As I stand outside my house on an almost spring day with a chill in the air wearing my slippers, no coat, no phone, some car products in one hand, a camera in the other and hear the front door click behind me. I realise with horror that I’m locked out. How did I get to this point?
Rewind to last October/November, I’ve been trying to log in to my tax account to do my self assessment online and constantly failing. I’ve tried resetting my password, user ID, but no matter what I do I’m going round in circles and they never recognise me. In the end I decided to do it by post. It’s not as complicated as I thought and it’s a simple incomings and outgoings, they don’t need all the small details. Job done.
Fast forward to this week. It’s a work day for me so I’m writing posts, designing graphics, and answering emails. It’s a sunny day and I have a car product to photograph which I’ve been meaning to do for a while, so I decide to head outside. When I’m popping out to do the bins or whatever I just go in my slippers. The postman arrives with a letter for me, from the tax office. They say my return was late and I owe £100. I’m so cross, I feel like I’ve done all they asked, I was sure I put it in on time. I hastily read the appeal process and head out the door, my mind on the fine. Click.
It’s 3.30pm and I have 3 children with my parents and my husband is at work. I only know one number off by heart and that’s my husband’s mobile number. He rarely answers it. I see my neighbour across the road, she’s a childminder and has her usual crowd of children with her. I’m so embarrassed at my stupidity, but I go over and she lets me in to use her phone. I feel so naked, more to be without my phone than without proper shoes. I try my husband’s phone, it goes to answer machine. After a few minutes he phones back, he doesn’t have my parent’s number but he does declare it a family emergency and comes home – any excuse!
The point is, I’m always getting myself in these sorts of situations. I always have things on my mind, be they financial worries, creative ideas, pondering the meaning of life, what I’m going to eat next, where am I going? Those sorts of things. Sometimes I play a movie in my mind, my own dream reality. Then reality comes in somewhere and I’m left outside with my slippers on. I have to really concentrate sometimes just to get through mundane tasks, and too much noise and crowds makes me scream internally. I love sleep but with a toddler who only wants mummy and creeps in our bed most nights and is like an eel on steroids I never get enough.
Chaos theory is the study of the non-linear, the unpredictable and turbulent. It relates to things like the weather, the stock market and turbulence. Also my life, it seems. Who could have predicted that trouble filling in a tax return would lead to me getting locked out in my slippers? I’m usually so careful with my keys and I always put the door on the latch when I’m taking out rubbish, but my mind was taken elsewhere. I know I could simplify my life by downsizing my house so it would be cheaper to live therefore less pressure to bring in money, but the whole idea of moving and scaling down is terrifying, plus I’d always be looking back at what I could have achieved. Despite hankering after a simpler life, I’m also fiercely ambitious and I want to achieve financial freedom, the house of my dreams and early retirement. Why not?
Take today for instance. I’m expecting a gas man to come and disconnect our oven, but I haven’t heard from him, I just figure he’ll be coming at some point. I head off to my exercise class and come back, Daniel is tired and goes to sleep at 12. I have clothes to put away, a mountain of washing up and I really should cook in anticipation of not having an oven for a few days. I also should text the gas man to confirm. Instead, I take advantage of the quiet and have my lunch and watch Project Runway on Netflix, it’s the finale and I’ve been binge watching it. I also start writing this blog post, because parts of it have been in my head for a while, and if I don’t write it soon, it’ll go to the land of lost blog posts. There’s some great content in there.
Before I know it, it’s 2pm and my friend knocks on the door, I forgot I’d agreed to watch her toddler for an hour before school pick up. Daniel wakes up and there’s no time for chores. I’m also supposed to be taking the older 2 swimming at 5pm but I’m already formulating an idea of not going, so I can catch up on my to do list in the house and maybe see the floor in my bedroom, and everyone will have clean pants and something to eat off. The gas man is forgotten.
Once the kids are home from school, I’ve handed my friend’s child back and I’ve done my housework, it’s gone 5pm and I finally text the gas man. He thought he was waiting for me to confirm and he can’t come tomorrow. We are supposed to have it done before Sunday when the builder is coming. I try and ring a couple more people but I’m close to tears at this point. I also realise the sink we ordered is far too big for the space. My husband comes home and we muddle through together, decide the sink has to be returned and we’ll get one off the shelf instead, the builder has some things to get on with on Sunday and we’ll sort the oven later next week.
Do I like living in chaos? No. I’d rather have cleanliness, order, organisation and more of a routine. I wouldn’t be bored. My life just doesn’t seem to go that way, maybe it will one day. I try, I really do, but those stolen moments of me time are priceless. 3 errant children don’t help and a toddler that doesn’t sleep well. I’m constantly in a state of exhaustion. My head may be in the clouds but I like it there. If from time to time I may end up lost, confused, overwhelmed, surrounded by a chaos of my own making, there is always a time of quiet reflection and solitude so I can catch my breath. And wine.
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