Turning the Tables


I’ve been on hiatus from writing, and it has been a choice, and then again, it hasn’t. This last year and a half has kicked my ass. I have moved from what I did for work and who I was, to what I do and who I am now. There has been depression, anxiety, lethargy, weight gain, self loathing and feelings of unworthiness. I keep feeling that I should be feeling something, or doing something, but I don’t and I can’t. Not every day, but enough of them that the good days feel far apart, and much too short.

I have been doing some work around the house, purging unused and unloved items, cleaning up, dusting the cobwebs and rearranging furniture. Today’s project was moving a large, heavy oak poker table from the spare room into another that we use as an office. I babysit during the week, and I wanted more space in the spare room for the girls to play.

When I started the process, I had to turn the table on its side, so I could roll it out through the doorway. I leaned it back and struggled to hold on to it as the top headed for the floor. Then I rolled it to the door.  I got it halfway out, but it got stuck. I rolled it, pulled it, and pushed it back into the room, tried another angle, but all for naught. I was mad, and hot and sweating. I went to get a screwdriver to take off the legs. I found one, but the piece didn’t fit the screws. I went back and found another one and took out the five screws that held the leg in place, or so I thought. Once I had removed the screws, the leg was still attached. I could see how but had no idea how to release it. I tried every way I could think of to move it, but nothing worked.

Now, I’m even more hot, and sweating and mad and cursing. I decided to take the door off the hinges. Once again, I couldn’t find a thing to do it, so I went to the kitchen and got a knife. I pried off the top bolt, which moved easily, and then promptly fell back down, and got stuck. I finally got it out and moved on to the bottom one which was stuck fast. I finally got the knife under the edge of the bolt, and had to bang on the end of the knife to move it.  All the while, I’m still hot, sweating and cursing, adding frustration and tears. I finally succeeded getting the bolt loose, and the door fell off. Luckily, I caught it and moved it aside.

Now for the next attempt at moving the table. Once again, I got the table halfway through the door, and it got stuck. This time there were only centimeters of the table leg on the other side of the door frame, but it wasn’t going any further. As hard as I tried to move the leg, or push of pull the table, it was truly stuck.

I collapsed on the floor, cursing at the door, at the table and crying. “Why can’t I do this?” I walked into the bedroom while the tears streamed down my face, feeling utterly defeated. I bawled and cursed for I don’t know how long, feeling stupid, feeling like a failure, drenched in sweat and tears. In the midst of all of that, I felt something change.

I took a deep breath and went to the bathroom to wash my face. I texted my husband to ask him how to release the leg. He replied with how and what tool to use, and where to find it in the garage. I removed the leg and tried to move the table again. I was still not working, so I pushed it back, and decided to remove another leg. I had to get another screwdriver as the screws on the other three legs were different again, but I found it, and proceeded to take the leg off the table. Then I could easily move the table from one room to the other. Only afterwards, did I see the rest of the message that said I would probably have to remove two legs for it to work.

The funny thing (not funny haha, but funny ironic) is that in my despair I felt an energy shift that I realize I have been holding onto for months in my mindset of “just get through it”.  The metaphors of being unhinged, breaking down the door, having a few screws loose, not having a stable leg to stand on seem quite relevant, and the irony is not lost on me. I realize now that while I was cleaning up and decluttering my physical house, I needed to do that to my “personal’ house as well.

Here are some things that I have learned from this experience.

  • When the time is right, you will do it.
  • Blaming other things, or people for your troubles won’t get you anywhere
  • No matter how hard you try, some things just won’t fit through the door
  • Just because something doesn’t fit through the door doesn’t mean that it is your fault or that there is anything wrong with you
  • Even when you have a plan, there could be a place where you will get stuck
  • It’s ok to ask for help when you get stuck
  • There are tools available to make the work easier. You might even know what they are, but if you don’t know where they are, you can ask someone who does
  • When you do ask for help, wait to hear all their advice before you go off to solve the problem. You could miss a crucial bit of information
  • You must do your work yourself.

Ray and I have been talking for months about moving that table. So why did I decide on that day that I would just do it? He was out of town, so there was no way that he would be home to fix things or do it for me. I believe it was so that I could experience that moment of despair and frustration that allowed me to have this epiphany. It was up to me to do my work. Afterwards I felt such a relief that had nothing to do with getting a table from one room to the next. Right away the title for this blog came to me and the sentences were forming in my head. I took my babysitting charge to a play park and as she played I took out a notebook and pen. I started writing longhand (in cursive) and the words flowed onto the pages (5 of them). I don’t have any idea how long I wrote, because it was so effortless and easy. Not like things have been for so many months. I know that not all the days to come will be roses and sunshine, but I know that I have made it through. The tables have turned.




Author: Michelle

I have filled many roles over my life: daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and Grand Master Bikini Competitor. All of these life experiences have provided me with a wealth of stories to share. Words are my refuge and my strength.

4 thoughts on “Turning the Tables”

    1. Thank you so much Julie. I was so inspired by your presentation at Blog Jam 2017, and that helped me to get this blog started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *