Posted in Personal life

How to Get Things Done

Tomorrow afternoon a new friend is coming to visit me at my home.  She hasn’t been to my house before.  I hope to get to know her better and to become good friends, and this will ensure that my house is cleaned and tidied before she arrives.

This is a striking example of my sister-in-law’s theory that “The best way to get something done is to do something else”.  Over the last few weeks the house has been getting progressively dustier, because we ended our contract with a domestic cleaning company when I gave up my salaried job to go  freelance.  Every day since then, there have been plenty of excuses for me to avoid doing any housework.  Apart from the daily dishwasher cycle and the regular loading and unloading of the washing machine, there has not been a lot of activity on the housework front.  But the promise of a visit from a new friend that I want to impress will guarantee action stations and a shiny, fragrant welcome.

On the same principle, I’ve always found that scheduling a garden party round about the end of June is the best way to ensure the flowerbeds are weeded, vegetable garden planted, and garden furniture sparkling clean by midsummer.

I’m always on the look-out for similar formulae to take the pain out of the more tiresome chores.  But I think I’ll draw the line at my sister-in-law’s favourite, which slipped out in an unguarded moment at a dinner party.

“The best way to clean your nails,” she prescribed brightly, “is to make pastry.”

Suddenly the apple pie she’d made for our pudding lost its appeal.
Posted in Personal life

If You Want Something Done

I thought there were two certainties when I left my job two weeks ago:

1)      I would miss the adrenalin-charged days I was used to at work
2)      I would finally have a chance to catch up on the ironing

So why am I now feeling the need to lie down in a darkened room to recover from a whirlwind of activity? Here is an outline of what I did today:

1) Got my daughter ready for school and walked her to school
2) Cooked breakfast for my husband (yes, he is spoiled)
3) Attended my first ever yoga class
4) Enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat with my next-door neighbour
5) Savoured a sociable “Lenten Lunch” at the Methodist Hall
6) Called in at the village hairdressers to check on the secondhand books that I left there last month for sale in aid of the PTA
7) Distributed flyers for next week’s PTA Pledge Auction
8) Cooked lunch for my husband, working out the carbohydrate content of the meal and advised him of the right insulin dose
9) Attended a Parents’ Drop-In Session at the Village School to discuss computer issues
10) Collected my daughter from her after-school Story Club
11) Emailed a friend with a string of ideas for a sponsorship campaign for her extremely gifted son, an Olympic hopeful who is not letting type 1 diabetes stand in the way of his ambition
12) Booked tickets for the Blondie concert at the Arboretum as a birthday treat for my brother
13) Reserved a place on a creative writing course this Sunday
14) Took my daughter to her gym club and enjoyed a chat over a cup of tea there with a friend
15) Met my sister for dinner at Frankie & Benny’s
16) Put my daughter to bed and read her two stories
17) Checked my online bank account and email inbox
18) Phoned my mum to fill her in on the day’s events

So much for missing adrenalin.  And in fact I was wrong on both counts: I still haven’t done the ironing.