As I lay in bed yesterday morning, I mused on what I wanted to achieve over the weekend and after examining my thoughts I decided I wanted to tackle three things: do some significant exercise, do my self-assessment tax return, and get my paperwork together for my trip to Malta next weekend. I noticed after a while of being up that I wasn’t really moving towards my goals and I thought it might be interesting to write down the thoughts that came into my head as I went on with my day.
The list of thoughts that follows will I suspect be incomplete because these are the ones I was conscious of and wrote down, other fleeting ones may come to me as I write but those might be a post-situation invention to fit the facts so I am going to ignore them. I was not aware of censoring my thoughts when I wrote them down and at the end of the day, the process of writing them down will affect the flow of thoughts anyway.
I think what I am trying to say is that these are as genuine as I can make them.
- As I get dressed I notice how cold it is and think that since I am at home all day, it would be okay to put the central heating on.
- In the airing cupboard, where the heating controls are, there are a lot of clothes which need to be delivered. Nearly all of them are mine so I decide to fold them in the kitchen so they can be ordered into piles and quickly put away.
- I want to fold the clothes on the kitchen table, but it is not clear, so I move things to one side.
- I notice the table mats have not been cleaned from the last meal so I decided to open the back door to shake them. I encourage the dog to go outside for a pee.
- I shake the mats outside and bring them back in, but then since the mats are removed I see the table needs a wipe. The mats are left in a pile off the table.
- I get a cloth and clean the table, but now it is wet so whilst waiting for it to dry I move the glasses, etc from the table to the side of the sink. Washing up to be done.
- I notice the process of my thoughts with the lack of goal focus, and think it would be interesting to write them down so I look for a bit of paper.
- I pick up an envelope to use for writing on and remove its contents. It is a bill that I need to check to see if I had paid it yet. I leave the bill on the side to remind me to check later.
- I write down my thought process so far. The table is still wet but there is a cardboard box that can be recycled so I pull it apart so it is flattened and put it in the recycling box.
- The recycling box is full to overflowing and needs to be emptied. I think that is my daughter’s chore and anyway the table is dry now.
- I fold all the clothes up, neatly in particular ways depending on the item and put them into piles according to where they will be stored.
- I take my clothes to my bedroom and put them in various draws. As I put my T-shirts away I wonder whether I should add clothes packing to my Malta paperwork sorting. Packing a week in advance would be unprecedented, I muse.
- There are some clothes that need washing on the floor, so I take them to the dirty clothes basket. I am reminded that I need to do the two school based clothes washes.
- I ask my daughter whether her school clothes are in the basket and after getting confirmation, I sort out a white wash for the shirts and anything else I can get away with.
- I put the light wash clothes into the machine, select a 40 degree C stain removal cycle and add some bleaching salt to improve chances of getting the collars clean. I start the wash.
- I decide it is time for a break and breakfast. As I move around getting a bowl and spoon I am reminded that I need to do the washing up, check the bill payment, and start my tax return. I feel like I am getting too many thoughts and I have a glimpse of feeling overwhelmed. I concentrate on breakfast.
- I empty my raisin wheats into the bowl. The packet is empty so I remove the inner bag and flatten the cardboard container and put it into the recycling which reminds me that the boxes still need to be emptied. I move a full box of cereal from the storage area into the active cupboard.
- I take out a box of Crunchy Nut cereal, sprinkle some on top of the raisin wheats, then put the box away. I get the milk out of the fridge, pour it over my cereal, return the bottle and place my cereal on the table.
- I see the magazines stacked on the table and consider if I will be able to fit a dog walk in and buy today’s newspaper. I go to make a cup of tea.
- I notice the coriander plant needs watering, sort it out and wonder when I will water the house plants. I put the kettle on.
- I take my favourite mug out of the dishwasher and clean it. Whilst it is drip drying the word Fanghorn pops into my head and I think about Gandalf becoming the white wizard after his fight with a Balrog. I muse that swords and other objects “of power” are as much a symbol of their history as well as a channel of power.
- As I get a tea bag out of the cupboard, I see a key on the coffee machine. It is from the old front door lock I replaced recently and I think I need to decide what to do with that lock and keys.
- I pour the boiling water on the tea bag in the mug and go to get the milk. I see some leftovers in the fridge, do I need to use them up? No, it is just salad which will go with anything. I put some milk in the tea and return the bottle to the fridge.
- I carry the tea to the table and sit down. As I squeeze the tea bag I wonder if I should have some of my wife’s cake afterwards? I decide to wait and see if I am still hungry after the cereal.
- I notice the sound of the washing machine is quite loud where I am sitting. I get up and close a door on it, noticing that I have 2 hours and 24 minutes left before the wash finishes. I wonder if this is time enough to fill in a tax return.
- As I sip my tea I ask myself how am I feeling? I feel that I haven’t done anything this morning yet, I haven’t done my tax return. I feel a bit of a failure. I feel down. It seems rather crazy to feel that way when I have evidence to the contrary; and I am once again reminded how busy life can be when my wife is away.
- I mindfully eat my cereal. I notice its texture and how it affects my tongue and teeth. I get distracted by the red table mats and pondering on how they are made. I decide they are machine “knitted” or woven.
- I finish the cereal and stare out of the window rather than at the bowl. Do I want cake?
- I want to decide what to do next. Do I walk and feed the dog? Washup? Recycle? Pay the bill? In the end I decide it is my tax return that is haunting me and I need to focus on that.
- I sip tea and my mind floats. I think about my apple trees, my neighbour cutting one back because it goes into her garden. Can I straighten it with a new stake? Should I replant it? Can I replant it now it is so old? I remember the same neighbour asking for apples off another tree. Wasn’t that a bit cheeky? I can imagine myself asking the same thing.
- My tea is nearly finished. Do I want cake? Not really. I must remember to take my pills, perhaps I should save the last of the tea for that.
- I decide I will do my tax return after I put my breakfast stuff away and I have taken my pills.
- I put my bowl and spoon in the dishwasher. I add a few other things from the side but washing up is going to have to wait.
- As I take my pills, I notice I am running low on a hypertensive drug so I need to reorder it. I decide to do it later because it is the weekend, so nothing will happen until Monday. I leave the box out on the side as a reminder.
I find it interesting that I leave things out as a reminder. It is not the tidiest way of doing things. I also find it interesting how many of my thoughts are triggered by the local environment I am in. I could certainly see why getting out the house is a good thing for stress relief and why holidays can be rather freeing. For what it is worth, the tax return did get finished in the early evening, but not before he washing machine had.