Yes this is actually my phone, some of you will be beside yourselves right now and not dealing well with the multitude of red dots, let alone what is actually 46,839 unopened emails bottom right, lurking ominously, taunting you. I am in the first camp, it’s other people that freak out when they look at my phone. I realise it may look like I haven’t addressed my inbox since 1998 but I assure you I do check emails regularly and I am actually a very organised person, almost a bit anal but only in some areas of my life.
I can be a massive control freak, I have a fantastic attention to detail but only when it’s vital, important and it truly matters and generally involves other people. This normally manifests itself predominantly via “Work Me” as if I’m not organised I won’t be paid and that is pretty vital. All my emails are scanned, many just aren’t opened, very very rarely do I actually miss anything important. I have 5 email addresses feeding into my iPhone inbox and one that has been with me since 1998 when I believe mainstream email pretty much started for the masses. This means a lot of ecomms and junk from whatever I have signed up for / bought across the past 18 years. I remember clearly setting said email address up one afternoon at University. I had logged onto Yahoo and patiently tried various connotations of my name but what with my maiden name being a relatively common one the computer said No, No, No . I gave up, and inputted my initials and a word that had been used in a drinking game the night before which involved so much After Shock that we all went out with blood shot eyes – the word was boglin and that became part of my email address for the next 10+ years.
So back to when I am and am not a control freak, or am I just lying to myself.
I do need to be organised, I anticipate what we might need for the day, holidays are researched for the best price, anything I have to do for other people is timely done and well executed. Kids stuff sorted for school, bagged up and they are always fully catered for whatever the eventuality. British summer time is more than accommodated with sun cream, sun hats, rain coats and body warmers all in the bag just in case, but about other things I’m pretty laid back. Possibly far too laid back, some might go so far as to call it a tad slack!
I couldn’t care less if my washing goes into the machine inside out or one arm tucked in.
My husband hates that my laundry stuffing is haphazard, socks rarely make it in on an adventure together. We have a giant bag, actually lets call it a sack that would rival Santas, of odd socks. Where do they actually all go??
I’m a culprit of addressing home admin when the pressure is on, partial to a red reminder to kick my arse in gear and keep those energy companies guessing.
I do not have sleepless night about the fact there are over 40,000 unread emails in my inboxes. Yes I should unsubscribe from all the unnecessary databases that I am on or that my data has been sold to by the highest bidder because I haven’t ticked a little box in the small print, but I’m pretty sure I always have better things to do.
Life’s too short.
Everything gets done eventually.
At some point.
I meet the deadlines if there is one.
The important things get prioritised and the other stuff can get done when I get round to it, most likely when my kids are 18.
Life with two kids and being at work most of the week means our house looks like a bomb has hit it. I got home a couple of weeks ago and wondered if we would notice if we were burgled. My husbands favourite line when he comes home on a Thursday is “Didn’t the cleaner come today?” since toys and food already litter the lounge and kitchen and a trail of children’s clothes paves the way like Hansel & Gretel’s bread across the landing, to guide them back to their rooms after bath time.
My control freakness does manifest itself in other ways. Coasters need to be on coffee tables, shoes off indoors. An IPhone must have a plastic case and a bit of plastic over the screen, I can not deal with scratched electricals. Without a cover a new IPhone is so slippery it literally jumps out your hand. I suspect Apple have done this on on purpose to keep the cash rolling in for smashed screens. DVDs have to go back in their boxes. I have to sit on my hands if Playdoh gets discovered from where I have hidden it in a cupboard, my back teeth clench as I watch the kids mix colours. What psycho invented these Playdoh toys that means the colours get swirled together to make icing on a cake? Why have separate colour tubs if they are never going to go back in as that colour? Don’t even start me on messy play, that is what nursery and schools take an extortionate amount of money from me each month for.
Stains on kids clothes get hand washed out before they are washed. I admit with second child some might just go in the bin, life is definitely too short to tackle some of those special explosive disaster baby vests. Like an aging Granny I even have the mentality of saving some kids clothes for best. Why? They might as well wear it otherwise it won’t fit them next week.
Again on the slack side our wedding photos haven’t been sorted and I got married 7 years ago! Our will has been sat in a drawer for a year waiting for a poxy, feeble “would take 5 seconds” signature. To epitomise my bonkers double edge control freak / slack sword, we have a picture frame on the wall that has been up almost a year with the pictures in it that the frame came with because we haven’t got round to getting pictures printed off however I got the frame on the wall because I didn’t want it to get scuffed or scratched by leaving it lying around.
I annoy myself!
So as my free time gets more sparse, my to do list gets longer and the stuff at the bottom stays firmly at the bottom but the important stuff does get done. The bills get paid, work gets done, admin gets eventually addressed and the world keeps spinning but with my family in odd socks, withno record on the walls that my husband and I ever got married, but instead with some lovely pictures of a family with a Jack Russell puppy who seem to have spent a lovely holiday near beach huts possible in Cornwall. Yes with lots of emails in my inbox from companies telling me that they “Miss me” and offering discounts for me to bring them back into my life.
Having written most of this already I did in fact see a blog piece pop up on my facebook feed yesterday, entitled “My unread emails make me feel like a failure” this writer in question was concerned by the 1,782 emails in her inbox. Mwah ha ha ha, I laugh in the face of your measly 1,782. Check me out!!
It did however make a good point that women take it very personally when they consider themselves to have failed and not achieved everything that they have no doubt put on their mental to do lists. We constantly put unrealistic goals on ourselves and internalise failure into shame. I think in a lot of cases this is true and reinforced ridiculously by social media and especially Instagram where you look admiringly and with resentment at all these full time working women or mothers who have show stopping homes, immaculately dress sense and give the overall perception that they have massively got their shit together all the time. They haven’t. They have just found a good wall, or nice small corner of the house that serves for a backdrop on what is actually a fabricated life and then they have filtered the shit out of the picture, scraped their hair back, slapped on some track suit bottoms and gone back to ignoring all the crap spam in their inbox. Or at least I hope that’s how most people’s lives actually work.
Finally if anyone can tell me what that app or service is that de litters all your email subscriptions let me know before my inbox hits 50k.