The tell tale signs of losing it!

Do you have signs that you are not on top any more? Daft signs, trivia, nonsense but they get me every time.

I am rushing around like an idiot again and here we go, all sliding away.

I have not filled the bird feeders. This should be something and nothing, after all it is autumn and the birds are hardly likely to go hungry. But every time I stand at the kitchen sink I look out at the feeders. When things are under control this is great. The feeders swarm with great tits and chaffinches. An elegant nuthatch walks delicately upside down to take peanuts. A woodpecker surprises me with the brilliant red of his lower body. Greenfinches and goldfinches hang just feet away. A flock of sparrows swoop in and fill the tree on which the feeders hang, the branches suddenly alive with movement. When I am not on top of the details of life they are just a reproach: silent, empty. I will do it, I think as I fill the kettle or rinse a mug and then the phone rings and emails ping into the inbox and I pack my bag and leap into the car and go away.

The compost bin in the kitchen is full. It doesn't smell yet (be thankful for small mercies) but it is overflowing with peelings and dead flowers and old teabags. All the other bins are full too. The recycling bin is at the stage where nothing else really fits and the ordinary rubbish bin has been squashed down so fiercely I know that when I take the bag out it is quite likely to tear and drop bits on the floor and make me swear.

My indoor plants need watering. I get up from my desk and think I will fetch a jug and again I am sucked into the immediate clamour of the phone and the computer and the builders wanting tea and my visiting parents (actually not at all demanding) passing by the window and my feeling guilty that they are not getting enough of my time. Hours later I go back to my desk and the streptocarpus on the windowsill is still drooping.

Outside the sweetpeas need lifting and damn it, where is my bulb order, all the additional daffodils and tulips that I spent so long choosing and ordering? I need to track it on the computer, it should be here by now, but I am outside and the chickens need feeding and the greenhouse needs watering and by the time I come in again I have forgotten about the missing bulb order.

The bed needs changing.

I need to plan and shop for food for my FIL's 90th birthday celebration.

I haven't rung my sister.

I haven't done my Welsh homework.

The deep red rug in the sitting room which is my pride and joy is covered with builders' debris, not from them, they keep to the kitchen, but simply because muck is trotting in and out.

Does everybody have these days? Maybe I will have a G and T and go to bed.


  1. Is it in losing it or trying to have it all that we inevitably develop long lists of things-to-do? I dread the day when mine is too short(though since it's currently at a full page of bullet points I don't think it'll be soon)

  2. This week I resigned to clearing our blackboard of funny quips and making it a short-term to-do list. I've almost run out of space on it. I thought moving out to the hills was supposed to slow the pace of life down?!

  3. Oh I'm like that all the time, very rarely get on top of things. I always wish I could press 'pause' on my life and have a jolly good sort out!

  4. Yep that's me all over especially watering the indoor plants, and they're right under my nose on the kitchen windowsill.

  5. Oh yes, oh yes, Elizabeth. You describe my every day! You start on one job, get distracted by another, and another, and another, and end with 50 jobs not quite finished and a whole heap of fuming frustration!

  6. Yes, frequently.
    In fact yesterday I did remember to put the rubbish bag in the car to take to our communal bin. But found it some hours later having taken it for a 100 km drive to visit my husband.

  7. yes indeedy, every single day.
    Let me be your helper:
    Jettison the house plants, think of them like flowers, which get chucked happily. If they can survive with zero attention, fine, otherwise, vamoosh. even the best ones turn dusty and reproachful.
    The birds are fine, the minute you do feed them, the sparrows (don't like) will swoop in all greasy and take the lot.
    Empty the compost bin. Flies will come. Not nice.
    Yank the sweet peas - I did it last week, very satisfying, came up really easily and left a big hole which looked like I'd been very busy with.
    Ask Ian to do the sheets. And the other bins.
    Make FIL a fish pie, everyone loves, nice and easy, decision made. And a super dooper fun cake with indoor sparklers and Happy Birthday Letter candles.
    Rug? Marvellous things called hoovers. FIVE MINS TOPS.
    Anyway, when you make a start, the rest will domino in to place. But some days it just doesn't want to come. Maybe wait for the day when it does - it could be tomorrow.
    Speak English.
    Ring your sister when you guess she's going to be out. Leave a loving message. She'll call back, the time will be there. (assuming you get on??)

  8. A stiff drink, an early night and the knowledge that we all have days like that. Just think how boring it would be if you had nothing to do!

  9. That sounds like the normal state of affairs here, so I have lots of experience on which to draw in giving you this advice.....take the large G&T and go back to bed........or go out and buy yourself a gorgeous pair of slouchy red boots. Either way you'll feel a whole lot better, and I believe that a person with a pair of slouchy red leather boots must be a person whose life is under control in other aspects.
    You can fool all of the people some of the time........

  10. Well Milla I have emptied the compost bin and hoovered the rug so that is a start. Ian does loads normally, including bins, he just hasn't been here this week so we have not been sharing the load. do get on very well with my sister and do want to speak Welsh!
    Love slouchy red boots as a solution pondside.
    I suspect the real solution is that it is just being one of those weeks and might just have to wait until next week.
    G and T was good though.

  11. Have another one then - you deserve it!

  12. The world's not going to end if you don't do any of them is it? It is that horrible feeling of reproach and judgement about not achieving every target that gets me every time - and that's even if the target is just emptying the bin.

    I'm haunted by the dust bunnies that swirl over every floor. surely they can't be too hard to keep under control?

  13. Yes - I have those days too.
    Unfortunately I cann't have a G and T because although I love it - it doesn't love me (sigh)
    Talking of builders dust ... actually lets not!
    It is the little things, every time.

  14. Yes, yes, yes. I have these days and the same little things too like the feeders and the compost bin can really niggle can't they? Recycling too.
    Funnily enough I was thinking of you yesterday, the fact you hadn't blogged and hoped you were OK.

  15. l lost it years ago, today l have really really lost it, have been chasing about not doing a lot, mind suddenly emptying of the task in hand, it is sunday?

  16. YES!
    I had one of these last FRiday.
    It began with losing an earring and trekking to lots of places only to find it safely at home..
    And as for plants...I must go NOW.

  17. I recognise almost all of these - the birds reproach me when I get back from London because no one else remembers. Isn't it difficult filling bird feeders in the dark!

  18. I am like that most of the time, I am sorry to say. The only thing I don't seem to put off is blogging!
    I get easily distracted, that's the trouble.

  19. Good list from Milla there, sounds useful. I've had such a week tho' EM, having worked two weeks straight I had to keep my neighbour chatting in the garden this evening as I couldn't bear to let her see the state of the kichen - all papers and post and dust and dog hair (now cleaned in a fit of guilt, dinner had to wait!). I don't know how working mothers do it. All I've managed to do is clean the bath this week. And as for the houseplants, I've been meaning to buy Baby Bio for a year, they need help!
    Time off next week - these jobs just have to wait. My family and friends have suffered too... I must make amends.

  20. You hit the nail on the head again Elizabeth! For me, too, the bird feeders being empty is the thing that starts me off on a chain of hopelessness. 'If I were to go outside and fill the feeders then I could... take the bin out, empty the recycling, take the compost...' ad nauseum. It is happening everywhere, to all of us! Good luck with it all.

  21. Sounds so familiar...
    some days I am on top of the game, others not. Of course here my routine is influenced by many external factors, usually farm and frequently livestock related.
    We are waiting for a gilt to farrow so instead of cracking on with the routine I go and vist her to check all is well and then get diverted. Pigs are big timewasters!
    Why is it the dishwasher always needs emptying, and just like Elizabeth says the rubbish and compost bins fill so quickly and then of course there is the re-cycling which at times threatens to engulf us all in a mountain of plastic, tin and glass, not to mention the daily newspaper which we have taken to reading [usually in bed or in the bath] on account of the 'crisis'.

  22. Gosh yes - that sounds very familiar, those days of tail-chasing and low achievement. They get balanced out with the days when you are on rocket fuel though!

  23. Hi there EM. I can never understand people that say they're bored, there's always so much to do..
    I love Milla's solution but I'm with you, keep up with with the Welsh classes. ElizabethD made me laugh I'm forever taking my rubbish for a drive around the Pyrenees! I think on a serious note though its important to get it all into perspective and remember to look after oneself. One person can only do so much; and I'm sure you do it all very well cariad xx

  24. Every day seems like that for me sometimes! And I am at home all day! I don't know how you do half of what you do with your work, hol let and garden!!


  25. How do you always manage to hit the nail on the head so brilliantly?!! Just back form a week away and everything has exploded into chaos. I chase round like a whirling dervish accomplishing nothing with confusion growing ever larger and more unmanageable.
    Thank god you experience it too…I feel hugely better.

  26. You are so good at articulating the things that affect women in their every day lives.

    I've just spent the morning rushing around like an idiot, doing all the things you describe, because I am away this weekend, and before I can blink, it will be Monday morning, 7am and work. Still trying to find the elusive balance.

  27. Oh gosh - I have these days so often, Elizabeth, I'm almost losing sight of the fact that there are days that aren't like this. I refuse to believe we're losing it, though - I just think life is just like this sometimes.


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