Thursday, 22 July 2010

Redundancy – a message from the gods?

Some years ago, when we were living in Germany not far from Baden-Baden, we used to go regularly to the baths there.

If you haven’t been, try to go: it’s a wonderful place. You can swim or just plunge in spa water at different temperatures, can move from indoor pools to outdoor ones, you can take saunas or Turkish baths. The most magical experience is in the winter – to be able to swim out under the night sky, in hot water, and feel snow falling on your face is quite extraordinary.

Outside the men’s showers, there are a set of scales. A friend of mine has a coaster with a cartoon of a woman standing on some scales and screaming ‘What? That can’t be right!’ I had that experience. I got on the scales at Baden-Baden and I won’t even demean this post by writing down the figure they showed.

Clearly it was time for serious action.

A couple of years later, I was a lot hungrier and the exercise had made me a lot tireder, but I was also a lot lighter. I felt very pleased with myself.

However, in recent weeks there’s been some backsliding. We’ve met friends and gone out for rather good meals. We’ve visited family and had some rather good meals. Having got into the habit, even when we were alone we sometimes had some rather good meals. A week ago last Monday, the 12th, I noticed that half the weight I’d lost was back on. A disaster.

Then I went into work. My boss has an office next to mine. I noticed his smile to me seemed particularly bright that day, as though he was making an effort to communicate warmth and good feeling. But I thought little about it. Then he called me into his office and asked me to close the door.

That was the point when I suddenly realised that the day wasn’t about to get a lot better.

Half an hour later, I left the place on notice of redundancy. I went home. I’d got up a little late that morning so I hadn’t had breakfast. I didn’t feel any desire for breakfast. Lunch time came round and I didn’t feel like lunch either. In the afternoon, I decided it was time to do something a little more dynamic, so I took the dog out for a run. She must have been delighted – it’s not something that happens very often during the week, in fact recently it hasn’t happened very much at all.

In the evening I had a light meal which was about as much as I could stand.

By next morning – why I was losing weight again at a wonderful rate.

The process has slowed down a bit as I get into the routine of looking for new work, signing on with agencies, applying for a couple of jobs, chasing up my contacts. But now my weight is back down to within spitting distance of where it was before.

My conclusion? I had become complacent. Hubristic even. The gods decided to punish the sin. And, boy, it’s worked. The arrogance has been much reduced. The weight too.

And as for the dog, why she’s having a brilliant time – someone around all day and a lot more walks.

Redundancy has its downsides, much too obvious to be listed here. But there are upsides too.


Amynah said...

David, this was a very elegantly written post. Good luck with both the weight loss and the job hunt. Bon courage!

David Beeson said...

Thanks Amynah - I'm doing what I can on both fronts - and of course to write elegantly - I can't imagine a compliment that gives me more pleasure...

Awoogamuffin said...

Maybe the gods just thought you weren't giving Janka enough attention