I remember the day so clearly: It was the middle of the summer on a Sunday and I was walking with my two white labs. I was walking down the street in a neighborhood I loved. At the time, I was 8 months pregnant. Anyone who walked by me that day would have judged and thought I had a perfect life.
I was emotional while I was walking that day and I was crying. At the time, I was working full time as a National Sales Manager for a Medical Device company and I was traveling weekly. It was a Sunday and I was to get on an airplane AGAIN the next morning. The last thing I felt like doing 8 months pregnant was traveling across country at 6AM the next morning.
I was married (unhappily) to someone who had been my best friend. I had gained 50lbs and still had a month of pregnancy to go. I was living in a house I couldn’t afford; I didn’t know how I was going to pay the bills. I was stressing about maternity leave and how my financial problems would likely get worse.
I was feeling lonely, afraid and out of control and I hated my life. I had always been so excited about having a daughter and now here I was with my greatest wish happening and everything else falling apart all around me. Even worse, my best friend, my husband, was no longer my best friend. My closest girlfriends and my family all lived on the east coast and I was out in California. I felt truly alone.
My Rock Bottom
After my daughter was born matters spiraled out of control. I took a voluntary demotion (so I could stop traveling as much) and my financial problems got worse. The housing market crashed, the stock market crashed, my savings was gone and we filed for divorce. My dream house couldn’t be paid for anymore so I stopped paying the mortgage. My house – something I had invested a lot of my hard earned money in, was going to be gone.
My credit cards were cancelled, my car was having issues, I had to find a daycare so I could work. I had to now share custody of my daughter which meant less time with the one person who meant the world to me. I was overweight, depressed and more alone then I had ever felt and I was 35. Everything I had been years before – confident, fit, successful, happy, was GONE. I didn’t know where that girl was. The dream life I had wanted and had was coming to an end.
I did not give up, I did not wallow in my excuses, I did the opposite.
This is not who I am. I could have given up. All of that could have been solid reasons to be out of shape, unhealthy and even alone today. That was not what I wanted for myself. I wanted to be the person I once was and maybe even better. I did not resort to drugs, alcohol or medications.
I decided to make my own luck. What was the opportunity in all of this? I could reinvent my life. I listed out my goals. I made a vision board and I decided to practice what I knew would work: to Act as if I was already the person I wanted to become. I DECIDED to do the work. I knew things would work out if I just moved in the direction of success. I would be SUCCESSFUL. I put what I taught in sales for so long into play. I listed out my goals, I put what I knew about fitness and nutrition into play, and I got my body back. I did the work. I did not take short cuts, I DID THE WORK…
Once I had control of my body and my health, things became more clear. I turned my problems into opportunities and made my own luck.
When someone says “it sucks you have to share custody of your daughter” I say “I am fortunate that she has two families that love her and I have an opportunity to have a few nights to myself.”
When someone says it “sucks you lost your house” I say “It is AWESOME that I live in an affordable cute house that I can walk to the beach from now.”
When someone says it “sucks that you no longer have that high powered job” I say “it is awesome that I spend my days working on my own business and have the freedom to pick my daughter up from school at 3″ And when someone says “it sucks that you are divorced” I say “I am so lucky to have found my soulmate at 40″
When you do the work, you work through the process and that in itself is healing. Excuses will not make your life better. Luck does not just happen. You make your own luck.