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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

So Much To Do, So Little Time


I am seriously wondering if other people are operating in a different time zone to me. If somewhere along the way, I’ve been sucked into vortex where time is just speed, speed, speeding along on an analogue watch with me clinging onto the whirring second hand for dear life.  I’ve got a To Do list that just keeps growing and a pen that refuses to put a line through any of my tasks.  From morning until night I’m constantly trying to get a million and one things done. I end the day exhausted but still feeling as though I have accomplished very little. It’s starting to get to me.

The Faulty Towers project is now in full scale planning mode and so in addition to the many hats I wear as mother, wife, housekeeper, cleaner upper, mistress of Lego tower building and  a dragon fearing ‘princess’, I’m now putting on my hard hat each day and masquerading as a strange cross dressing blend of George Clarke and Kelly Hoppen.   Every day my head pounds with umpteen questions and decisions on everything from the style of switch plates and sockets we want, to the type underfloor heating or the height of the rails in the wardrobes.  This time last year, I felt most buoyed up about managing the house project. Husband was most encouraging too; "This will be such an exciting project for you. Something for you to really get your teeth into. You’re great at this stuff, you’re going to love it.” Now I’m in it. I’m not so sure. It’s all getting a bit stressful. When you don’t know ‘stuff’ you need to research it, and I am finding a) there’s a lot of ‘stuff’ I don’t know when it comes to totally overhauling a house and b) it’s proving very difficult to find the time to research said unknown ‘stuff’ in the necessary detail, (particularly the subject matter I consider boring - CAT5 cabling anyone?). This is all in addition to the normal day to day requirements of running a house, looking after Pip, washing, cleaning, cooking as well as dealing with the day to day issues of living in a dilapidated wreck.  (Leaky sink, broken bathroom pump, temperamental toilet…I won’t go on.)

The answer is staring me in the face - but I don’t like it.  My hobby, my lovely little blog, my writing – is going to be the thing that has to give a bit.  When we first decided to buy Faulty Towers and embark on this huge house project, this blog wasn’t even a glint in my eye.  But now, 6 months on, I love it, and I want to grow it; nurture it. If anything, I’d like to spend more time on it not less, but it’s getting more difficult. My dream of embarking on other writing projects has to be put on hold too. I’d set myself a little goal to write something each month. Last night I said to my husband; “I’m not going to realise my writing goal for January.” The comment came back; “ You probably won’t in February or March either.” He’s right. I won’t, I just don’t have the time at the moment, and I’m past the days where I can burn the midnight oil and get away with it. 

One of the hardest things about being a SAHM is that you end up wearing all the hats.  Because you aren’t physically at work, but in the home, sometimes there is a perception that you have infinite spare capacity to take on lots of other things. In this case, I’m now SAHM and Project Manager of The Grand Design. Really they’re both full time jobs, but I feel like I’m only servicing both of them part time.  The net result of all this is that the first stuff to go when time is tight, and other things are more pressing, is the stuff for me.  My stuff gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.  It’s like the creased shirt at the bottom of the laundry basket that you never quite get round to ironing. ‘ I’ll get round to that one tomorrow – it’s not urgent.’  I don’t want that to be the case with my writing. I don’t want it or my blog to be ignored, or pushed to the bottom of the pile, but, I feel guilty and selfish for still trying to pursue it in the midst of all this chaos.  I can’t change the situation. Other things need my attention more now, and it would be self indulgent of me to ignore those and plough my own furrow.  I just have to accept that maybe I won’t be able to indulge myself quite as much as I would wish.

I’ve got one silver lining though (although I'm sure that a very lovely house at the end of this will be a second.) At the top of the house, in the eaves of the roof, is a little room.  I call it The Garret. The floor is very wonky, it’s cold, there’s something wrong with the flue in the chimney; black dirt comes in through the old Victorian fire. There’s a hole in the window frame, which is home to the 'loveliness' of ladybirds that all gather there.  It’s almost as though they think it’s their little room, they’ve adopted it.  But no, I’ve decided, this room is going to be mine.  My place in the clouds.  I’m going to restore the little Victorian fire and put a little gas burner in it, then I’m going to put up a little desk and some whimsical, quirky wallpaper on one wall. And there, at some point, when life mellows, when I’ve conquered this beast of a house, when Pip starts pre-school, I shall escape occasionally, up the 46 steps to the top.  There in my room, I shall take off all my hats one by one, and lay them carefully down on my polished slightly less wonky floor, and then, I shall write, write, write, to my heart’s content. 

But now, I must stop daydreaming, stop blogging and get myself off to Builders merchants.

12 comments:

  1. I hope you do get chance to write in the future. All your posts give me goosebumps. I actually find myself slowing down to read them properly, something I rarely given the pressures of time. I shall remain a follower of your blog in the hope that you do get the odd few minutes spare now and again. I wish you the very best of luck with your grand design. Take care!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely supportive comment, it really means a lot. x

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  2. how many times have I heard my hubby say that? 'you're good at this sort of stuff'
    What they don't realise is that being good and actually enjoying what you're doing are two different things.
    Good luck with the juggling and instead of your writing/blogging being pit on hold how about getting him to cook tea a few nights a week and you can set that time aside to blog

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  3. Just wrote a long comment to you and J2 just somehow managed to delete it, grrr lol! What I was saying previously was, you are doing amazing, Project Managing a big scale home renovation like yours is a full time job on it's own (the men I used to work with in fit outs did it only with a team of support behind them!) and then you are also a full time mum, wife and home maker. Therefore you DESERVE at least one spell through the week to do something for you, so please please keep posting and releasing what is in your mind, as you said to me, if you don't do one little thing you will go mad. You have said before that our lives seem to run alongside one another, and I agree, just this very week I swapped J2 into the smaller (and warmer and quieter) bedroom and deemed the wonky room the guest room when it needs to be (cos it has the spare bed in it) and my 'Writing Room'. I am getting a sign made 'The Writing Room - Stories begin here' ... I might get you one made too.x

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    1. we're doing the same to our house Mummy Plum, driving me nuts at times, but it will all be worth it .... so they tell me! Keep writing, I love your blog!

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  4. Hello! I am in a very similar position to you at the moment - I'm wearing too many hats and something has to give. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself - you have a very loyal band of followers who you won't loose if you need to take a break :o)! You could try a post every fortnight instead, or every three weeks in the short term? I love the idea of the Garret - sounds like a gorgeous space just for you! X

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    1. All these hats...enough to drive a woman mad. You're right I think...focusing on still doing it, even if it is less frequently is the way to go.

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  5. I've got a few friends at the moment who are trying to start something up for themselves and other things are just getting in the way. If you do really have to give up writing for now, the time will come eventually. I hope you can continue, even only sporadically. Best wishes. Polly

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    1. Hi Polly, thanks for your kind words. 24 hours later I am feeling more resolute. I will try to find a way. Just need to work out how and when. x

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  6. You write so well - it would be a shame if you had to give it up, even for a little while. We ALL need a little me time. Perhaps this is exactly what you need so you don't feel swamped by all of the other things going on.

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    1. Thanks for popping by and reading / commenting. Yes, you're right we do all need some ME time. If only for sanity preservation!

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  7. Is there room in your little room for all of us? It sounds smashing!!

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