Life gets in the way

HELLO stranger! I write this after weeks of Stuff Going On. The kind of Stuff that interrupts your best-laid plans and overhauls your priorities.

Some of it big Stuff: moving house, funerals, illness and birthdays (see the awesome cake I made?! AFTER I finished work and which took till almost midnight? Please heap praise on me!).

And the little Stuff: bike rides, picking strawberries and finding a mummified rat in the bottom of a packing crate.

Amazingly, it was during the weekend of the little Stuff that I made some Big Decisions.

As I write this, I’m wearing my mum’s wedding ring on my index finger (firstly, she doesn’t need it – divorced since forever – and secondly, it usually sits on my thumb unless I need to remember something, when I move it to my index finger … kind of like tying a ribbon on my finger. But I digress.)

The thing I have to remember is to ring my boss and scale down my work hours. I took up additional hours to cover our fancy new mortgage only to discover that I could just get my family payments every fortnight (instead of every end of financial year) and be out of pocket by about $2 a fortnight!

So, I’m working less (well I will be in about 30 minutes when I ring my boss). And using my dishwasher more.

Our new place has a “dish drawer” which I saw as a luxury (water-saving and all that) – only to be used on nights when I’m working late and LOATHE seeing a sink full of dirty dishes after I’ve finally finished work and managed to put kids to bed before 9pm. It makes me want to cry some nights.

So! Crying over. Dish drawer loaded.

But what about non-work hours? I’m still busy, busy, busy. And I’d rather be harvesting strawberries and blueberries, or writing my blog, than be stuck at the sink. So suddenly the “luxury” item has become an institution. Welcome to the family, Dish Drawer.

 In a similar effort to prevent the work-induced flurry of tears and tantrums during my work hours is to start making more than one dinner per night. The maths goes as follows: Dinner x 2 on 2 non-work nights = dinner all ready on work nights.

Means no more of my “What do you mean what’s for tea? That’s not for another…. Oh, stuff a duck*! It can’t be five already! No, I haven’t defrosted anything yet. Can you get off my case?! I’ve been BUSY!!!”  *Insert internal dilemma of how good a parent I’m being when they see me a) not prepare a healthy meal and b) lose my shit on a weekly basis because someone had the audacity to ask for food!

Having such angst when I’m being paid to be focussed on something else entirely is beyond tormenting!

Lastly, I’m tempted to take this gung-ho attitude to other troublesome aspects of my life, but to do this properly, I’m restraining myself and taking those baby steps I keep preaching about.

And that’s it. Amidst the chaos there was a moment of calm and enough brain space to solve some problems. But I’m curious to see how others have used small changes to create a positive flow-on effect in their daily routine. Share, share, share!

PS Okay, you want to know about the dead rat, right?

I was unpacking a box that has not been unpacked since we left Ipswich (almost two years ago). Full of fairy lights and assorted garden lights. Upon pulling out disintegrating plastic bags wrapped around neatly tangled cords and bulbs, something plopped onto the bottom of the box. I stared hard. My first thought was “Is that a bagel with hair stuck to it?”. I recoiled briefly at the thought it was a rat. It couldn’t be a rat. Dead rats become skeletons. It definitely looked more like a bagel. I asked Husband. He stared hard. “It’s a rat. It’s mummified. See it’s head?” EEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!

Off now to give my hands and arms another scrub under scalding water. Later!


* I wish I had the forethought to say “stuff a duck”. My language on work nights is much more colourful than that.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanne
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 08:39:47

    I’m hearing you Pete on the dinner and dishes front!!!!! We’d be lost without our dishwasher, and I can never seem to get my act into gear with dinner… I’m going to try harder this week, but I’m not promising anything ;P


    • petajo
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 05:34:05

      Good luck Jo! The only problem with sharing thing like this to everyone is that I now feel obliged to follow through! xx


  2. jentbrave
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:22:58

    the dishwasher is meant to be used, pete! it feels bad when it’s not filled with dishes. It also feels bad when you wash the food off before you put the plates in – it doesn’t want the other appliances calling it a slacker!

    i loved your story about the rat 😀 i laughed out loud. then i cried a little.

    j x.


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