Monday, 13 June 2011

Flap, flap, flap

After a week of bed rest, stuck in bed with flu like symptoms (according to the doctor it wasn’t flu because there is no flu going around at the moment, don’t you just hate it when doctors say that? Why is everything just a virus? Don’t they know ANYTHING? Anyway…), today is my first day fully back in the saddle and holding the household reins.

It was horrible being ill, but a week of enforced nothingness has set about a marked change in me. As I began to recover I couldn’t help but observe I seemed to be more relaxed and noticeably less flappy.

What I mean by flappy is flustered, stressed, panicking and worrying (usually with a hint of sweat at the brow), being overly meticulous and generally feeling totally overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of responsibility to get everything done and done on time. All totally unnessecary, pointless and a sheer waste of energy. You get no more done by flapping, less in fact. Many people are able to function perfectly well and with far more serenity and dignity without flapping at all.

On the scale of flappiness from level 1 (furrowed brow, deep in thought wondering how many school jumpers to order for son number one) to full on level 10 hysterics (the house is a mess, the cat has a bad foot, a loving mummy haircut for son number 2 has made him look like an escaped mental patient so a trip to the barber is in order, my tax credits renewal hasn’t been done and if we don’t get our extension plans in now we will never have it completed by Christmas), I tend to operate at about a level 7 with occasional forays into level 10.

Flappiness is not just a mannerism confined to women. There are a few flappy men out there, it is rare, but I have seen it. Sometimes I think it would be quite good to be with a flappy man, someone else to share the burden of freaking out about day to day stuff. It would make my flappiness seem less of an issue (I could even experience the joy of being the less flappy one). I often find the man’s lack of flappiness quite infuriating “Why aren’t you panicking about this? Don’t you CARE?” But in truth I am happy that I fell in love with an unflappy man, I think the reality is that two flappy people would create uncontrollably flappy kids, and I’m already flapping about passing this onto my children.

Sometimes I kid myself that my flappiness is endearing, but I suspect the man does not see it that way, and actually finds it unbearably irritating. Often, the second he wakes up he is hit full in the face with one of my flappiness attacks: “Did you check this? Can you do that? I need to do this so I need you to…” The poor bloke hasn’t even had his morning wee yet, and already he is thinking about the fact that we have friends to dinner on Saturday so did he eat all the After Eight mints at Christmas, and the MOT is due on the car but I need it on Wednesday so it’ll have to be done before then. Advice to men, if you have a flappy wife, mum or sister the best thing you can do is say, in a nice soothing voice, “Don’t worry honey, we will get it done” DO NOT shout “Stop bloody flapping woman, we’re never going to get it down now anyway, so chill out”. The latter will only exacerbate the situation.

Flappiness is born out of disorganisation, control freakery and setting goals too high. For instance if I have a lot to do in one week, I will unrealistically attempt to get everything completed on the Monday, so the rest of the week is theoretically flap free. In practice, what actually happens is that Monday is extreme flapping day, the list doesn’t get completed (usually because a lot of time is taken up being in a stage of flapping), low level flapping mid week, then another bout of extreme flappage on a Friday when I realise I haven’t completed my tasks.

So I am attempting to quell my flapping tendencies and retain this casual air I have adopted since my week of convalescence.

Easier said than done though. I have a number of things that I feel should be done today (because as the week goes on, a lot more stuff will come up), but in reality could be stretched over the week. I just need to prioritise. But finding time to prioritise is simply adding another task to the to-do list for today. I can feel the flap levels rising. 

1 comment:

  1. I love, love, love this. I have the odd day flapping too. To be honest having kids seems to have made me less flappy!!!!! My Dad is a total flapper - at times not good to live with. He is always doing something and always at pace. It tires me out watching him. I have had the chat as he nears retirement he needs to slow things down. I think he has taken this on board. Although, Mum and Dad are on holiday this week - a walking holiday!!! Another great piece Beth. Loving the new calm you, I totally need that at the mo with big school just around the corner x x