The answer could be the new Creativity Salon that has been set up by the inspiring blogger behind That Curious Love Of Green. I love the idea, but was finding it hard to explain why I cannot get involved with anything else right now because I'm too busy. But we're all busy, right?
For most of us, that is true. But we're busy in different ways. What I find difficult is that unless I'm away from home, I'm not in control of my time. The house is rarely child-free and they need me to be available to them whenever I am home. Everything else has to fit around that. So I may pop onto Facebook for a five minute break, or look at Twitter while I'm waiting for someone to answer the phone, or jot down fragments of blog posts between household tasks. But most days I don't feel that I can block off a period of time during the day to ring a friend, or get involved in something on line that requires my full attention, because I will be interrupted. It's a given.
Wednesday was a typical day in my life right now. Up at 5ish before the alarm because my disabled daughter Smiley needed help to change position in bed. Quick coffee and a shower. Put bins out then get Smiley up with assistance of home help. Try to get teenage son up, while organising bags etc for school and adult services. Toilet Smiley, dishes, laundry and form filling.
10 am saw me heading to Tesco with my eldest daughter practising her driving again. Return home and head to health centre to pick up new nappies to try and details of a possible respite service for Smiley. Buy presents for family going abroad for Christmas and leaving next week!
Come home, make lunch for two, put shopping away, ring school and head across town for weekly 2pm autism appointment. Back home in time for a quick tidy up before Smiley arrives, needing attention, buttons (the chocolate variety), a drink, the toilet and a bit of floor time. Three different meals to be prepared, brownies baked, urgent Amazon order organised (not for me) and a coffee date arranged with a friend. Yippee!!!
A hour's physiotherapy with Smiley plus her bed time routine. Tidy kitchen followed by a bit of Netflix while she settles, then time to persuade teenage son to go to bed. Lock up and sleep. No insomnia here at the moment!
I used to read my children a toddler book called 'My Busy Day'. That was the special needs version. AND it excludes most of the autism stuff because I mostly avoid writing about my teenage son.
But actually a day like that is not necessarily a bad day, in fact it has lots of reasons to be cheerful:
- Being busy is better than being bored, with nothing to do but house work. That would be much worse, at least for me.
- Being thankful for avoiding the crazy traffic jams and staying safe on the road.
- A lot was achieved, leaving me feeling useful and competent.
- Thinking of all those in France who have lost loved ones, and being grateful for the health of my own children.
As for the creative salon that I am not joining for now? Well it's something to look forward to, and everyone needs that, don't they? And that's a reason to be cheerful in itself.
If you've read posts like this from me before, my apologies. If not, then maybe it helps to raise a bit of awareness of the lives of carers - as well as providing a bit of free therapy for me.