Thursday, 29 May 2008

It's All In The Mind

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.

21 comments:

Lola said...

You mean... get rid of my lists? Seriously? How would I remember what I need to do? No lists?

I could try, if you really think it makes you feel better...

Jay said...

I"ve been forgetting about lists for years. I write a list, then I forget about it.

My Other Half says, when he realises I've forgotten yet another thing which is now Not Done 'You should have made a list!' He misses the point. Making lists, I'm good at. Doing the things ON the list, well, you can forget that. I do! LOL!

Seriously, you're right. No point in fretting. And yet we do it anyway. *Sigh*

Valleys Mam said...

Yeh but men can't breast feed can they ...........hmph
Where's my list

Maggie May said...

I make the lists then leave them on the table! Thought you might like to read about my Birmingham Service Station experience this week!

David said...

I think I have at any given time ten or twenty lists, problem is I can't find them.

GoneBackSouth said...

Sometimes once a list is written, it loses its importance; it was thinking what to write on it that helped. Like a brain dump.
My list now is:
* For Gods sake stop blogging
* Run bath
* Pour some wine
* Get in bath and drink wine
* Go to bed

Lin said...

It'll either be okay or it won't...

That is so true and my husband says, "It is what it is."

All well and good but until I figure out quite how to share his philosophy, I'm buggered. If there's one bit of maleness that I envy, it's that ability to hop into bed, jacked on life and coffee, and fall promptly to sleep. That's about it, though!

Swearing Mother said...

Lola, just write the things you've already done on a list. It feels so good!

Jay, my husband always says that too. I always say back to him "always remember, no one likes a smart-arse".

Valleys Mam: Too true.

Maggie May, be over to see what you've been up to.

Hi David, that's annoying, happens to me too.

GBS hello. Having trouble with the life:blog balance by any chance?

Lin, making statements of the obvious is my husband's speciality too. Bless.

Mean Mom said...

I like a list. Your husband sounds well-travelled. He probably has everything down to a fine art. I favour the 'Be Prepared' motto. I really don't like having to traipse around the shops, searching for things I've forgotten, when I'm supposed to be on holiday.

Some things you really can't afford to go without. Middle son's favourite trick, as a young teenager, was informing me that his inhaler had run out the night before we were due to go on holiday. He did that more than once and I was also annoyed with myself, because I couldn't remember to ask him a couple of weeks in advance, whether he needed one, or not!

Working mum said...

Ah Mars and Venus. I hate the way husband always finds a solution when I just want sympathy.

Personally I think creating a capsule wardrobe is far more exhausting than travelling around the world and working for a living!

aims said...

Have been wandering around a lot lately myself. Totally exhausted, unable to do much.

And to my surprise - they have discovered that I have sleep apnea! At the moment I am waiting for my final test with that mask thing...but I have to tell you - I'm really looking forward to the day I have my own. I'm looking forward to not being exhausted all the time!

Did you know that sleep apnea can kill you and often does by the age of 58? Wow!

I'm just saying - perhaps you should look into the exhaustion bit a tiny bit more...

travelling, but not in love said...

Listless and loving it. Sounds great. I`d love to be listless - in both senses of the word!!!

I`m trying not to be on holiday countdown - 7 weeks or so - but luckily I have enough to keep me occupied with the move.

Good luck with the kitchen....how nice to have handsome workmen in the house for a couple of weeks.... ;-)

Retiredandcrazy said...

Mmm? I take it that your husband is a a pilot? A pilot who says "it will either be OK, or it won't". Not sure about that one!

She's like the wind said...

Men don't worry about triva because they have us to deal with everything, washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, packing, unpacking, repacking, co-ordinating the clothes, pasports, tickets, camera, etc etc etc. My get up and go has got up and gone! If you find your PMA please share it xx

Expatmum said...

Funny that AIMS should mention sleep apnea as I have been told that I probably have it too - since I get migraines and am always knackered in the mornings. Can't face the thought of sleeping with a mask though so I haven't followed up. Hope I don't die - I have a bit of a to-do list to get through!!

Pam said...

My hubby is the same way and unbelievably mellow, but if I pop my clogs tomorrow he'd be buggered. He doesn't even know his own mum's phone number.

Swearing Mother said...

Mean Mom, know just what you mean. My kids always used to tell me that they needed all the ingredients for something or other for cookery, about two minutes before they were due to leave for school.

Working Mum, it's selecting the capsule wardrobe that made me so bushed. Next time I'm going freestyle.

Aims, that mask is going to be the next hot accessory, so get one now!

Travelling, you are so right. There's nothing like having a couple of burly workmen round the house to give the old spirits a lift.

Retired and Crazy, I think it's just a phrase he uses to really annoy me, and it works.

Hi She's Like The Wind: I was waiting for someone to say that, it is of course totally true.

Expatmum, don't tell Aims, but I'm not that keen on the idea either.

Pam, sounds typical, it so does.

travelling, but not in love said...

Hmm. Burly. I love that word. It conjures up such great images.

I'm going to use it more often.

Norman said...

As I get older my brain don't work so well so I make lists. Then never refer to them. It seems the act of writing it on paper writes it in my brain. Its worked so far....
Simple rule for going away; if its to a hot country you only need pack a spare tee shirt, if to a cold country, pack everything, ditto if staying in Blighty.
Now the problem for going to a country like Cyprus is.... which tee shirt do I take? Decisions, decisions...

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Norman, you're back! Had a good time I hope. I do tend to pack a bit too much, especially on hols in the UK when you never know what the weather will do. Good excuse to book somewhere HOT.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Your husband sounds as if he has it all under control!1 Bu then it is easy when you're not dealing with all the "trivia" - like the washing, ironing and general organisation of life. Glad the list has gone, though. M xx