My youngest little sproglet started school in September – a moment I have both longed for and dreaded. It means that I now have time on my hands, actual ‘achieve stuff’ time. But I miss having precious one-to-one time with my boy while the others are at school. On the plus side, now that all my children are in school and I have finished working as a volunteer for ‘Dippy on Tour’, I can really start to focus on doing other stuff. Primarily, this means that I can write, write, write, which is very exciting. It also means that I can get on top of all those niggly jobs that need doing.
On Tuesday, I began the day with more energy than usual. I returned home from the school run with a plan. This was going to be the day that I cleared away all the piles of clutter that have been piling up over the last few months. This was the day that I would finally take the stack of rubbish by the side of our house to the tip. I would clear away the leaves that have amassed in front of our house. I would sort out the coat cupboard, the toy cupboard, the ‘makes you want to scream every time you open it’ cupboard. I would finally get around to taking those bags in the garage to the charity shop. I may even clean the inside of the car, which needs doing at least once a day due to the snacking habits of my children. This was going to be a good day.
I decided that the tip would be a good place to start. So, unloading my wheelchair from the boot of the car, I set about lugging the irreparably broken car seat, the broken iron, the broken slatted blind and the broken clothes airer, which I had destroyed 3 weeks earlier after using it to break one of my falls, into the car. There was a colony of snails on the broken car seat, which I spent a good few minutes rescuing before I could finally get going.
When I returned, a mere 15 minutes later, I decided I should tackle the leaves straight away, seeing as I was already on the driveway. It was quite fun at first – sweeping them all into a pile with my broom. But then came the hard bit, transferring them from the ground into the garden waste bin. I managed a couple of wobbly squats to scoop them up using a dustpan and brush, but I very quickly realised that I could not maintain this level of exertion. I had a quick rest, during which time I briefly contemplated leaving the leaves to my husband, then carried stubbornly on.
Sandwiched between my house and my car, I bopped down, gingerly scooping up another pile of leaves, then froze. There was no way I was getting back up from this. In what felt like slow motion, my legs gave way, I tipped backwards, landing on my bottom, before tipping even further backwards so that I was lying flat on my back, still clutching my dustpan and brush and watching the leaves swirl all around me.
It wasn’t even 11 o’clock and I was officially done. Resigning myself to a day of nothing, I switched on the TV and stumbled upon one of those all day repeat channels, which was showing old episodes of ‘Tipping Point’. I’d seen this gameshow before and sneered at its absolute rubbishness. To my mind, it was the most painfully slow and pointless show I’d ever had the misfortune of seeing. But on this day, when my body was screaming at me not to move, I couldn’t even face using the remote to change the channel and so it remained on.
Three episodes later… I was hooked. What a show! I was yelling at the screen every time I knew the answer and holding my head in my hands each time the contestant released the counter too late.* I held my breath when it came to the final battle to win the money and shook my head in disbelief when one woman gambled it all and went away with nothing.
You could say this was a wasted day, but sometimes we need days where we simply do nothing, and that is precisely what was needed – after all, I had reached my own tipping point.
*I don’t have the energy to explain the rules of the game for those who don’t know it. Just imagine a 2p machine in the arcades and you’ve pretty much got the gist.