Why did I agree to give my neighbour’s granddaughter help with her maths? At eight-thirty on a Sunday morning? And, to compound my problem, why on earth did I stay up till -er, half past two – reading? All these years and I still have not learnt to set myself realistic goals. So I rolled out of bed at ten minutes to eight, very reluctant to leave the comfort of my duvet. Just time to get washed, dressed and drink that essential cup of tea. Of course the child failed to turn up. Never mind the maths, she needs to learn that if she agrees a time then she should stick to it. And the more important lesson, that she should not say, “yes” to fit in with what she thinks I want. How do you get a thirteen year old to understand that when asked a question such as “Will eight-thirty suit you?” it is perfectly acceptable to say, “No” then suggest an alternative?
Now it is ten-fifty and I have eaten breakfast, drafted out a revision lesson on algebraic expressions and solving equations, surfed FB, checked my emails, and started a casserole in the crock pot and am sitting, sipping a cup of coffee. My head feels really fuzzy. I am sleepy . . .Damn! Now do I give in and take a brief nap or do I work through it?
Fifteen minutes later. That is better. My brain is back in gear and I can concentrate. Where was I? Oh I know: realistic goals. How do I avoid feeling that I have wasted another day? Does it matter anyway? After all, I am retired and theoretically I have all the time in the World – yet I still end up with piles of dirty dishes in the sink. How do I train myself to wash up as I go along? Would buying a dishwasher solve the problem? Not really: I’d just have stacks of unwashed dishes stuck out of sight, waiting until the dishwasher is full. Anyway, there is no space in my kitchen to install a dishwasher.
. . .have come to a halt. Where is my muse? Perhaps a snack will help. Now what do I fancy? Fortunately there are no biscuits, cake or hard cheese in the house so it’ll have to be an apple. The snag with “stopping” – in this case sitting down to eat an apple – means that I run the risk of getting sleepy again. Grr! If only it would stop raining I could go out for a walk. I won’t take a nap this time but fight through the sleepiness. I will do the clothes wash then leave it in the drum until the rain stops. Have you noticed how much rain dampens the soul? The very greyness of the day drags me down and I yearn for the sun to come out. Then – in good English custom – I shall complain bitterly about being too hot. That goes without saying.
Back to realistic goals. Clearly I have spent much too much time today inside my own head. If I had spent that time engaged in physical activity I would have finished my housework. My late Mother was an amazing organiser. She managed to keep our home tidy and neat despite the efforts of my five siblings and me to clutter it up. We were not allowed to dump anything on the sideboard, bookcases or dining table and when we left the room we took our stuff with us. Maybe that is why I am so good at ignoring piles of accumulated stuff and just leaving it lying there: an act of rebellion!
That gives me six realistic goals:-
- Do not read past bedtime – I need to keep regular hours
- To wash up after every meal.
- Give up snacking.
- Do daily chores without wasting time thinking about doing them.
- Take one or two planned naps to help get me through the day.
- Pack away when an activity is finished and / or on going to bed