I love autumn. As I tweeted recently, it’s by far my fave season. The beautiful Indian summer days, the chilled nights that call for the winter jammies and warm sockie-wockies, sunset-coloured trees and leaves that crinkle and swoosh, inviting you to stamp through the streets without a care with dramatic flair.
But this autumn has near passed me by.
Well, I am a new parent, and not savouring early sunsets over a glass of red as much as I used to. As we know (all too well these days!), with parenthood comes a whole new set of joys and priorities. I have exchanged leisurely conversations for energetic bathtimes, lazy cuddles for exploding nappies and one pot screamers for, well, one pot screamers. Fortunately, I’ve still been able to walk little Morgan in his pram enough to know that autumn is in full bloom.
The problem, though, is this:
Since baby Morgan arrived, and I became a stay-at-home-yummy-stroke-sleep-deprived-mummy-who-works-occasionally-and-also-considers-herself-a-lady-who-lunches-somewhat-sporadically ... well, I’ve become addicted to admin.
You heard me.
Admin. As in, administration.
This from a gal who used to delight in letting her parking tickets pile up until there were enough to start a small bonfire! A gal who had no trouble in waiting until the dishwasher AND the sink were full before putting an exquisitely manicured hand into the dishwater!! A gal who preferred to let the car and the poodle self clean!!!
These days I catch myself eyeing off a glass-top table not unlike a coke addict, except armed with Windex and a roll of extra-absorbent paper towel rather than a tightly rolled C-note. I take the baby and dog for a walk, only to wipe down the pram wheels and dog paws before either are allowed back inside. And I considered for a full minute yesterday whether to start asking people to take off their shoes before entering the house, before realising this was THE DEFINITIVE SIGN that I had lost the plot.
I’m no clean freak now, I mean, who has time with a small, demanding, full-time dictator who must be obeyed? But I feel this anxiety over admin. An all-consuming, OCD-like sense of anxiety.
I jokingly have become known as the ‘Temptress of Admin’ around my house. I call my husband at work to announce triumphantly that the garbage has been collected. I delight in writing letters that challenge and complain about poor service standards. My skin starts to itch when I see a coffee mug mark on a white bench top.
I’ve finally realised though, it has gone beyond a joke when autumn is in her full regalia, Morgan is babbling gorgeously in his pram, Coco is bouncing and wagging alongside as only a poodle can, and I’m too busy considering the pros and cons of vacuuming, tidying or paying bills once I get home to enjoy it all.
And thus, this blog serves a solemn purpose: to invoke the gods of the admin world, exorcise them from what used to be a reasonably educated brain, and get on with enjoying life as it happens.
Away, God of Obsessively Putting Away Clothes!
Begone, Floor Fluff Picking Up Demon!
Disappear, ye evil Bench Top Wiping Behemoth!
Vamoose, thine Pernicious Bathroom Tidying Strumpet!
Stop There, Naughty Goblin Rearranging the Cushions!
You know, we enjoy a golden existence and now have this beautiful baby. I’m all too aware that life is short, and as my dear dad says “it’s a one way trip”. So the last thing I want is to look back on our happiest times and remember an all-pervading sense of anxiety over... well, the everyday. And in the final analysis, does a generous covering of dust on the piano really matter?
I read recently a quote that life is about the moments that take our breath away. Personally, I feel like it’s about those little things that create happiness: a smile and chuckle, little fingers tickling my arm, a big sigh after a job well done, waking from a good night’s sleep and the first sip of a yummy bottle of wine that makes me want to bathe in the stuff.
So, please, may the Temptress of Admin take a long hike and the God of Small Things return? Allow me to take on one task at a time and leave the rest. Most importantly, pretty please, release me from the unattainable ideals of perfection and instead allow me to fully appreciate the small but perfectly formed child we call our own.
Signing off now, as I can hear that Captain Morgan has gurgled himself awake. It’s time to dance cheek-to-cheek with him to jazz tunes until his Daddy arrives home – ignoring the glass tabletops, leaving the rugs unstraightened – just enjoying a little slice of heaven in our lounge room.
Follow me on Twitter