And there we are, back to the hustle and bustle of term and it’s associated activity.
Rushing about, trying to remember all the things and briefly tutting at the mess of matters requiring attention. That and looking for stuff and repeating myself.
It is so familiar. I’ve spent decades like this – dashing and writing lists. Too busy to do anything but get through one day and onto the next. But does it really have to be like this?
Today, on the ouch o’clock train to Edinburgh, I find myself thinking about tomorrow. I’m not booked to work anywhere tomorrow and I don’t currently have a backlog of work needing done. There’s stuff in the pipeline – so the panic is (mostly) at bay.
However, I find myself turning over what I should do with the day – pitch to sell a story, trawl the various places where people look for copywriters, write that outstanding report (ha). Anything to get back to busy again. Oddly none of the suggestions I give myself are of the catch up, clean your manky house variety. And yet fewer of the sneak out for a walk type.
It seems that the feeling of busyness has become comforting and rather conveniently it fills all the spare thinking and doing time. Should I force myself to slow down and use the time for sorting stuff out which might cause anxiety but will create much satisfaction, or hurl myself into more activity? Would pausing make me face facts and notice that time is passing while I’m busy?
Could it be that in my life my time is just as cluttered as my space and that’s where I should work on sorting things out?
Meantime, here are a couple of things I’ve learned.
Greggs beats Starbucks. The nation’s favourite purveyor of steak bake has also become my preferred coffee shop. Yesterday, peering in at the posh coffee shop where I usually buy my caffeine fix I saw a huge queue and, as yesterday, the achingly cool baristas (tattoos, buns and stretched earlobes) could only just move fast enough to make me a medium (why must they call it a grande?) latte in the few minutes before I had to dash to the platform. Today a queue and there’s no chance I’d have enough time.
Instead, I spied a Greggs on the horizon (way to the station). No queue, nice coffee (it’s not instant and after that I defy most people to tell the difference). Smiley lady seemed pleased to see me, smaller price and an app where in another six visits I can have a free coffee. Starbucks, you lose. Plus Starbucks doens’t allow me to play the Once Upon A Time in Greggs game.
Once upon a time in Greggs Spikey Mikey was walking along beside the Philly Steak Lattice fence when he spied Yum Yum who was holding hands with the Gingerbread Man. Be still my Jammy Heart, said Mikey. Remember what happened the last time you got carried away with your French Fancy. Many more episodes like that and you’ll end up in the Greggsnut house.
Next time you’re there, try it. Look at the names of what’s on offer and write a story about them from left to right in the cabinet. You can’t do it with luxury fruit toast or hipster yoghurt, can you?
UPDATE: Train home.
Two emails resulted in a commission and a reminder of a piece of work to do. Sigh of relief and the navel remains uninspected for another day.
And I’ve forgotten the other thing I’ve learned.
Please buy Cathy Thorne cards cos they make me laugh.