Friday, June 25, 2010

On tiredness

Last night when I got home from work, I was tired. I was tired when I went to bed, and I woke up tired with a headache. What have I been doing to myself? Nothing. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. Just a boring, vanilla day at work and a coffee afterwards with a friend.

It makes me wonder - if I, a girl of not-yet-30, with no children with only a laid-back boyfriend to keep alive, am this exhausted from a day's work, how to working mothers get anything done?

I could barely cook anything for dinner last night. Embarrassingly, I nagged the boyfriend into shoving a few frozen chicken tenders into the oven and we had these with some salad. Not very nutritious, but it was the best I could manage, due to the fact I hadn't had time to go to the butcher and my other half does not even think of such things half the time.

Now imagine the working mother. Gets up, gets everyone breakfast and off to school. Goes to work. Works. Catches the long train or bus home after a stressful day in the office. Picks the kids up from childcare or where ever, goes home. Cooks dinner. Listens to everyone's stories. Cleans up the kitchen, stacks the dishwasher. In between she might put on a load of washing and later put it in the drier. (I imagine this is what might happen as my household of only two people cannot get by only washing on the weekend). Tucks kids in bed. Finally has a moment to herself and indulges in a well-earned cup of tea. What a day!

I can't even fathom it. And it makes me feel exceedingly worried why I find it so hard to even squeeze in a half hour workout at the gym three times a week. Maybe I need some time management lessons. Or just need to pull my socks up. We'll see.

Monday, June 7, 2010

On camp

For the last three days I have been at camp. I haven’t been to camp for 13 years, the last time being Year 12. Ironically, it was the same darn camp! Located on a beautiful lake and nestled amoungst the surronding bushland, I felt quite cut off from civilisation. I didn’t even think about TV for the first 24hrs. It was a strange sensation, being unable to watch telly or movies; or text whenever I wanted. My mobile service provider had no coverage, but some of the other ladies had service. I noticed their mobiles were constantly ringing, and they were forever dashing out of the main hall to deal with family crises. I must admit to feeling a bit smug at these points. Unreachable exc ept by the public phone at the camp (and this number given out with strict instructions to the boyfriend: for emergency use ONLY), I was very close to being unplugged.

There’s a book I want to read, called ‘The Winter of our Disconnect’, about a family that isolated themselves from all modern communications and technology for six months. I don’t claim to want to serve that period of disconnection for myself, but for the three days I did, I was happy. There was something satisfiying to just experience the world. Not to constantly check emails, texts, tweets. Not to be constantly bombarded with advertising, and given news updates even if you don’t want them. As a side note, I have basically given up watching the news because it’s so distressing. I know it’s a head-in-the-sand attitude, but I know that if it’s important enough, the news will get through to me. You can’t avoid it, even when you’re cut off in the middle of the bush! This was demonstrated by a text to my mother by my father, referring to “that UFO”. She had intermittant service on her mobile there, but the only person bothering her was dad. Turns out he was one of many people to spot a supposed UFO at 5.45am on Saturday morning in the skies over Queensland. He was most excited, then disappointed that it turned out to be a privately-launched rocket losing orbit.

The camp itself was for scrapbooking. Yes, I am aware of scrapping’s old-lady image. It could do with a public relations overhaul, I must say! But I’m unashamed of my love for it, and am even a consultant for Creative Memories, a traditional and digital scrapbooking company. The camp was exclusively for CM consultants and their customers – and is so popular that this year they are running not one but two weekend retreats. Basically, we scrap the entire time. And eat. But mainly scrap. I got so much done, I actually ran out of photos and paper by Sunday, and truthfully will be quite happy if I do not see a scrapbook page for a week. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing after all!

So my weekend went something like this: arrive, scrap, eat, scrap, bed, sleep, morning walk, eat, scrap, eat, scrap, eat, scrap, bed, sleep, morning walk, eat, scrap, eat, scrap some more... All in all I had a wonderful time. It was a great opportunity to catch up on my projects, and basically do more scrapping than I had collectively done in the last 6 months! And I got to spend heaps of time with my mum. I will definately be going again next year. The comraderie, and happy vibe of a roomful of women all doing what they love was too, too enjoyable.


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