Tipping Point

by Anne Bennett on December 15, 2011

Today is my 61st birthday and I have reached a tipping point. As Howard Beale proclaimed in the film “Network,” I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

In the last decade these fits have consumed me on a yearly basis when my birthday, Christmas and the New Year converge to form a perfect storm of self-reflection. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

Here’s my plan: I am retiring from Weight Watchers. Working with people over the last ten years has made me a better, happier person. Working for a big corporation hasĀ been less gratifying. I am sad, but relieved, to have finally reached my tipping point and quit.

The living room oak floor, piled into the corner

Our house has presented another tipping point. Our longtime friend, Tom the carpenter, inadvertently caused a flood last weekend that has destroyed much of the downstairs. Ceilings have been torn out, 65-year-old oak floors pulled up, our sofa drenched and carted off to be reupholstered.

Miraculously, my 6’8″ grand piano, which I bought as a young adult 35 years ago, was spared any damage. It is now being stored for the next few months at the piano mover’s.

This means we will be humming Christmas carols a cappella and sitting on sub-flooring around the fireplace, each of which is a minor inconvenience compared to the human toll this disaster has caused.

Tom has been living with us for the last four months; he will have to leave this week so that we can move into his quarters during the restoration. His laptop computer was destroyed in the deluge and he has no definite plans about where to go in the long run, but the last of my tipping points is that, although I have tried, I cannot save him from his own life.

Perhaps one morning he too will awaken and be as mad as hell.


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel December 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

Oh my, when it rains it pours… literally! I’m so sorry for your home, and job. Maybe amazing things are just around the corner?

Marilee Means December 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

I’m so sorry about the house disaster! And to have occurred so near your birthday, too! I will miss you at meetings more than I can say BUT, we all need to listen to our inner selves and do the right thing for US. Bless you and enjoy your new freedom!


Susan L December 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

I am so sorry to hear your lemony news. some lemonade will surely come of it. I have enjoyed my brief acquaintance with your delightful blog. I just came across a book that I think you will enjoy. It is entitled “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” by Michael Pollan, (the main food rules are: 1. eat food, 2. mostly plants, 3. not too much) and the best part is that this edition is illustrated by Maira Kalman, the most delightful artist I have even seen. if nothing else, check her out on Google. And best wishes to you as you continue your journey. Susan

Jan A. December 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Selfishly I pray that you never stop writing a blog (well, at least until your next birthday). I have you bookmarked and I check out what you’re saying and thinking daily. You make me think about things differently and always put a smile on my face, or a tear in my eye. Even though we didn’t get to know each other (maybe because we worked across the state line from each other), I feel like a better Weight Watcher leader because of our brief encounter. The members of Independence still refer to the time that “Ann” subbed and continue to bring up all the great ideas you brought to them. I shall miss you as a “fellow Weight Watchers Leader”. Jan Anderson

Sharon December 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Honor yourself and follow your own bliss. Sorry to hear the news about the house, geesh. But, I am glad to hear the piano was unharmed. I feel about my piano the way some people feel about their pets! Even though I don’t play it much any more, I can’t imagine not having it around! And, I have no doubt that your realization that it is time for change means that something new and wonderful is just around the corner! (well, besides a new downstairs of the house…!!). Wishing you all the best!

June Cassingham December 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your house disaster. You have lived in a state of limbo for so long waiting for it to be completed. I don’t know how you will be able to be so patient while it gets repaired. I think a trip to a tropical isle for a few weeks is in order. Maybe you could get that drink with the little umbrella in it. On a more selfish note, I am heart sick that you will no longer be my WW leader. I am sure that I will gain all my weight back without your support. I love your poodle stories. I love the research you do. I read the books you recommend. I love your sense of humor. I love your blog. I love your poetry and your articles. Let’s meet for lunch or something in the very near future.

June Cassingham December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Belated Happy Birthday. On January 4th, I will be 8 years your senior.

Sue December 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Anne- I am so very sorry for your home damage, and sorry for all that brought you to this tipping point. Working to save someone from their own life can be unbelievably challenging, and Tom was blessed by your offering the chance.

I’ve only been at your WW meetings for a short bit, but I’ve been blessed by your inspiration, by your sense of humor, and by your love of what you do. I will miss your leadership, but am glad you are doing what is right for you. Thanks for guidance.

Camille McGinnis December 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Anne- I was heartbroken to hear about your house disaster. I am also sorry to hear that you are retiring. I understand why and when it comes down to it you must do what makes you happy.You are the inspiration that has managed to get me up on Saturday mornings to attend your meetings. I look forward to hearing what you have to say every week. I only wish thatI have it together as you do when I am 61.

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