Life changes in but a fleeting second, sending us either headlong into ecstacy or unimaginable pain. It’s like that or we’d all be flatlining, no troughs and certainly no peaks. Never has this been more clearly defined than in the life of Gary Barlow.
Gary recently talked of moments of intense pleasure and excitement as he travelled the world gathering music and changing lives for the Queen’s Jubilee song. Then of the anticipation seconds before meeting Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace for the first time. Also of being asked to plan the Jubilee concert. All life changing seconds of intense pleasure and fulfilment.
Just weeks later, plunged into a place of all-consuming sadness, life changed in a second again as his eagerly awaited baby daughter was stillborn. God bless little Poppy Barlow and all other twinkling lights who touch the earth so briefly and yet change lives while forever being cuddled in the arms of angels.
The pendulum swings for each of us, paying no heed to status, creed or gender. And until that dream maker or breaker split second arrives, we have no idea the moment’s about to strike. It may arrive via a word, a meeting, a win or loss, letter, by computer or phone but one thing’s for sure, life changes as the second strikes delight or disaster. We each receive blessings and serious challenges but it’s not until we have the gift of hindsight the wisdom and opportunities gifted within the ‘disaster’ are revealed, even if it’s just gaining the strength to forge a more positive life.
Let’s finish on a happy life changing second. Jane, a cleaner, struggled to bring up her two children as a single mother. Life was challenging for two decades, with never enough money to keep her car running properly, always struggling to pay the bills and feed her children on her cleaner’s wage. One day she didn’t turn up for work. Her clients were concerned as she was always loyal and dependable. Nobody could get hold of her and it was a worrying 24-hours.
The next day I managed to speak to a very shocked Jane. This story confirms the pendulum swings both ways. In the newsagent with her daughter, Jane was buying a scratch card, always hopeful things might change. Daughter insisted she changed the boring looking card she’d selected for a brightly coloured Bingo card. Little did she know her life was about to change dramatically. She won the £300,000 top prize. In a state of absolute disbelief, Jane’s daughter rang to report the win. A car was sent to whisk them off to London for a cheque signing, champagne drinking event. Asked why she didn’t let anyone know where she was, Jane said she literally couldn’t believe what was happening to her and was in a complete daze.
Her son’s university loan has been paid off, the car has been swopped for a stress-free model and the mortgage has been paid off. “I feel a weight has been lifted from me and my life has been touched by the kiss of an angel”, Jane told me. And it couldn’t have happened to a lovelier lady.
Have you had a life changing second you’d like to share, or know someone who has? Fascinated by the impact a second can have, I’m writing a book on this subject in the belief that reading how others have celebrated unexpected delights and coped with and grown from the times disaster struck will help many when the pendulum swings for them. I’d be very pleased to include your story illuminating your life changing second, if you’d like to share it. Really looking forward to hearing from you.
I’d close by saying that a life threatening moment involving life saving surgery, carried me forward to experience the realisation of a dream and changes beyond my imagination. A ‘disasterous’ second carried within it such delights; they always do if we look for them.