My life/me, July last year: 44, overweight, mumsy, unfit, maybe a little bit too partial to a glass or two, unemployed and with a cv like mine (career gaps as wide as the Grand Canyon) almost unemployable. I was a stereotype: an unfulfilled housewife, mother of two, living in a semi-detached house in a provincial town. Thinking bitterly of what might have been - what should have been - I wondered how on earth had I let it get to this.
In a vaguely 'Eureka!' moment I realised that I was not really cross with my husband, I wasn't really angry with life in general or 'fate' which had brought me to this. I was furious with myself for not noticing where my life was headed sooner.
After wallowing and indulging in a healthy bout of self-pity, interspersed with periodic episodes of self chastisement, I finally got to the point of no return. Time was still ticking away and I knew that I had to start taking control. The years of maternal and wifely self-sacrifice were hard to cast off, but I had to start thinking of where I was going, before it was too late. Fired up with the enthusiasm which accompanies a new-found resolve, I stomped around proclaiming childishly, "It's my turn now! I'm going to do stuff for me!"
As I began to look at options, I suddenly felt a little bit like Wendy Craig in one of those 80s mid-life sitcoms when she enrols in a pottery class or something to feel more fulfilled and 'special' . But I knew I wanted to do something with slightly longer term prospects; something which would lead me to somewhere I wanted to be. But where was that? I hadn't a clue.
Sitting in bed, with a pen and paper and a stack of self-help books (a staple diet for lost souls like me) I started to write down my immediate goals.