Thoughts on Women's Busy, Busy Lives

  • Women lead such busy lives, if you watch a man making a cup of tea, that's what he does, he gets up, he goes into the kitchen, he watches the kettle boil, he makes a cup of tea and he brings it back and he drinks it. A woman gets up to make a cup of tea, clears the clutter off the table as she goes, stops to pick up a pair of cast-off shoes and pops them in the shoe basket, shuts drawers that have been left open, picks up the phone that hasn't been put back on it's charging cradle, doing a hundred things before she even gets to the kitchen. Then when she's rid herself of all the things that she's picked up along the way she turns on the kettle, and while it's boiling, she tidies the kitchen, re-arranges the things in the dishwasher or they're never going to wash, wipes down the surfaces, checks that the dogs/cats have food and water, waters the plants and normally forgets completely that she was making a cup of tea and instead goes off to gather up the dirty washing to put in the washing machine. It's what we do.


And then there are the endless things that we have on our to do list, real or occupying a little piece of our busy minds, and the questions;


Can I have?

What's for dinner?

Did you wash my shorts?


Where do we keep this? A favourite one of my husband's, and I'm sure yours too, this one in particular drives me mad, I mean they've all lived in this house for as long as I have, why don't they know where we keep whatever it is they're looking for?


And the other classic, where did I put my ........ ? Well if you put it somewhere why would I know where you put it? Surely that really is something only you can answer.


I know this is family life and since we decided to be a family in the first place I should just accept it and get on with it - but don't you just sometimes wish, just sometimes, that you could have a little space for silence and peace? Want to step off this loud merry-go-round funfair of a life where you're constantly bombarded with noise and other people?


Noise drives me mad, I hate it, I don't mean music, although it depends on what sort of music, that loud banging you hear from young adult's cars, oh dear I must be getting old. No I mean the intrusive sort, the sort of noise that starts as a low annoyance and becomes an 'in your face' sort of aggression, loud phone calls, not mine you understand, other people talking on their mobiles, loudly, why do I have listen to their life full blasting into my ears when I don't even know them? I was on a train a few months back and a woman yelled, and I do mean yelled, at her secretary/colleague for nearly an hour in a tone that amazed me, I wasn't amazed that she was using it, I was amazed that the person on the other end of the phone hadn't hung up.


There are times when we get a moment for our own thoughts, in the car mostly I find those, fleeting minutes between dropping off one child, picking up another, going to get the shopping, coming home to pack away the food, but they are just that, fleeting minutes.


Today was a noisier day than most, or maybe it was just that I needed some more peacefulness today than I normally do, an accumulation of modern life's noise and frustration taking it's toll on an already busy mind. I teach stress therapy, when I have the time, and when I have the clients, Women in particular talk about having busy minds, lying in bed seems to be the prime time for 'busy mind syndrome', you lie there in the darkness, just when you think that it would seem to be the perfect time for peace, but instead your mind takes over and the day's events are re-spun in ever decreasing circles, what happened, what could have happened, what you did, what you didn't get time to do and why, what was said, how it could have gone better, what you should have said, perhaps if you'd been braver or quicker witted, rehearsals for life that is going to happen, or should have happened, I believe it's called 'symbolic interactionism' I'm sure someone will correct me if I've got that wrong. We're good at correcting one another. I have a friend who tells me the same story again and again and again, and for a while now I've been meaning to say to her, gently of course, "oh yes I remember you told me about that" and 'head her off at the pass' so to speak, but yesterday I suddenly realised that she isn't telling me it because she thinks she hasn't told me it, she's telling me it because she loves to tell it, she loves what happened, she loves the words she chooses to use and I realised that as a friend I was happy for her and that any time she wants to tell me her story I would now gladly listen to it. So sometimes our busy minds just catch glimpses of one another and that not all 'noise' is bad.


Despite the hectic day and frustrating morning that I had I managed very unexpectedly to find some time alone, all to myself. I had picked my daughter's friend up, dropped them off to go shopping, returned home, stacked the dishwasher, took my husband and dropped him off to go play rugby, and realised that before the phone call asking to pick up my daughter and her friend I had 20 minutes, 20 glorious minutes all to myself. My ever present camera was in the car and so being the eternal genealogist that I am I headed for a local village Church that I hadn't visited before. Surprisingly no lost detours ensued and the church just presented itself to me as if I was meant to find it - I ended up at the back of the churchyard, entering a very old wrought iron gate sheltering underneath a huge old Elm tree, it was almost like a secret gateway. The churchyard was full of hidden surprises, an old wooden door hidden in a wall, another iron gateway marked 'Private', a separate graveyard which held long forgotten Baronets and their wives. And a perfect flower in the grass.


Finally I had found some peace, birds chirping, sunshine and the gentle whirring of my camera lens ...... and then I was rewarded ..... surprisingly by noise ..... the Church Choir, on a Saturday practicing for an upcoming concert ...... like something out of heaven the magnificent, almost tear-producing sound of Handel's Messiah.

Some peace and some noise - the perfect combination - a perfect afternoon ♥




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