When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to take me to the penny arcade on the pier. I’d get a money bag full of coppers for the coin-push games while she tried her luck on the one-armed bandits.
I’d play for a while, but before my bag was even half-empty, I’d pop it in my pocket or offer it back in exchange for an ice cream – which pretty much sums up my instinctive approach to risk.
As a life-long security junkie, my ‘dark night of the soul’ arrived early on in this crisis. With the last of my client contracts cancelled, my little holiday rental on enforced lockdown and, by some quirk of rotten luck, neither business qualifying for any government support, I realised that there is a very real risk that I will lose everything I’ve ever worked for.
For a couple of very dark days, I raged against the injustice of it, I cried and I catastrophised, wrote angry letters, poured over spreadsheets and then fought the desire to stay in bed indefinitely.
Like all storms, it eventually passed, but this one left behind a jewel of an insight. I’ve spent all of my life looking for security in all the wrong places. In people, who, much as we love them, can and sometimes have to leave us. In family, that at its worst can be a cruel, fickle and artificial construct, in work that is only ever a commercial arrangement, and in money, which can be lost as easily as it’s made.
When I strip everything away, the one thing still here, the thing that will stand strong through all of life’s storms – is me. I am my own security – as you are yours.
It’s not about doing or having….it’s all about being