I woke up feeling quite sad this morning. The radio comes on at 6.30am, and penetrates my sub-conscious for a good half an hour before I properly wake up. I listen to BBC Somerset so that it will be mainly nice stories about old men who have been making their own cider for 50 years and dogs who have rescued cats from small house fires, but this morning there was no getting away from Syria.
My dreams between 6.30am and 7am then followed a bizarre plot line – I was responsible for finding a new manager for Yeovil Town, who were actually a group of school girls all dressed in orange, at the same time as canvassing MPs for how they were going to vote today.
It was very stressful.
I’m sure it’s a terribly naive way of thinking, but it just feels wrong. It’s just not been the same since they sacked Gary Johnson. I’m kidding, I mean Syria of course. Perhaps there really is no alternative, but it feels to me a bit like blowing up a wasps nest because you don’t want to get stung. Surely you’re just going to make the wasps even madder?
And as if that wasn’t enough, then I went downstairs and looked at my kitchen.
You know those days where you’re thinking you can just about handle work, family, money and an international conflict, and then you see the washing up and it tips you over the edge? I think, like a lot of women my age, that I operate at about 93% of my full capacity at any point. It’s fine most of the time, because it means I get lots done and am generally very on top of things, but it also means that it only takes a few extra things, like feeling responsible for the future of a local football team and a glance at a huge basket of washing that needs putting away, and it flips a switch.
In these situations, a bit of a stock take is required to bring things swiftly back down beneath the critical level, and to stop the red light flashing. There are essentially two types of stresses – those that I can do something about, like putting the washing away rather than feeling obliged to sit next to Belle while she watches I’m a Celebrity, in case she feels neglected, and those that I can’t, like Syria. And Yeovil Town.
The difficulty of course, which I’m sure a lot of you will recognise, is that when all of the things are staring you in the face, it feels hard to know what’s what. A little perspective is normally all that I need; a brief trip into the future, to reassure myself that my tax return will get done and the washing does get put away.
And then go out, because everyone knows the dishes don’t count if you can’t see them.
Image – Paul Michael Hughes/shutterstock