Suddenly I was sent to a ‘breakout room’ with a date I never knew I had!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

After last week’s zoom meet with Jamie Catto, I just had to attend one of his workshops. I hadn't paid too much attention to it so when we were thrown into a ‘First date exercise’ I suddenly became alert.

The person I had been partnered with was initially off camera and I thought, “Ok so I am going to get a voice but not see the person.” But then she appeared and immediately I am thinking, “She is attractive.” Not so difficult to say the scripted line in the exercise, “I find you very attractive however before we go any further I want to tell you what I am like.”

We then have to share something about ourselves which is true but you wouldn't typically share in a first date. The purpose is to get us to be more honest about who we are.

I didn't find it difficult to share mine as I still remember what was listed on the divorce papers. If this person loved me, married me and lived with me for twenty odd years before divorcing me what they say is noteworthy.

So I say, “I am not great with mechanical failures. I just don’t like things like the washing machine not functioning. I have a mini-meltdown. It is not easy to witness. I know, it doesn't make sense to me either but for whatever reason if something of significance stops working I go down. I do eventually get up and sort it but emotionally, I am all over the place until I resolve the matter.”

My partner was very warm and helpful asking me the second question, “What would I need when I am in that state?”

“Someone to sort it. No, I want to sort it but that’s the problem it is a hassle that I don't want to beat me so although I say I want someone to sort it I don’t so I send out a mixed message. You can see how difficult I could be if you were in the partnership. ”

I do get carried away with such moments my problems is being single I see so many potential partners but know I can’t be with all of them so I think I prefer to be single and perhaps flirt. When I say, ‘flirt’ I mean I like to let people know I like them and if attracted they will probably know that too. I also know that I can do better on my own when experiencing intense emotions even over a washing machine failing. There is something about needing the space to work out these emotions.

Now guess what happened four hours later? I smelt rubber burning coming from the washing machine. I have been alert to that washing machine recently. So I know what will happen next I am triggered into some despair which probably far exceeds the failure of the washing machine. I retrieve the washing which smells of the burning rubber. I put on an empty wash to see what happens. I am now working through the cycle of accepting that I may need to do something about this washing machine. I notice residual water, not a lot but it shouldn't be there. I do the maintenance checks that I haven’t done for about a year. I put on another empty wash and we still have the water. I am accepting this washing machine has a problem.

I phone the insurance who inform me the cover ceased in 2018. That would be when all the direct debits were changed as a result of the divorce this one obviously got lost in the wash!

Then I recall a passage from Jamie’s book about whether he goes down or whether he becomes ‘the overcomer’. I decide this will not beat me I will wash all the clothes by hand and then stick them in the tumble dryer, thankfully it remains functioning.

Even more amazingly just before I began to write I searched for a new washing machine and found one and ordered it. Normally I would have allowed myself to sleep on it. Perhaps I am beginning to act on what I said to a friend recently, “I know where I have to get to but I resist going knowing that I will have to go in the end so somehow I need to try and use the energy that I usually use to resist to progress.”

Meanwhile, I await the tumble dryer to finish in the next 4 minutes after having been on for what seems like 4 hours.

O yes, my mind is also fantasising somehow meeting my ‘Exercise date’ and saying, “You won't believe what happened after our date!”




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Gordie Jackson

Gordie Jackson


Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.