Now where were we? Oh yes, I remember. I was having a right old moan about the chaos theory which is my life. I was having a rant about how things never seem to go right, how my to-do list never gets any smaller and how I just can't manage to make headway with anything. I took comfort and advice from your comments, although admittedly I did have a snorty little laugh at the suggestion that I should get rid of the list and stop worrying about all that was on it (if only), and it was really good to hear that I am not alone in the battle to get things done in the face of constant frustration.
One thing I did manage to do was book a holiday. Bearing in mind that husband wasn't due to jet back into the UK until the night before we were going away (great planning, nothing to do with me), things went surprisingly smoothly all things considered. I'd spent the previous three evenings getting a few things done - washing, ironing, selecting a jaunty capsule wardrobe (as you know, it's very important to me that I remain stylish at all times, obviously) and generally sifting and sorting so that everything was absolutely ready for the off when we'd packed the car in the morning. Husband arrived home at 1 a.m., delayed courtesy of some dodgy landing gear (the plane's, mercifully, not his), yawning and knackered with coffee breath, a suitcase full of dirty washing and a bottle of Cointreau. He showered, fell into bed and slept like a baby (a snoring, stubbly baby if truth be told) until 8 a.m. the next morning when up he sprang, fully energised and ready for the off. How does he do that? I of course, lay awake half the night worrying about what I might have forgotten, my own lack of sleep rendering me slug-like with tiredness until lunchtime.
This difference between us got me thinking. Husband had been up for eighteen hours, travelled hundreds of miles, hung around in various airport lounges whilst the ground staff buggered about with bits of plane, but still arrived markedly more zingy than me. In contrast, I had been colour co-ordinating holiday clothes at home, eating chocolate, emptying the fridge and doing a bit of light ironing, but was absolutely drained and wondering whether a few days away was really worth all the effort.
At the risk of using a bit of psycho-babble, I think the difference between us is all down to PMA - positive mental attitude. He's got it. In bucketfuls. I think I used to have it but lost it somewhere along the way. Perhaps it's down the back of the sofa. Or maybe I just let my PMA desert me while I worried about trivia and wore myself to a frazzle dashing round doing things that don't really matter in the overall scheme of things. I think I've been so busy looking at individual pixels, I've sort of failed to see the big, wide screen picture. So the holiday, despite getting off to a shaky start, gave me a lot of time to think and proved to me that sometimes you need to get away from everyday surroundings to see things in a totally different perspective and realise what really is important to you. It's good to give yourself time to sit and stare, and just re-prioritise. Sitting on the quay-side, gazing across the river, or looking at the fresh May greenery of the woodlands - all these things somehow made a mockery of my self-induced pressures and limits. So why worry about everything on that damned to-do list? It's now gone, I am list-less and loving it.
As husband so rightly (but irritatingly) says, about virtually any subject, "it'll either be OK, or it won't". This may sound like a statement of the blindingly obvious (and one which sometimes makes me want to sneak up behind him menacingly with a cast iron frying-pan) but actually this philosophy is probaby why he doesn't waste any mental energy on trivial worries. Which is a nice trick if you can do it.
I'm giving it a go.