the best I could muster was a glazed expression. Trying desperately hard to focus, I completely blagged my way through a series of questions; none of which I can now recall; and I now have to wait to hear whether or not I’ll be offered a position.
Fingers crossed that they’re looking for a middle-aged, peroxide blonde zombie!
When the weather is cold / wet / miserable and the long-term forecast is for much more of the same, it’s essential to avoid feeling down in the dumps, otherwise it’s going to be a very long winter indeed. Instead of mooching around the house looking for biscuits to scoff on the sofa while watching trashy daytime telly, try to do something positive for yourself.
If you’ve been carrying a bit of excess baggage, use this opportunity while you’re stuck indoors to address the issue, even if it’s simply a case of dusting off your old exercise bike. If you’re looking at increasing your job prospects do some research and use the internet to learn some new skills. If you’re feeling a bit lonely take this opportunity to write a few long overdue emails to old friends (or, even nicer, write letters by hand!)
Just think; by next spring you could very well be slimmer, fitter, have new earning potential and have re-connected with some special people. Don’t sit around waiting for good things to happen; MAKE them happen!