It’s exhausting being me

Monday: As I left the house for the fourth time that day, I said to my husband, “It’s exhausting being me, you know.”

Friday: My feet seem hardly to have touched the ground all week. Post holiday, it was back-to-work day on Tuesday so this week has been a busy one as I tried to fit two weeks work into one. Throw in a couple of unexpected problems and I worked flat out for my contracted sixteen hours plus several extra ones!  In between times I’ve been to Slimming World, the gym three times, had my hair done, met a friend for coffee and had visitors … and all this with no eye make-up! Explanation further on.

A busy weekend beckons too. On Saturday I am looking after my small grandsons whilst Mummy accompanies Daddy to a music festival where his band are playing. On Sunday we have visitors for lunch (I have to shop this afternoon). Monday’s activity will begin at 9am with a hair appointment and then the gym. In the afternoon it’s a 65th birthday barbecue and then to Slimming World (not great timing, I know)! And then back to work on Tuesday. As Husband has no doubt noted (though curiously has not mentioned), I haven’t made a cake in three weeks. The sentence which I utter most often must surely be, “I don’t know where the time goes.”

The next few weeks will offer little in the way of free time. I also have a 60th birthday lunch, a 70th birthday lunch, a birthday party, a film morning with lunch at a friend’s to follow, a long-planned day out with my eldest granddaughter, several meet-ups with friends for coffee or lunch, and a big family party (almost 40 of us) at my cousin’s house (good job she has a massive garden – we’re all hoping for a dry sunny day) where my grandchildren will encounter relatives they’ve never met before. With appointments for nails and hair, gym sessions, shopping, housework and a hundred other things that always seem to need doing, my diary rarely has a spare line. OK, maybe I don’t schedule housework (apart from daughter-in-law’s ironing) but I do write in when I will have time to go shopping!  Evenings are usually much calmer, though I have had to arrange to see friends for dinner instead of for lunch on a couple of occasions as I simply don’t have a free day. Later in August The Ladies’ Dining Group are meeting and there will be some kind of celebration(s) for my own birthday. I will want to see my children and grandchildren too and my daughter is moving house any day so I’ll need to go and see it. But  I am NOT complaining. I could of course curtail my social life, drop the exercise and give up on the ‘me-maintenance’ (and pigs might fly). I know that I am very blessed to have a lovely family and great friends – what I need is not fewer commitments but more hours in the day and days in the week.

And so to the eye make-up, or rather, the lack of.  Since returning from our holiday, despite being scrupulously careful, I now have an infection in my left eye. It’s taking longer to clear than the right one did so I rang the doctor. The earliest appointment I could get is next Thursday. Does everyone find it so difficult? I used to work 28 miles from home. By the time the surgery opened I would already be at work. I’d ask for an appointment and they’d offer either the next half hour (impossible to get there) or tell you to ring the following day. This could happen every day for a week until the need to be seen became urgent. I wrote letters of complaint several times to the Practice Manager and even had a meeting with her. I explained that all I wanted was to be able to call and make an appointment for a few days hence so that I knew not to drive all the way to work!  It seems now that we can do this, though I think a week is pushing it a bit.

I squashed in a spot of birthday present shopping between the gym and lunch today and now have an hour and a half hour before my hair appointment in which to write the cards, wrap the gifts and shop for Sunday’s guests.  Must fly…

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14 comments

  1. Here in East London, we generally cant’ get an appointment for about two weeks. There is however an emergency type service from 6-10pm with locums, so invariably you see one of them, they know nothing about you, can’t access your records and there’s no continuity at all 😦

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  2. I do hope your eye is completely better now. I’m a bit squeamish with anything to do with eyes. I think that life can often be a balancing act and I try to pace myself as much as possible. Sometimes I do wonder how I ever had time to work!

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    • Ended up in both eyes. I now have antibiotic cream generally better than they were. Thanks for asking. The summer holidays are always busier. I like Autumn, things calm down then.

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  3. Wow, Eloise, I feel tired just reading this, and I hope you know how to say, no, that’s really really important, but actually you’re 11 years younger than me and that’s key to your busyness. I worked (self-employed, mind) until 62 and was so very ultra busy and I had the energy for it. Then retirement, and I’ve never stopped working through it, but this time in an unpaid capacity. I have an office and many days I keep office hours. But I do less. I don’t do baking, I don’t do gardening (I was the main and only gardener), we don’t run that ruddy (!) film society (that was full-time management job which no one actually ‘got’ when they said, ‘can I help’ as it was slightly more than putting out the chairs!) I still have a once-a-week obligation to collect and look after a grandson which has been such a joy and has been going on for 7 years now so I just wait in for him now.

    The way I see these later years is that I’m in control of what I want to do now, which includes a huge amount of maintenance, which gets more and more important as the years go by. After that long working life you are your own boss now – so it’s up to you to manage yourself well and take every opportunity to live and love your life, and that Eloise includes not doing too much!

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    • Oh I can, and do, say no. Apart from my 16 hours work, I do things I want to do. I just wish there was more time to do them. Can’t imagine that I will ever be a lonely old lady.

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  4. I have an amazing Dr. He saved my life. Truly. But, since he did that, I seldom ever need to see him. Anyone who has a nurse for a daughter might understand that, no, we can’t have that, Mum is getting on…. so she needs to go to a Dr! (can’t figure that reasoning out, myself) I too have a mega busy life but every so often, I cut it down, because I actually need to earn money.

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    • Well, I’m very glad he did, Ratnamurti! It’s good to have a doctor that we can trust. Unfortunately in the practice that I am with, we can rarely get to see the same doctor twice in succession. It’s hard to build up a rapport.

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  5. I thought I was a busy person and this exhausts even me! Mind you, my diary was much the same but as I’ve aged (I’m at least 14 years your senior) I have cut out a lot of the socializing for we truly don’t need it. Thankfully we have a v. small family so few large family gatherings are ever on the cards. I do not attend a gym and I gave up my weekly attendance at a writers’ group several years ago. If I can I now cut it our rather than add it in. I used actually to enjoy being busy, I loved a full diary and if there was a fairly blank week I’d pencil in a cinema visit or see what was on at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal and book up for something – it’s 30 miles away and driving back in the dark now, late at night, is something we would not wish to do. Age has narrowed our horizons, but we have allowed it to do so and we don’t mind. We’re happy in our skin, as the saying goes. I still have my hair appointment and I have begun having manicures (something I’ve not had for years) and the occasional pedicure to make my feet sandal-ready, but I never wish to feel quite so overwhelmed again, as I once was, and when I used (literally) to have to run around the house in order to get things done.
    I’m really sorry to hear about the eye problem, but the strange this is, my left eye has been itchy and sore so that I needed to pop into the local pharmacy for some eye drops. It’s now very much better. Also, we can usually get an appointment at our surgery quickly. The system is that you phone first for a telephone consultation and then the doctor or the nurse practitioner will phone back and asses the situation. A lot of people won’t like this, but usually the doctor asks you to come in, and if he thinks it’s urgent, it will be that day or the next day. It helps that we’ve been with this practice since around 1990, and they know us well, and know we’re not time-wasters and if we phone, then we do really need to see a GP or nurse.
    Margaret P

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    • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Margaret (And just to get it straight your head is, in fact, only 12 years older than mine…haha); it’s all about being happy in ones skin, and notwithstanding the fact that I work, I am happy in mine, albeit I’d like there to be a little less of it (hence Slimming World)! I rarely make evening arrangements for the same reason as you – I am no longer comfortable driving at night. I’m sure that, in time, my busy life will slow down but for now, it’s pretty good. I’ve been with my doctors practice since 1963 !

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  6. I’m exhausted just reading it all Eloise. As long as you are enjoying yourself and not overdoing things.
    We are very fortunate with our Doctors surgery and are able to get appointments reasonably quickly. They also offer early morning or late evening appointments. Thankfully I hardly ever need to go.
    I hope your eye feels better soon. It’s the last thing you need with everything you’ve got going on. X

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    • It’s good to get appointments easily. Ours work from 8.30 until 5.30 and no weekends. Other practices in town are similar. No wonder our local A&E department is overwhelmed.

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