I have been in a bit of a dither of late. Having thought that going back to (part-time) work would make life a bit easier, a bit more ‘sorted’, I find myself ever more frantic. Things have just not seemed right…I couldn’t put my finger on why or how or when, but everything seemed very disparate and more chaotic than usual. I eventually recognised the fact that working two days a week is, in some ways, harder than going full time. Work is jam packed into two solid days, plus the at home marking and planning and this means the rest of the week is now compacted and so the remaining days have become one giant to do list.
I was at loss as to how to sort it all out. You know how usually you have some idea or deep down know what must be done….well all that deserted me and I was left in a befuddled state of bewildered confusion.
The solution, in hindsight, was obvious. A cup of tea with my BFF in John Lewis. One flat white and a toasted tea cake later she had it sorted. Well, I rambled on for 20 minutes and gradually the penny dropped. She is the master at offering sage nuggets of sanity in my over-analysed witterings and annoyingly she is always right. Always has been; from boyfriend advice to what to about stubborn stains she listens, digests and then comes back with a solution. Not always the one I like to hear, and on matters of the heart I have often taken several months to realise she was spot on and had the ‘this one’s different’ boyfriend pegged from the start. Anyway, I love her to bits and will always appreciate her wisdom, even if I don’t always follow it.
Back to the story. I came to the conclusion that a bit of order was needed, some pinch-points throughout the day where, as a family, we have a quick re-group before disappearing back into the mayhem of modern life. The obvious time for this is meal times. We always sit up to the table to eat, just not all at same time…so I think it is time to make the effort to switch off all devices, sit down as a family and have a bit of a focus group, even if it is simply discussing how much they don’t like the dinner I have put before them. (I have still not worked out how you can like tomato soup one week and not the next). I also want to make the effort to do something family based on a Sunday afternoon. The morning is spent preparing a roast, listening to Radio 4 and relaxing. Then I want to try to DO something – go for a walk, play a game, do a jigsaw….just something that requires communication and togetherness. Now, I know I may be drifting off into fantasy land here, but I strongly feel we need to try. Even if we’re all knackered and grumpy and busy. Just half and hour to stop. And simply be.
So now I find myself facing a daunting prospect; putting my plan into action. I’m not sure why bad habits are so easily formed and so difficult to break (good ones having the opposite effects) but I suspect it will be a challenge for all of us to regulate ourselves into a better, more cohesive way of living. Especially as I think I am the only one having this ‘family crisis’. Still, perhaps they’ll humour me and then discover actually it is all a bit better after all. Perhaps….
The Monday Club
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