I’m feeling a bit frazzled at the moment. There is too much to do, too many things, not enough time and I’m beginning to get myself in a mess. This is actually a huge issue for me. I have big issues with anxiety. I tend to get myself in such a state that I can’t find my way through the maze of life. My brain seizes up and I can’t focus on what needs to be done. I can’t work out what are the priorities and what I should focus on first. When this starts to happen it means that even doing the basic things like cooking the dinner, making school packed lunches, and hanging out the washing become major sources of stress and worry.
It then becomes a cycle. I worry that I am worrying, I’m anxious about having these feelings. All the normal jobs that continually hang over us, like tidying the garden, mowing the lawn, sorting out the piles of old clothes and books upstairs become of source of ammunition for me to throw at myself.
So I can hear you all shouting good advice. These things don’t matter; make a list; we all have more to do than we can fit in; take one step at a time. We all get a bit stressed at times.
Well, thanks, I know all that. I’m not stupid. I tell myself these things. I believe they are true. I’ve had enough therapy of various sorts that has given me all sorts of strategies. Deep breath in and ooooouuuuuut – and I take pills for it (there – I’ve said it, so now you all know that too) – breathes sigh of relief.
So I know the theory of what to do, it just doesn’t work too well in practice sometimes and if I don’t do anything about it it can actually be a real issue for me, which impacts on the family and on my ability to work, so I know I have to try to do something about it before I get back to that stage again, especially with the long summer holidays and My Son’s transition to high school looming.
Today I realised I am starting to go into one of my frazzled, brain grinds to a halt, phases, so I decided the first step would be to write down my list of things to do. These are in no particular order. Well they are in the order in which they come into my head, which might give you an indication of how disjointed, frazzled and messy it all feels to me at the moment:
Email the Music Centre to cancel 9yo’s piano lessons before it is too late and they make us pay for next term as well. (wish she wasn’t giving up, but we can’t force her. I know from experience that this doesn’t work).
Email school to transfer dinner money from one child to the other because 9yo has credit and isn’t eating school dinners at the moment.
Email drama teacher to book 9yo summer drama club
Print off & read through job applications as part of my Director role for Merton Centre for Independent Living
Email the Chair of Trustees of my employer to help him challenge the council about potential budget and service cuts.
send off funding request for next funding installment for employing organisation ( this is important because it is for the money that pays my salary)
Plan next week’s menus (yes Lord Sugar’s advisors – Us Mums do that!)
Do grocery order.
Order D some red wine as stocks are at a big fat ZERO
Open about 3 days worth of post and sort it.
put away the various other bits of home paperwork that are stacked in about 3 piles in various parts of my house.
Complete my 9yo’s DLA (Disability Living Allowance Form) which has been sitting on the kitchen table staring menacingly at me for about 3 weeks now. I dread this because it takes so long and I find it so depressing, but the money is so useful.
Phone 9yo’s friend’s mum to say ‘yes’ to a party invite.
Organise the logistics of the weekend where 9yo is going to a wedding whilst we go to a sports event for D and B to compete and see the paralympic torch. So we need to plan routes, timings, where we are dropping 9yo and when and when we are picking her up.
Chase up school AGAIN about B’s laptop. It has been at school for three weeks and he hasn’t seen it yet. He has only got 6 weeks left at that school!!!!! – At this rate he will get it as a leaving present – really useful and a fine example of how this stupid system works (or doesn’t) where everything has to be dragged out and argued about, which is such a totally inefficient way of doing things.
Find time to go shopping to purchase Father’s day card for my Dad and for D on behalf of the children (no chance of getting a time slot where I can actually take the kids!). think of and buy appropriate gifts for said Daddies.
Send out final invites and reminders for a work event next Monday
Contact press re. work event next Monday
Write up minutes of last trustees meeting for work and send them out.
Complete and send off a CRB form for my voluntary role. and post a form to one of the other trustees.
Contact our local volunteer centre and organise for the trustees of my employing organisation to get CRB checks.
Attend a meeting on Wednesday to plan the AGM and launch event for Merton Centre for Independent Living (Merton CIL)
Ask the school office for an absence request form for 9yo so that she can come with us to watch her brother perform in his school play, which they do at the local children’s theatre at the end of term.
Set up computer in the office instead of the dining room table.
sort out all my Merton CIL papers.
Sort out my work papers.
Count up the number of hours work I have done over the last couple of weeks and complete my time sheets – before I forget what I’ve done.
Go through all my work papers and Merton CIL papers and compile a list of things to do, as I can’t even begin to think what needs doing, but I know it’s a lot.
Check through the emails and complete a final report for a funder now I think we finally have all the invoices from last year.
Somewhere amongst the downpours find some time to mow the lawn as it is rapidly turning into a jungle.
Go and watch my daughter in her class assembly – She is playing The Queen!
Wash the sheets – easier said than done when I can’t dry them!
Set up new router as Internet (wo)man is coming to wire us up to a flashy (hopefully) high-speed fibre-optic line on Wednesday.
Try and work out what RSS is, whether I need it, whether I need to do anything to my blog to make it happen. – Not strictly necessary probably, but I want to find out and I hate it that there is something that people keep talking about and I see all over the place, but I can’t get my head around what it is. I feel I ought to know.
Pull the weeds out from between all the patio slabs in the garden and on the drive.
Write my blog and read other people’s posts. – So now I know I can hear my Mum saying ‘but you don’t need to do that. If you’ve got too much to do then that is a luxury’. Well I like doing it, and in a funny kind of way it is a sort of therapy and it fits with and is related to the work I do both paid and unpaid in campaigning for rights and equality for disabled people.
Sort out the drawers and throw away all the old paperwork that we don’t need anymore and clear some space to put away the new stuff.
Get rid of all the clothes which no-longer fit me, because I’ve started eating again!
Clear up the heaps of assorted stuff (god knows what) that has accumulated on the floor in my bedroom.
Get card for my foster-brother, whose wedding I can’t go to.
Find out from school what arrangements are being made for B’s transition plan for High School.
Put dates on calendar for 9yo’s end of term drama show.
tweet some messages out to try to get a cool disabled speaker / comedian to come to Merton CIL AGM and launch our new services.
Meet with other Merton CIL directors to plan interview questions.
Confirm interview date
Worry about what I am going to wear to interview other people (Yep ‘fraid I will worry about that).
Oh, and D says I should go swimming again twice a week, because I used to do it loads and it did help me to relax, but now I worry that if I do I won’t have time to do all the other things.
Go to the ‘Right to Ride’ protest next Tuesday for disabled people with a couple of local disabled people to raise the issue of access to public transport for disabled people’. These types of events are part of my campaigning role and this one is being organised by Transport for All and Disabled People Against Cuts.
respond to some emails and liaise with a consultant who has been paid to work with my employers to help develop the capacity of the organisation. I need to meet with her for an hour or so as well. and then another meeting with her and the Chair of trustees.
There are also a couple of other campaigns I need to follow-up and events I need to start planning for after the summer.
Order and download some more audiobooks, because I’m on my last book.
Make sure D has got the dates in his diary of when I have afternoon meetings so that he can arrange to work from home to pick the children up.
Do the second draft of our organisation’s response to the pip detailed design criteria and circulate it before writing the final submission to the government.
I’m sure there are loads more, and I will probably sit and worry about what I’ve forgotten.
So why have I shared all this with you? Well partly because it is how I live and so is part of our story. And partly because I needed to take some time out of going round in circles and not being able to focus on any of it. So I write it all down. And, as I like writing the blog I thought I would write the list here, so I have actually achieved two things in one, by writing a list and a blog post.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully next week I will be able to tell you that I’ve actually managed to do some of this.
I think I’m going to have a G&T now and read my book. I will tackle the list in the morning. x