Last weekend got off to a very different start to my usual Thursday afternoons. As I watched the clock count down to 2pm when I could ‘down tools’ at work, and think about pick up, I had that ‘I’m-sure-I’ve-forgotten-something-but-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-what’ feeling in the back of my head. The feeling had me on edge. I hate that feeling, as it ususally means I have forgotten to do something important, like collect a friend’s child from school!!! AND there it was…..school pick up……I was off duty.
Contrary to my usual manic Thursdays which saw me race to school, strategically park so I can exit the campus without getting stuck in ‘forever traffic’, barge my way through crowds as deep as Selfridges’ Boxing day sales, collect three children from two different pick up points, reverse through the Boxing Day sales’ crowds without losing a child (or acquiring a stray!), power walk to where I parked pausing only to order ‘keep up DS2’ whilst DD moans ‘why do you always park soooo far away????’,jump in the car and pull out before I have time to put on my seatbelt, order the boys to change into their football kits and DD into her civvies and neatly pack away uniforms in the bag provided, pray there is not much traffic on the way to the football pitch, and curse any car that speeds down the hard shoulder/filter lane to cut in whilst I (im)patiently wait in a jam, screech to a halt at Waitrose supermarket, speed round to get the kids’ some post-school-pre-dinner sustenance as well as Thursday night’s staple dinner of sausages, chips and beans, water and re-hydrate drinks for football training, a quick dash to the loo and back in the car to the football training grounds whilst the kids scoff some kilojoules before their training session……
Off duty. Childless for the evening. No responsibilities. I was sure this was virgin territory for me. I honestly could not recall a time when my time was my own. How had this come to pass? DS2 had a sleepover at school. DD was at a friend’s for a sleepover and DS1 and DH were in RAK practising for DS1’s last race of what has felt like a very long kart racing season….
My mind turned to the practical and I began thinking about what I should do: filing, admin, declutter the kids’ wardrobes and playroom, grocery shopping, maybe even fit in some exercise…..I think I even got excited at the thought of how much stuff I could get through in an afternoon uninterrupted by homework and taxiing to and from afterschool activities….that was all until a wise friend berated me for not using the precious, golden, ‘me’ time to do something for me. The cupboards may be bare, the kids’ wardrobes may still be cluttered and the paperwork may still by stacked sky high…..but my nails look great and my head, neck and shoulders feel wonderful!