The downside of making progress

Just a quick one today. I’m sitting in a cafe, drinking an enormous bucket of hot chocolate while I while away an hour before McMini’s harvest service. Very important I go to this one as Scion has a speaking part! Woot. There will also be a Hymn I Know, apparently, so I must make sure I am in a position to sing loudly without causing undue distress to people around me, ie I must stand at the back, alone at least twenty yards from anyone who can hear.

On the up side … I have my keys, although I didn’t yesterday. I was late meeting McMini after school – he walks half way home on his own and I meet him in town – because I managed to lock myself out of the house. On the upside, I did, at least, realise I had no keys before I locked myself out of the garden as well. The garden is a nightmare because my disability makes it impossible to just climb over the wall and unlock the gate. I have to borrow a ladder or a chair and lean over.

On the other hand, the house is easy, I’m usually back inside in about twenty seconds. It did make me late though, because I had to find the ruddy keys before I could come out again and I had wet knees from kneeling on the doormat. There are times when I wish my life wasn’t quite so remeniscent of a badly written situation comedy. Obviously any character as ditsy as I would be totally unrealistic when written into fiction. I can’t believe I’ve reached the stage where I’m so bad that, as a fictional character, I’d be untenable. Nobody is actually that crap in reality … er hem … well … no-one except me.

Obviously, even for me, locking yourself out of the garden or house three times in about five days is pretty impressive going. Now it could be menopausal brain fog – yes ladies I can tell you, for nothing, that really is a Thing – but I think it may be the knock on effects of my efforts to do a little bit of something. It sounds mad but thanks to the lovely Joseph Michael’s course on Writer’s Block, I have been following his advice to merely aim for ten minutes’ writing a day. The results have been so splendid that I’ve been doing it for other things. The results are a very much calmer, less tense MT because doing secret me stuff that I enjoy makes me happy and fulfilled.

However, by making this time for me stuff, I fear I may have inadvertently overstretched the mental capacity available. The way my memory for administriatitive shite works is that it has a finite amount of space and when that fills up, as I put stuff in one end other things start leaking out of the back. My old headmistress used to use the analogy of a sponge. As in; it can fill up with a certain amount of water but after that, when you put more water in, stuff that’s in there starts running out. This appears to be what is happening.

By doing things I enjoy alongside all the stuff I have to, I have discovered that the things I like are starting to take up a portion of that memory and as a result, shite, like remembering to pick up my keys as I leave the house is falling out. I am lurching from one, ‘shit McMini! We’re supposed to be at …’ insert name of specially organised Year Six event here. And just getting to things on time; school open days, upper school head master’s talks, providing packed lunches on the days McMini requires them, going to school in his PE kit with a bag full of his normal school uniform, or, like today, remembering that it’s harvest festival at ten am and that I have to be there.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to do about it. I am so much happier and more fulfilled if I do a few things I want to do alongside things I have to do that I’m loathe to go back to tense frustrated MTM. But at the same time, I don’t want to reach the stage where I fail to function as a human being in normal society! A stage upon the brink of which I am teetering, right now.

It’s a fine balance to strike and Mum is particularly muddled at the moment so I have to remember a bit more than usual for her and way, way more than usual for McMini. The quiet oceans of peace when McOther takes him to football on a Monday evening are gone because McOther is no longer home in time. I think the thought collection time is definitely lacking and perhaps this is part of the problem. I’m not sure.

Whatever it is, Real Life is rather too busy for my taste, McOther is buried under work and so I’m doing the cooking. By doing every dish from scratch and eschewing everything ready made I am hoping to lose some weight. It isn’t actually that much more work than using cook in sauces and I am cautiously optimistic that it may be working. Might need to hold back on the spuds a bit though. The cooking isn’t a problem but I do have to be a bit more organised, there are lots of lists although I seldom remember to take them with me when I go shopping etc.

Back to the drawing board then. I don’t want to drop the things that make me happy but I definitely have to find a way to remember more crap.

I leave you with a McMini-ism. Last night at about 3 am he called out. I went and found him on the stairs having had a bad dream. I sat down a few steps below him and told him he had far worse things to worry about, like that his mum might wee on the stairs because I really needed to go to the loo. He laughed and then told me he’d dreamed we were fixing my car, that his dad had given him a coke to drink and that he’d inadvertently drunk from a bottle of rat poison we were using instead and died. I said that sounded like a bummer but that if he was dreaming of dying it was a sure sign that he was enjoying life! I asked him he’d like a hug. Yes, he would, he told me. So I hugged him tight. Too tight. He farted loudly and then guffawing with laughter told me,

“I’ll be alright now Mummy!” and we both went, giggling, to bed.

Incidentally, as I prepare this for posting, it’s later in the day. I’ve managed to leave the house to collect my son with my keys, I locked the garden gate without shutting the keys the wrong side … trouble was, when I got home again, I realised I’d forgotten to lock the door. Hmm. Let’s call this a work in progress.


Filed under Blimey!, General Wittering

9 responses to “The downside of making progress

  1. “I don’t want to reach the stage where I fail to function as a human being in normal society!”
    If you look closely, you’ll realise that those who appear to be functioning normally are either acting or insane.
    Join the rest of us in that alternative reality!

  2. I’m sure this is obvious, but why can’t you put a spare key in McMini’s backpack, and charge him with reminding you to put it back there any time it is used to let you both into the house? On some kind of clip that is permanently attached, so it won’t fall out, and with him being reminded that it is not a secret to share with friends.

    • Yeh, I’ll sort something. To be honest, it’s a rather sudden development so there’s never been the necessity for it before. Usually I lock myself out about four times in a year, not four times in a week! Sigh. I’m actually going to get one of those fake rocks and leave it in my friend’s front garden just up the street!



      • Oh god I hear you. It started with baby brain and it doesn’t seem to have got better. Depressing to think it’s going to get worse 😬

        I definitely need mental downtime to process, as well as plenty of sleep, but agree that you must keep doing ‘you’ stuff. I try and make up for it with lists and alarms and memos everywhere and, failing that, figure if it’s earth-shattering then someone else will have to share the responsibility of remembering it.

        BTW I often forget to lock house/car 😩

        (We have a key lock outside with a key for the backdoor, but it doesn’t work if the key has been left in on the inside 😩)

      • Wana we are not alone. I got you and you got me. So if they’re are two of us this crap there must be more. Another friend just pointed out I’d explained how to burgle my house so I’ve just removed a bit about how I opened that there door. I really am a fucking liability.

  3. Diana

    Loved this post!
    So much rings true with me, too.

    Some bits of advice:

    Keep taking those “me” blocks of time. These are really important! (!!)

    See if you can find other parents to share the “child delivery” to and from different activities with.

    Consider getting a lock box that you can install somewhere around your house (well secured) that requires a code (or your fingerprint — but that might be a problem if you injure your finger) to access the innards of, and keep a key in there.

    Change the lock on your door so that you cannot lock it without a key (except from the inside, with a knob to turn). This has saved me much grief — since I have to lock the door from the outside when I leave, and if I’ve forgotten my key I notice right away. (This is a good thing, because I have all of my keys on one ring, and if I leave the door key behind I leave all the others I need during the day, too.)

    When I bought my car I made a point of asking for an extra trunk key — because I knew (absolutely knew) that I’d one day lock my trunk key in the trunk. It was a really expensive key (really expensive!) but I have already made use of it.

    Oh — and get McMini to make his own lunches on the days he needs one.

    And I love that late night visit with with your son, too. Thanks for sharing that!


    • I’ve a couple of ideas on the table :-). The lock box is my preferred option but we live in a very dodgy area and the bit around our back gate is used by druggies, thieves, folks having a quick knee trembler etc so it might not be safe. The other option is a spare key in one of those fake stone key safes in a other friends garden just up the road. Or I get a spare one cut and put it in my wallet. Ther are two doors and three gates so changing the locks, while it appeals hugely to me, is probably too expensive as an option. Glad you liked the McMini story. He is lovely and makes me laugh so much.

      • Diana

        If you usually remember to take your wallet with you, I think the extra key to carry with you is a winner.

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