I had several ‘Gotcha’ moments in 2017.
I know the first may not seem big in the universe of ‘ Gotchas’ but the morning I realised I was having a day’s worth of calories in just one breakfast smoothie, was a huge deal for me. The morning after, I ‘skinnied’ my milkshake – who was I kidding about it being a smoothie right? – tossed out the chocolate sauce, banana and peanut butter and replaced it with just a handful of strawberries and protein powder in a glass of almond milk.
Another big ‘ Gotcha’ moment happened when an old boyfriend sent me a GIF cake with sparkly candles to wish me a happy birthday. The Whats App message freed me from any lingering emotions I may have had for him and I resolved in that second, that anything or anyone that was costing me peace of mind was too expensive. So I blew out the candles on the imaginary cake and moved on.
Ok! So presumably this was not a true ‘Gotcha’ moment, yet it was a good insight about taking an action that would improve my life almost immediately.
But nothing, not saving myself from a 1,200 calorie breakfast smoothie or freeing myself from someone who barely knew how to love me beyond some scattered words, compared to the moment I experienced standing in the line at the grocery store this past Christmas Eve.
But before I tell you that story. I have a confession to make.
I like to fix things. Solve problems. Hey! In my dreams, I’m one of Olivia Pope’s gladiators because just like her, I think everything under the sun is fixable and when it is, I’m always all too happy to step in.
But this all changed this year on Christmas Eve, and like all my previous ‘Gotcha’ moments, this one happened quite unexpectedly.
As I mentioned before, I was at the grocery store. I was the 10th person in lane 5 waiting to get my bottles of coconut almond milk and kale cashed.
Yes, it was the holidays, and it was taking longer than expected but as the line snaked and bent around me, it became clear that the two registers that were lying idle would have to be opened. People were bunching up in the aisles and looking around as if some kind of magic or their building anger would help them get out the door faster. I knew that that two of the packers in the aisle could cash. I had seen them work the register before.
I was next to my sister, Judy, watching all of this. Finally, I couldn’t stand it another second. I turned to her and said, “It’s really very simple you know? Someone should get the manager and tell her to pull the cashiers out of the aisles and put them in front of the registers, I’m going to find her and tell her so.”
Judy looked at me. “Judette,” she said, “relax, you can’t fix everything!”
What a statement!
What joyful words!
Had this been a romantic moment. It would have come with a flash of golden light, the strain of an orchestra, a deep gaze, a passionate kiss and a credit scroll to symbolise a perfect end. But since this was lane 5 of my neighbourhood grocer all I remember is that my brain cleared in an amazing way.
I felt free.
Now, it’s the end of 2017. And I’m not going to tell you that I won’t try to solve things, find solutions for things that I know are not remotely necessary. But in 2018, I am looking forward to the scores of times and instances where I don’t feel the need to put on a cape while saying to myself, “Judette, you can’t fix everything.”
I think I’m going to be thrilled at how often things work out without any intervention from me whatsoever, just like they did in the supermarket.
I am looking forward to this change. What a way to begin 2018!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!