There are a few weeks each year where my family has too many things scheduled, there are too many obligations, or a series of unexpected events means we’re chasing after too many loose ends. This past week was one of those weeks. And it’s left me tired. And as a mum, of course, I don’t get the luxury of just taking to my bed and sleeping until I’m refreshed.
In an ideal world, it would be okay to say to the person on the other end of the phone telling you when your appointment is scheduled for, “Sorry, I can’t do that time – I’ve got to be somewhere beforehand and somewhere afterward, so that’s when I was planning to have lunch.” But when it’s an appointment you’ve been waiting months to get, and the next available spot is another six weeks away, you just take it, and try to fit it into the rest of the plans. And hopefully remember to pack a muesli bar in your handbag to scoff on the way there.
Side note: I never have spare muesli bars in my handbag, for two reasons: 1) If I kept any food in my handbag, ever, either the dog or the kids would find it and eat it, and 2) The dog or the kids have already found it and eaten it. So remembering to pack a muesli bar in my handbag is pointless, because it will never be there when I look for it.
And when school sends home a notice about a last-minute meeting about something vitally important to your child’s education, or you have to get a government department a critical piece of paperwork which they never mentioned before but apparently need right this minute in order to process some mundane application you’ve submitted, or you lose a filling and need to schedule an emergency dental appointment… Yeah, just thinking about this stuff is making me feel tired. And that’s not even half of it.
Because time doesn’t expand to accommodate all of the stuff that needs to get done some weeks. And inevitably, it’s me who suffers – in the form of being bone-tired, feeding the kids takeaways for dinner, and going to bed at 11pm only to get up early the next morning and try yet again to cram too many things into too short a time.
I love reading books and blogs and articles about mums who have simplified their lives and can spend time laying in the grass making flower crowns for their toddlers. Could I be that mum, I wonder to myself. Could I somehow drop out of all this “busy-ness” and make time to just be? I’d probably get bored. But the idea is so appealing. I don’t know a single mum who has an unhurried day. What can be done?
I want to think more about this, but to be honest, I’m too tired.
What I’m reading this week: The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn (Orion $9.99)
This busy week means I haven’t had much time for reading. But I managed to sneak in The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, which disturbed me almost faster than I could devour it), a novella of 79 easily digestible and compelling pages. The sex worker turned cut-price psychic narrator explains how she met Susan, who lives in a potentially haunted mansion with her creepy stepson and younger son, and was hired to “cleanse” the house. Susan is afraid that her stepson wants to kill her, but then the stepson tells another story… Since it’s short, I won’t give too much away, but this is the perfect distraction on a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea (which might go cold as you become immersed in the story).
Enjoy your week.