Monthly Archives: May 2009

Sometimes it’s the little things

Since I started a new blog I’ve had a bad bad case of blogger’s block.  The pressure to impress, make an impact, or something.. it’s all combined to send the brain cells into hibernation, and I’ve been sitting, staring at the screen, unable to think of anything worthy of typing, let alone hitting publish on. That, and the fact that my head is cluttered full of a zillion and one things I should be doing.

Maybe my best approach is to start with the daily journal-cum-diary approach. It’s at the risk of boring the pants off people, but sometimes it’s on the little bitty miscellaneous minutiae level of life that we click with others.

So I’m going to talk about netball bibs. (Right, there, I’ve lost 75% of my potential readership already.)

Because I’m too lazy to find the camera, here’s a picture I’ve flogged of a netball bib.

nballbibFor those who don’t know netball, each of the seven positions on a netball team must wear identification, so at club and school level, the usual MO is to wear bib, like so. They are like a super-loose singlet – with elastic joining the bottom ends front to back.

All good, till the elastic inevitably breaks/loses its elasticity, and then some sucker has to volunteer to fix them. This is a really fun job. NOT.   Unless you love unpicking tiny stitches, usually the same colour as the material, and originally stitched over and over and over. It’s especially fun when someone in the past has done a crappier job of fixing them, sewing over embedded elastic, and.. yeah..  shocker.

It’s even more fun when your eyesight for close work is starting to go. (That’d be me.)

Still, from time to time I’ve fixed a few when we’ve ended up being caretakers of the team bibs for the season. Last year I actually intended to repair a full set for the new year, but returned them to the association and told them that it wasn’t worth my time trying to unpick seven sets of bibs. It was hours of work, so better off to just buy a new set I thought.

Just before that, however, I had blithely responded to a plea in the primary school newsletter to fix some netball bibs. It was the mother guilt thing; I hadn’t been doing much at the school recently, I don’t much like committing regular time up at school, so the least I could do was fix a few bibs. I saw the sports teacher while up at school and said I’d do them.

That afternoon, Ms 10 struggled home on the bus with a plastic box full of FIVE sets of bibs! FIVE!  That’s 35 bibs X 4 corners on each = 140 corners of unpicking to do! “Fruit”. I might have said. Or possibly something worse.

Needless to say, they sat in the ‘too hard’ box all over summer.  Till suddenly netball season was upon us again, and the box sat there reprovingly, near the ironing board, till a week or so ago I sighed and pulled them out. Far out. What a job.  I rang around, and googled online suppliers. Maybe I could just replace them. Donation to the school. Easy.  Um… no, not at around $50 a set!

OK then. Look again. Two sets were easier than the others to undo, so I set to work on them. I did an unpicking blitz, taking them with me to do while Ms 10 had a tennis lesson. One set was missing a bib, which made the whole set useless, so I decided I’d go ahead and buy one set to donate.

And meanwhile I documented my whinges occasionally on Facebook and Twitter. Stuff like:

“Next time I’m tempted to offer to repair netball bibs, somebody gag me and put a bag over my head or something…”

This morning Himself notices two sets of netball bibs (with fresh elastic) sitting on the end of the ironing board. Two sets, minus the last two I had to do this morning to then at least have achieved 50% of my target. Yay! Sense of achievement looming!

I can’t imagine that I never swore or muttered about the ‘bloody school netball bibs’  before.. but he was clueless as to who they were for, and why the box had been sitting downstairs over the past week.

And he has been on Facebook in the past few days… but patently he never reads anything I write, because he then says:

So the set for the girls’ team (which he coaches) needs fixing, can you do them for tomorrow?

Some days I could cheerfully throttle him.

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Filed under miscellaneous minutiae, the things you do for.. nothing

So much for multitasking.

We women are supposed to be great at multi-tasking aren’t we? Well I’m afraid, girls, I’m letting the team down.

Other women seem to juggle jobs, house, family with consummate ease.   Here I am, simply trying to do half a full-time IT  course (I’ve already ditched doing half the units for this year) and my brain is just not coming to the party.  Maybe, at 46 yrs old,  it’s running out of disk space…   I wonder if there’s any chance of an upgrade.

This week I’m having problems running the ‘getting my head around Javascript’ program concurrently with the ‘keep up with the laundry’ program, the ‘shuttling the kids here and there after school’ program, the ‘cooking and cleaning up’ program, the ‘nagging the kids to actually do the jobs on their roster’ program, the ‘understanding 2D Animation’ program..  and that’s not even the half of it.

I also should be initiating a few voluntary jobs (website stuff for two organisations, and stupidity like having offered to repair netball bibs for the school) at the same time as trying to install Exercise Each Day, partly for my sanity, partly because I need to lose weight, not put it on.

Yesterday I also made enquiries in regard to initiating some house renovation software, which will use up even more of my CPU resources.  I could list more jobs that need to run,  (and some that I’d like to run) but I’ve simply not been able to free up the disk space to initiate them.

I’m not sure if it would feel any easier if I was paid for any of this, but my head is spinning. And the operating system is threatening to crash.

I  know many women hold down full time jobs, and manage all the domestic affairs, and have a far cleaner house than me. I know of women who have done their Masters or a PhD at the same time as holding down a full time job, plus wrangle a family of twice as many kids as I have.

Me? My house is a pigsty, I can’t get my kids to do their bloody jobs. [I don’t know, it’s as if they can’t possibly do anything round here till I’ve asked 6 times (each time louder than the last) clicked my heels three times and said facetiously ‘there’s no place like home’]  (Obviously there’s a bug or even a virus in that program.)

I know that I need to spend time ‘studying’ or practising the stuff I am trying to learn, but I can’t seem to find the RAM to do it. Too much else is running at the same time.

Obviously these other women are running some multi-tasking patch or script that I don’t have, or their operating system is far superior.   Can anyone recommend a good one?

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Filed under it's just another manic mum day, lost in procrastination

The Mother’s Day you have when you’re not having a Mother’s Day

It’s “Mother’s Day” in my part of the world.  I still get raised eyebrows when I claim that we don’t really do Mother’s Day in our house. It’s just…  not my thing.  Call it a quirk.  Call me a rebel. It’s just one more anomaly to add to my CV. As I get older I get a little bolder with sticking up for what I do and don’t believe in. (And trying not to be too hypocritical about it at the same time. It’s a struggle, but I do try.)

Personally I’d rather a random and spontaneous (and slightly more frequent) display of appreciation and recognition for being ‘Mum’ than the kids doing some prescribed and commercially driven stuff that is not really ‘me’ on one day of the year.  I’m not one for the usual Mother’s Day frippery – cut flowers, perfumed presents, or fluffy slippers and breakfast in bed aren’t my thing.  I’ve got to the point where I don’t really expect – or want –  to do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day.  It might be nice if for just one day I didn’t have to nag about kids doing their jobs, but, surprise surprise, that just doesn’t seem to happen.

All that said, I was a bit annoyed that I managed to schedule myself to lead a bike ride today (with the BUG (Bicycle User’s Group) that I belong to.  By the time I realised that the 10th May was Mother’s Day it was too late to back out (and how hypocritical would that have been anyway?!) I would have liked to have given myself a sleep-in, but even the ‘later than usual’ start of 8.30 meant that I was struggling out of bed before the Daddy (who could barely contain his glee when he suggested that it was “quite ironic”.)

It was a ‘Breakfast’ Ride – eat first, then ride – so I shouted myself the Big Breakfast (bacon, eggs, tomatoes, hash browns and toast). It was brought out, to my embarrassment on two plates! Nobody else had ordered it, so I had to keep using Mother’s Day as an excuse. (I didn’t eat the toast on the second plate, I promise!)

When I was asked what the rest of the family were doing while I did this ride I joked that maybe they’d have the house all spick and span by the time I got back.  When that elicited peals of laughter from one older woman who was new to the club, I knew immediately that she was a mother too. Funny that!

In my rush to get out of the house I forgot my bike bottle, so I had to put in a call home. (How impressive.. the ride leader forgets to bring water!)  The Daddy graciously brought it out to me; even though I’m sure he would have done so anyway, I should probably mark that one down as special treatment.

I also decided to mark down the ride as ‘time out’  from the family. It’s probably not the ‘done’ thing for mother’s day, but I wonder how many mums might just secretly wish that as a present.

As I expected, not much had happened on the home front by the time I got home – not even the kids’ rostered jobs. So much for mother’s day miracles. Still, the exercise endorphins  have given me a bit more enthusiasm to tackle some of the household jobs awaiting my attention and put me in a better mood than I might have been had I slothed around in bed all morning.

Right now the Daddy is out there mowing the lawn. Looks like I can now get to the washing line (and I didn’t have to mow!) so there’s a nice present!  I’m still feeling energised enough to tackle a few more of the sixty squillion jobs awaiting my attention.   If I achieve just a few, I’ll call it quits on a pretty ok Mother’s Day after all.

And on the whole concept, I have a suggestion. With globalisation and all that, perhaps we mums should take a note of every Mother’s Day date in the world and insist to our families that we should make due celebrations and fuss on each and every one of those dates.  Then the idea of a day in which we are shown appreciation might not smack so much of lip-service and hypocrisy.  Don’t you think?

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Filed under it's just another manic mum day

Here goes.

Starting up a new blog should be the last thing on my list of things to do right now, but, there you go, that’s pretty typical of me.  Start feeling overwhelmed by a great long list of obligations, promises, and ‘should-dos’, and what do I do? Something else again, of course!  I do have my reasons –  just not sure about my priorities.

I also didn’t realise I’d find a first post so bloody difficult. (It’s not like I’ve never written a blog post before!)  But I have a whole About page to satisfy the urge to write the Story of Me, so what on earth do I put in an introductory post that will ultimately end up lost and dusty in the archives anyway?

Well, just quickly, here’s the back story: I had an old blog – which I started in 2006 in order to ‘practise my writing’.  I’m not sure what I expected out of it, but after two years I was getting a little bit disillusioned that it hadn’t really opened any doors or prompted any great epiphanies. And I was feeling a lot guilty that I was spending too much time blogging.   I felt that my writing had improved, but there was also a lot that I might have written differently (put in, left out, etc) with the wonderful wisdom of hindsight and experience.

When I started a web developing/design course at the beginning of this year, my conscience  told me to give it a rest.

And then a few months later a little door in the universe creaked open and out sprinkled a bit of star dust and an invitation to write some articles for a new website that was being launched. Wow! Someone liked my writing after all!

I had already decided that maybe 2009 should be my year of ‘reinvention’ , and so in the spirit of that I figured that a new look blog was in order.  For anything more to come out of the writing gig, I’d need a net ‘presence’, and, well,  a fresh start seemed the way to go.

A wordpress platform also seemed to be the way to move onwards and upwards, and so here I am struggling for the right words to impress, while I wrangle a new interface.  (There’s the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ when I compare it to Blogger.)  Ultimately I’ll go for my own domain name, and, after I learn a bit more CSS with this course, I’d like to think I could fully design my own blog template. But I’m too impatient to wait till all that can happen, so for now I’m stuck with the frustrations of a free wordpress.com url, and the limitations imposed thereon. (I’m not impressed that I have to pay to make any public changes to the CSS.)

So I’ll gradually tinker around with it all – meanwhile it’s the words that are more important. And I’ll spill more about my bit part in the ‘writing gig’ when it is launched.

Welcome to my brave new world.  And a toast: To old blog friends, and new.

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Filed under miscellaneous minutiae