My New Mantra

By alison May 12, 2009 No Comments 4 Min Read

When life feels like it is spinning out of control, I do five (irrational) things to kid myself I’ve got a grip on all that seems to be going astray…

1) I tidy out my handbag or if things are really bad, I buy a whole new bag.
2) I print out a new housekeeping planner, re-invent my daily routines, and do away with doodled upon planner pages.
3) I start popping vitamins like they are jellybeans.
4) I buy a self-help book. Or twenty three self help books.

5) I make a list of bills that need paying.
And then I wander around feeling efficient and smug and holding on to my worries so tight they spill out my mouth at every given opportunity regardless.
And so last week I decided to Shut Up and Get On With It. I muddled through a week long daily tirade of hospital appointments for Finn’s foot that finally culminated in my having the screaming ab dabs in the plaster room when yet another medical professional went to google Kohlers Disease, and thus incensed, shortly after got in the car and delivered him directly into the arms of the only consultant in the area who understood it, in another hospital altogether. Nodded that yes, next time I would come directly to him, discovered that Finn’s Sensory Processing Disorder was the likely cause of the shattered bone and nearly sobbed all over him when he said that far from being fixed in a few weeks as the previous Doctor had suggested, the whole matter could go on for between 18 and 24 months and I should prepare myself for a child who would never be a professional footballer and who may miss a whole heap of school in the next few months…
Well now, normality would have been asking too much really wouldn’t it? And so in between trying to keep the tiny toenails peeping out of his cast scrupulously clean, driving between hospitals begging for the release of essential x-rays, and wandering up and down between school and home because there is no-one available to look after Finn at lunchtime, I buckled down and tried to fix my world. And my head. And the handle that falls off my drawer every time I go a hunting for snuggly socks.

Yes indeed. I went into organization overdrive. I completed my crisis survival tasks and carried on. And on. And on.

I searched the entire universe for an online application that would streamline my pantry stock/grocery shopping/recipe books and found myself irrationally thrilled with Plan To Eat, currently in Beta, but available by invitation to those who ask nicely (and it’s worth asking for!)…
I downloaded a handy family calendar application Mark can access online so I don’t feel like spitting every time he forgets an appointment, or school holiday.
And I finally happened across an online budget planner that doesn’t blind me with financial science, so I can see just how much money I fritter away on “bargains”…
I read books. Sitting in the hospital waiting room and standing up at the train station. I read “Men, Money and Chocolate” (bizarrely revelatory!) and took my laptop to bed one night and read “How To Feed Your Whole Family A Balanced Diet With Very Little Money And Hardly Anytime” from start to finish. Online. In it’s entirety. For Free (And no, I don’t know why either… but there is a whole site of free books!).
I used MySupermarket and saved a silly amount of money shopping online and got cash back on that online shopping expedition and the renewal of my car insurance with OnePoll Cashback. I prowled around the Old Style Thrift Forum on MoneySavingExpert (Who knew that you could abandon dish washing tablets altogether and replace them with a spoonful of laundry powder and a glug of white vinegar?? Try it…it works!)…
And I made smoothies, reduced my carbs, remembered to take my evening primrose and magnesium and knew in my heart of hearts that though all of this is simply a case of Whatever Get’s You Through the Night, making Shut Up and Get On With It my new mantra means that when life calms down and I no longer feel the urge to run it with a rod of iron, some remnants of these glorious new habits will remain and my friends and family will be neither deaf nor heartsore from listening to me and my ongoing chorus of the badly done to’s…
And that by the time I’m 83 I will be the most organised woman you have ever met.

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