Grumpy and Frustrated

It is a crisp Autumn day, the sky is sheer blue. A low bright sun, lights trees turned gold and red, and I am driving to the sodding supermarket. It feels as if it is the fifty millionth time I have driven to the supermarket and I’m over it. Obviously, we have to eat and I’m not organised enough to ensure and effective on-line delivery so this is the alternative. A reasonable alternative, bearing in mind I am, on paper, a woman with time on my hands. My child is at school and I am at home and yet time alludes me.

My time gets eaten my random things, aside from domestic tasks, that while valid, have some how become frustrating. Time spent gently prizing 75 defrosting sausages apart, laying each one out, until neat rows of pork sausages cover every surface of my small kitchen. I’m vegetarian. How did I even get roped into this one? An afternoon combing e-bay for the cheapest by volume box of glo-sticks. At the supermarket (again) buying things for a party I won’t be attending. Replying/deleting emails that accumulated during half term, that was a morning lost forever.

Last week I had a List:
Fix things on the blog
Complete a unit or 2 of the photography course
Set up second blog
Re-write CV (again).

Note, the procrastinator in me prioritsed the most important item at the bottom of the list. Top item destined to inexplicably take hours of time with little end result.

In reality none were achieved, the week being lost of multiple minor tasks elsewhere, see grumbling about emails and sausages above.

A late entry list item: “buy clothes because you have nothing, absolutely nothing to wear”. Not true of course, but a day lost at the shops anyway.

The ability to effectively use my time has somehow slipped my grasp and instead I am mostly wearing a metaphorical hat marked ‘grumpy and frustrated’. Clearly, I have time which is why I volunteer to man-handle 75 sausages and organise glo-sticks but in reality I resent the time spent on this. I am my own worst enemy.

This week’s List:
A unit or 2 of the photography course (not achieved from last week)
Read the book ‘Learn HTML in 10 minutes’ (saw it in the library and thought “only 10 minutes”)
Fix things on the blog (wonders if there is a book ‘learn to fix a blog in 10 minutes’).
Buy Christmas cards (a time saving item to feel smug about in December, if achieved before then)
Set up second blog (ironic, given first one still isn’t fixed)
Re-write CV (again).

It is Thursday and achievement levels are at zero.


Somehow, I repeatedly fail to shoehorn these items into my day. Why is that? Is this post just another displacement technique?


  1. Ali

    Wasting time is so easy and so frustrating too! My current bedtime read until I fall asleep dribbling on it (of course I don’t really dribble I did that for a smile!) is ‘What the most successful people do before breakfast’ very interesting read despite there are bits that are not me but…

    Not forgetting the lovely Grace Marshall ’21 ways to manage the stuff that sucks up your time’ which has loads of great idea’s, 21 actually!

    My final thing (in a Mothers voice!) is write down actually not things you have to do but things you really want to achieve, like really want to because I think that will make the biggest difference of all! If only I took my own advice 😉 x

  2. headinbook

    Oh, this. This with bells on. My youngest is now at preschool 3 mornings a week and I still run round like a headless chicken. Being ruthless with time when based at home is tough, as is involunteering for the stuff people think you have plenty of time to do because you’re “just at home”. No answers, but oh, I hear you.

  3. Emma

    I am completely loving Molly’s advice… What on earth are the sausages for? It seems like it’s just one of those weeks wherever you are in the world. I have spent the whole day thinking it was Tuesday and have acheived not at all that much! 😀

  4. Kate on Thin Ice

    Feeling and empathising with your pain.
    Used to move mountains. Now struggle to move lego off the floor.
    Have so much I want to do an then beat myself up when it does not happen.
    Your will overcome, strong and inspirational lady. In the meantime, you help others and hopefully you too by sharing

  5. Purplemum

    I hear you, sounds frustrating, and honestly sausages? Next time just say no!
    Anyway I make a daily list, usually featuring only one task, that way I don’t put it off until tomorrow (it was only one bloody thing and I’ve had all day) and don’t feel sad at the end of the week. Also wear a silly hat and look in mirrors often. Love.

  6. MJM

    Oh my God this post had me hopping around my lounge silently yelling “Yes! Bloody hell YES! …. she gets that too!!” but I guess that’s not very helpful. The sad thing is, it reminded me of a blog post I thought I’d written about a year ago and I just dug it out, to find that it was actually 2009 … and nothing has damnwell changed.
    I’m thinking that deep down, it’s sort of comforting to know I’m not the only one that goes through this beating oneself up brutally on a regular basis thing for procrastination, so I hope you can take and share some of that comfort with me and we can go at this thang tigeress-like together .. “We SHALL overcome … ” and stuff.
    I linked in the post I was talking about, but you should definitely not read it as it will simply add to the list of superfluous things you shouldn’t be doing 😉
    I wish you and all your fellow commentees luck with this. It’s a beast.
    (I have taken away the wearing silly hats and mirrors tip tho @purplemum. Will feed back! *Grins hugely*). MJM.

  7. Ben

    What you need to do is ‘eat the frog’, that is tackle the task you are putting off because it’s not nice or it’s hard. Do that task and suddenly you’ll feel released from the weight of it and the rest will be easy.

    Just call me guru Ben

  8. Bibsey Mama

    Ah love. Yes, I also fit the profile. I have so many bloody awful jobs to do lurking in the house. I can’t go into a single room without a pang of guilt. I am intrigued by the setting up of a new blog…

    Good luck and don’t be too hard on yourself. x

  9. Mammasaurus

    I find it helps ease my frustration if I swan about taking photos and pottering and pretend to be a creative who can’t possibly work to a schedule and meet deadlines.
    And then I go and have a hot bath and stress about not getting stuff done.

  10. Bibsey Mama

    Had to return because I was thinking about what you said about the bloody trip to the supermarket. For me it is the dishwasher (oh first world problem). Sometimes I think that I will go mad if I have to unload it again. I normally put it on over night and empty it first thing while the coffee is on and Bibs is having her cereal. If I miss this window then it might not get done until the washing up from lunch is leering at me. I hate it. But then I would still rather do that than sweep under the beds. Now there’s perspective. x

    1. helloitsgemma

      These dull must do jobs that just become a trudge…. and frankly there is no way to make them more exciting. I’ve tried swapping supermarkets (you are obviously limited with the dishwasher) – nothing makes it more interesting.

  11. Mayfair Mum

    With you there Gem. Don’t forget you are NOT alone. It WILL get better. You CAN change it. In my case, it usually relies on two key things: getting my thyroid meds right and managing my own expectations. If I can keep those two under control, the rest is a lot easier! Take some of the non-essential stuff off your to do list so you can have some head space. Then come back fighting. Hugs x

  12. Kate

    Can’t believe someone suggested staying away from twitter and Facebook, that’s surely the number one way to waste time and avoid doing anything you’re meant too 😉 If you do find a way to fix a blog in ten minutes though please let me know!!

  13. pippa @storyofmum

    I’ve found that my mind-set makes a big difference to what I ‘achieve’ or feel like I’ve achieved from my list. At one of our mama get-togethers about a year ago, we chose four different feelings that we wanted to have more of in our lives (mine were vitality, joy, wonder and purpose) – a kind of to-be list instead of a to-do list – and it really helped me A LOT.

    Obviously I still had to do all the boring repetitive stuff like the washing up and the washing and the shopping (though I always favour a walk around shops in town over the supermarket – it takes longer, but it’s more of a social outing and gets me outside which is always good for lifting my mood.) But as I did the boring stuff, I would make sure I asked myself ‘how could I bring more of that feeling into this moment?’ – and then maybe I’d run through the park on the way to the shops (less embarrassing with a two year old in tow…) to feel more vital, or dance to a song I love while washing up to feel more joy, or try to see the moment through my daughter’s eyes to feel more wonder, or make a conscious choice about which thing on my list would make me feel I had more purpose in my life if I tackled that first (that would be making time for the photography course maybe…?). It really helped me to decide to focus on the things that really mattered to me, as well as find a bit more connection to the drudgery.

    Sorry about the very long comment, loads more I want to write, but not sure if it’s in the least use to you! But writing it down has reminded me that I should start doing it again (as I often have exactly the same feeling you describe above), so thanks for that! And it makes me think I should write a blog post about it at least…

  14. Family Affairs

    Ditch the Christmas cards!! Send an email!! Speaking as the latest Grinch of Christmas – when I got divorced I stopped sending them – it’s very liberating….I find x

  15. Lulastic

    Argh, sounds very frustrating and I know the feeling exactly!
    We are travelling so our to do list at the moment looks like this:

    Wake up
    Eat meals
    Do stuff in between
    Go to bed

    But we still get to 3pm and haven’t found a shop with lunch stuff.

    Pah. Down with to do lists! That’s the ticket 🙂

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