The other day, I was sitting at Egg Break catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while when I answered the question ‘how are you?’ with the dreaded words, ‘I am soo busy,’ that vague, annoying, I’m-so-important, type of answer. Not really believing me, she asked me to go through my week, event by event. (I am guilty of overusing those words when I can’t formulate an interesting enough answer to that question in a concise manner). So, I went through my week, play by play, when she said, ‘Oh. Ok. Maybe you are busy.’
Most people look at me like I am humble-bragging when I use those words, I mean I’m just a jobless, stay at home mum with kids in school, but the truth is, it’s really how I feel. Like my life is slipping away out of my control and I go through the motions just to keep up. It’s this time of year, when schools, parents and PTAs go on overdrive and schedule 1 million things for your child/you to do and I have lots of loose ends to finish before summer starts. My children go to two different schools (let’s call them school A and School B), and I usually try to attend most of the events.
I am a ‘YES’ person, who feels obliged to say ‘yes’ whenever someone invites me, because I get really annoyed (as you know), when people come up with ‘veiled bullshit excuses.’ So I say yes. Yes to the parents’ dinner of school A, parents’ drinks of school B, mum’s dinner school A, mum’s lunch school B, mums coffee morning school A, class drinks school B, school drinks of schools A+B, sports day schools A+B, Parent-teacher conference school A+B, readings/assembly/open days/summer parties/birthday parties (oh the last minute cramming-of-birthday-parties-before-summer is an epidemic) etc… etc… etc… And now I know I have completely exhausted you by just reading this.
I haven’t even begun talking about time spent writing the blog/organising Summer 16 Winter 17 holidays/organising playdates and doctor’s appointments/window cleaning/fixing leaks/paying overdue electricity bills (Yes, I am different to the superrich). Everyone always asks me how much time I spend on the blog each week. The answer is a few hours twice or three times a week. I need time to think about the content, write the content, meet future collaborators and think of how we can work together. That last part I really love because I get to meet so many interesting entrepreneurs with a vision, which is one of the main reasons I keep on writing. I don’t make money out of this blog, but it takes up a bloody lot of my time.
Well, that is my constant state of being these days: exhausted. These are not ‘crucial’ life or death events that I need to attend, they are events that are made up by parents and people who try to make our lives more interesting/fun/social, and I respect that. Perhaps, I should learn to say ‘NO.’ (I look at those women who tell me they aren’t going to XYZ school event because they ‘can’t be bothered’ in complete awe. Wow, if I could only do that…) But that’s just not me, and I, for the most part, end up dutifully going to all the events but sometimes (many times) I would rather stay in bed because not only can I not bear to look at my same-old-clothes closet one more time to look for an appropriate outfit, it’s really because I can’t get out of bed from pure small-talk-exhaustion.
The point is that when I tell you I can’t schedule you in until next September (which I have been known to do), it’s not because I am so important, or that I am so popular, or that I-have-so-much-to-do-you’ll-get-FOMO, on the contrary, it’s because I am a YES person, and I always think about the effort people have put into organising school parties or events, and that if it were me, I would want a lot of YES people in my crowd. Is it the schools’ and parents’ fault for over-organising or my fault for saying yes to everyone? I’m not sure. But if you hear me say ‘I’m so busy,’ just know that I am not trying to humblebrag. Most likely, I’ll be sitting in Bramley’s for yet another soft play birthday party thinking that I’d rather be having a coffee with you.