Busy busy busy
It’s been a tough week …
I’m feeling pretty roughed up, though I’m not exactly sure why. It’s been a busy week – lots of to-ing and fro-ing, so I haven’t spent much time at home, and I think that’s a big part of it. I need that time at home, spending the time on the day-to-day maintenance/chores, to maintain my own feeling of being in control and on top of things, rather than being in a state of overwhelm and stress. Although I *can* tell myself, rationally, that because I am *choosing* to spend my time doing things outside the home, that the *consequence* of those choices is less time available to keep the house clean & tidy, but within myself, I don’t like the chaos and disorder. I *need* to have a calm, tranquil place where I can be, and I find it difficult to concentrate on other things – like my writing and my textile business – with the weight of un-done laundry hanging over my head.
The great fish-tank disaster really didn’t help, either.
On Tuesday, we piled in from school and the children were so high and happy and just needed to rush about the place for a bit …. unfortunately, before I could channel them into the garden, t’o-m came home from work. In the frenzy of rushing to greet him, Rumpus initiated a wooden hobby horse + door + fish tank collision. He managed to punch a hole right through the (20 gallon) tank, and the whole of our (open plan!) downstairs was engulfed in a tidal wave of water and fish and screaming children. I have *never* seen so much water …. and I am amazed that I managed to stay as calm as I did, getting Honey to run upstairs and ‘grab every towel you can find & bring them here NOW’ whilst simultaneously evacuating my fabric store to higher ground and ordering t’o-m to get the fish before they suffocated. Bella thought the whole thing was hilarious and had enormous fun jumping in the puddles … didn’t help my stress levels, though, since those puddles were largely filled with jagged chunks of broken glass. We managed to get mopped up, saved the fish, and my stock, and thought we were going to get lucky, with only the loss of an already-very-tired rug. Not so. The next morning we came down to find that water had got underneath the (wooden) floor and had warped and buckled and now closely resembled the Alps.
After a fair amount of faffing about with the insurance company – for data protection they refused to speak to me, because only t’o-m’s name is on the policy document – it turns out that we are *not* covered for this sort of accidental damage (if the fish tank were integral to the structure of the building AND we’d installed a door-stop as a reasonable measure against this sort of accident, we’d have been OK), so we’re going to have to foot the bill ourselves. It’s a bit eye-watering, since the quotes we’ve been getting so far have all been in excess of £5k. T’o-m is now talking about buying the flooring and installing it himself … which is possibly even more stressful, if less costly. It certainly looks like it’s put paid to our plans to bolt to Devon for the half-term break … I may still go with the children on the train, but t’o-m is now planning to stay behind and lay flooring instead. BAH! I possibly wouldn’t mind so much, but he’d literally just (last weekend) replaced all the skirting boards & we thought the downstairs living area was (finally) finished.
I guess sometimes life just has to jump up and bite you in the ass … though I’m finding it difficult to be philosophical about the whole business.
A rush order in the textile business, a trip to IKEA and a stack of other child-related aggravations plus a major bout of man-flu for t’o-m has added to the stress-mix, and I’m struggling to keep my head above water, and I have this constant knot of anxiety in my stomach like there’s a demon sat on me, crushing the breath out of me. I am having to constantly remind myself to relax, breathe, to release my shoulders from around my ears, and triage the tasks – critical stuff can and will get done, non-critical stuff – well, it can wait, can’t it? But it’s hard work, to keep that in mind, when the chaos is stacking up around me – I’m really not good at recognising what I *have* done. It’s far easier to beat myself up over the things that are making me fall short of perfection.
But hell, I’m not perfect, and never will be. I can live with that, can’t I?
What I do need to do is to recognise that yes, I have had a tough week, but not all weeks are like that one. Possibly, I have another one ahead – purely and simply because I’ve got a couple of commissions to get out of the door, AND I need to sort and finish Magpies stock for the gallery – now two galleries, since I’ve been asked for more stock in the Otterton one as well – ideally all before half term. Added to that, it’s a busy week with the children – a lot of non-routine activities – that throw me out of my ordered routine.
So, although I feel as though I want to take a step back and re-assess everything, I don’t think that’s particularly the answer. What I need to do is to remind myself, when it comes to making choices, how I feel when the house starts to slide into chaos, and whether it’s worth the sacrifice. What I need to do is to remind myself that some weeks are worse (or better) than others and just go with the flow, as far as I can.
What I need to remember is that flexibility is the key to all this – not just to recognise that I can’t do everything, but to actually *accept* it as well, and plan my weeks accordingly. After all, this week, despite the craziness, not one day went past when anyone didn’t have clean clothes to wear, and no-one went hungry (or unwashed) at any one time. So, in the scheme of things, it probably doesn’t matter that I didn’t get to the washing up on Friday, or that I haven’t vacuumed upstairs or cleaned the sink in the downstairs washroom.
As I’ve said before: Shit happens. Deal with it, and move on
I’m working on channelling Scarlett O’Hara with a little Sufi wisdom thrown in for good measure ….
This too shall pass, and tomorrow’s another day
Filed under: Domestics | 1 Comment
Tags: busy, Demons, fishtank, flood, insurance, Personal, prioritisation, stress, task management