Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Thoughts and Writing Therapy

I got up yesterday morning and thought I'd start catch up on some of my blog buddies. I've been sadly neglectful of late as I've been very busy and quite stressed. Yes, even the good natured Mrs T gets stressed - mainly I get stressed about education and bad drivers but I also about A LOT of other things, including poaching eggs.

Hmm...if I'm getting stressed about poaching eggs I probably ought to be on tranquillisers.

However, writing a couple of blogs and reading some blog posts has chilled me out a bit. But it was only when Georgie over at Cedar Falls was discussing writing as therapy I realised that instead of writing less, as I have been doing lately, I should actually be writing more - as writing is my number one therapy. Later, I nipped over to Book Calender's blog Daily Thoughts for a catch up. Sometimes Book Calender only writes a few short sentences but nevertheless he writes every day and I am in awe; I can just about manage to brush my teeth daily. Anyway, as a consequence of  reading Georgie and Book Calender's blogs I thought I might try and write a few words every day for a week or so and see if that helps my stress levels and also if I can get back into writing my novel which over the school holidays has ground to a complete halt.

So how can a Stay at Home Mum (SAHM) be so busy and stressed? Here's no 1 and no 2 reasons:

This is Master Jacob who has just turned 14 and is now 6 foot and towers over me. In the last three weeks he has taken  9 tennis titles in the locality including the County U14 boys singles, the County U14 Boys Doubles (with Master Ben) and the County U18 Mixed doubles. Jacob also plays cricket when he is not playing tennis. The days and weekends can be very long. But also very rewarding.

Master Ben is 11 now and is also excellent at tennis and is the county no 1 at U12 as has been almost continuously since he moved up from U10 -despite being nowhere near his best as he has been stressed out by the events at school last year which have, without doubt, affected his confidence. Ben has been working on a one handed backhand; it is going to be awesome, even if I say so myself! Ben also represents  the county U11 cricket squad as a left arm pace bowler who can also do some serious slogging.

In order to excel at sport in the UK you have to be totally committed. You also have to have a parent who can ferry you around at strange hours during school, after school, in the evenings and the weekends - especially if you are in the state school system and don't have any opportunity to practise at school. Out of the UK Olympians 37% of our medal winners attended private school but private schools represent only 7% of schools in the UK. This suggests several things: state schools don't have enough facilities and their curriculum is weak on sport but mostly it suggest that in the UK that you have to be wealthy to succeed in sport - particularly in some sports where the cost of equipment and training is astronomical and out of reach of all but a select few. As a family we put all our spare cash into the boys sporting and educational development but sadly that won't be anywhere near enough to take them to the top.

Reason no 3:

This is a smoothie. Master Sam is on a diet of smoothies and  soft drinks as he has just had  his jaw and chin broken and his teeth wired to correct a jaw misalignment.  He declined to have his upper jaw broken and plastic surgery on his upper lip as those needs were more aesthetic than medical. I wasn't sure if that was the right decision at the time but seeing the amount of discomfort now I think that it was, especially as those procedures would have had minimal impact on his features.His jaw is now set with metal plates (permanently) and his teeth are wired together for at least six weeks. We have still got 4 weeks to go and he is due back to college on the same day at as his next appointment at the hospital. I couldn't persuade them to change the date. Not even with pleading eyes. Sigh.

Reason no 4
This is a UB40 form which you  get when you claim unemployment benefit. Mr T was made redundant in January and is still looking for full time work. Luckily, he has got some part time work lecturing at the local university but it a mere fraction of his previous income. There's a very good job on the horizon but even if that comes off we are still probably at least 3 months or more from getting back to normal.

 Reason no 5:

I am applying for jobs and this is a council job application form.  At the moment I'm still looking for jobs that fit in with the boy's sports which is almost nigh impossible. I'm over qualified for most. Also, all the applications I've filled in are ridiculously long and needlessly complicated. You have to explain everything in the smallest detail, including exams you've failed and every job you ever done back to the year zero and all their responsibilities - even though the job title in itself should demonstrate what responsibilities were necessary to someone with half a brain. You also have to answer how you match their job description for every function of the job, even though you may already have covered in your qualifications and previous job listings.  In contrast for a top executive job you could just send off a CV with some tweaking. It drives me nuts - especially when you may not even get an acknowledgement after having spend days trying to think up ways to make one month working in a fashion shop in 1986 sound important or that cycling proficiency test in 1975 make you sound like Evel Knievel.

Okay, so I haven't put down the cycling proficiency test, my bronze medal in swimming or the day I almost passed an exam but failed by one mark. (It's true.) I haven't even mentioned the month in a fashion shop in Essex, the day in a book shop in Tottenham court Road, the week in a cafe on Weston Super Mare seafront or the summer in Tescos when I was sixteen - but you probably get my drift! 

Basically, I am totally wound up and need to relax!  Mr T is somewhat chilled though as we still have some cash from our inheritances in the bank but my over-active imagination is working full speed ahead. I have imagined every scenario possible including a penniless retirement, the boys having to drop their sport and me working full time as a basket weaver.

So there you have it - Why I am stressed out. And why somewhere in between all this I need to find time to write. I shall be giving it a shot at daily blogging for a week or so and see where it gets me. Expect no more whining but a lot more exploding eggs. Laughter is always the best medicine!


  1. Thanks for the shout out.

    As for those forms, your version of the application form would scare the crap out of me and cause me to run away with arms flailing.

    As for the UB40 (form, not the band), we have it easier in that you can file for unemployment over the phone. Which only saves time and money, not stress and aggravation.

  2. That's exactly how I feel, G. I see one of those forms and my heart sinks. They're so incredibly time consuming.

    Sounds like your system is a little more sensible in the US. Over here it's all paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.


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