Monday, May 22, 2006

Goal me no Goals...

A Day In the Life

People wonder why I fear plans. Why I run from targets, and cower, shivering, from goals.

Let me present today as a case in point.

My plan? Simple. Go to collect a parcel from the Royal Mail, go on to the office, sit down at my desk and work out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing with my week. I have a plan to… plan. Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.

It’s not a terrible plan – it’s achievable, largely controllable, and realistic. “This,” I think to myself, stepping over the desiccated fur-ball I just discovered tucked away in my office, “I can do.”

And, at 8 o’clock, it looks like So Far, So Good. I’m almost dressed, there are no cat crises, Husband has been seen off to work. All I have to do is find my red shoes, and get out the door.

Red Shoes. Now. Where did I put the Red Shoes? Regular visitors may remember that one of my Frivolous Resolutions this year was to wear Red Shoes more often, and I’ve been very good. But they’re not to be found by the door, not in the chest where we keep spare shoes, not beside the bed. In desperation, I try on a pair of plain black shoes instead, but decide they’re just too… normal.*

Eventually I remember that Minnie had begun eating the Red Shoes, so I hid them in a cardboard box. The one I’ve been tripping over on the stairs every morning. Ah-HA!

Slightly Chewed Red Shoes found, donned, and I’m out the door, only ten minutes late.

Plan:- Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.
Actual:- I’m running late.

The drive to the sorting office is, thank heaven, uneventful. I ease the car over the unfeasibly large speed bump in the drive, collect my parcel, and inch over the mini-mountain on the way out. Looking good.

Looking good… for about half a mile. Remember the unfeasibly large speed bump?

Yuh-huh.

Hear that loud noise, a cross between a knocking and a b-d-d-d-dooiiing sound? Well, you don’t hear it of course, but I did. Loud and clear. I also know what it is.

It’s a snapped shock. Joy.

Plan:- Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.
Actual:- I’m running late and have a broken car.

Now I’m about fifteen minutes late, parked up, and trying to work out if it’s safe to drive home (there’s a garage in the village where we live, and I trust him). I know! I’ll ask Husband! Husband is at work.

Let me draw a veil over this part, only saying that I phoned directory enquiries twice, my mother twice (getting her out of bed) a tourist information centre and a random business that may or may not be connected with Husband’s employer.

Phone Husband. “Nurse it home,” he says., “take it easy.” “Good luck,” he says.

Thanks.

I’m now driving a car, very slowly, in the opposite direction to the office. I’m driving a car that goes, b-d-d-d-dooiiing BANG every time I drive over a ripple in the tarmac. I’m driving, it has to be said, a car that wobbles more than a little when I steer left.

When it wobbles, I can’t quite help staring madly at the left hand wing mirror. With hindsight I’m not sure what I was expecting – smoke? Broken spars? A flaming wheel rolling off into the verge? When the car makes the, b-d-d-d-dooiiing BANG noise, I yell, “ShutUpShutUpShutUP!” The entire drive, I’m in the obligatory hunched-over-the-wheel driving position of the driver who knows their car is very, very broken.

Plan:- Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.
Actual:- I’m anxious, running late (in the wrong direction) and have a broken car.

After a few miles of this, I decide I’m being followed. A Land Rover with one male driver has matched every turn I’ve made for the last five miles and six roads. So now when I look in the mirror expecting flaming wheels, I’m also expecting a madman with a tyre iron.

Plan:- Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.
Actual:- I’m paranoid, anxious, running late (in the wrong direction) and have a broken car.

The miles tick by. My mobile bleeps. It’s a friend. He has good news.**

In fact, it’s such good news I gasp, start laughing at the top of my voice (which is considerable), hiccup once and burst into tears.

Plan:- Collect parcel; go to work; plan the week.
Actual:- I’m paranoid, anxious, running late (in the wrong direction) and have a broken car. And I’m having hysterics.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing much correlation between the original plan and the actual activities. So, with only a mile or so to home, I find myself re-setting my goals for the day.

1) Survive
2) Deliver car to garage
3) If Madman following me interferes, scream at him hysterically until his eardrums burst
4) Walk home
5) Chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

In the interests of closure, I should tell you I’ve achieved 1 – 4. The ‘madman’ drove past when I turned into the garage (probably he was only wanting to point out that my car was broken, in the helpful way people have). I’ve had the usual one-sided conversation with the mechanic who communicates in grunts, and I believe the car will be fixed tomorrow.

As for goal 5…. There is no chocolate in the house. I could go to the shops… but my car’s broken.

Dagnabbit.


*Yes, I really do think like this.
** Yes, yes I know – no mobiles while driving. Bad, Bad Anna. In my defence I badly needed distracting…
*** And yes, I am going to clear up the fur-ball. I promise.

6 Comments:

At 5:00 pm, Blogger Kate Walker said...

Plan for the rest of the day - Mark 2

1. Ring husband - insist he brings home chocolate (you do still have the number -right?)

2. Sod madman - let him go his mad way

3. Celebrate good news by eating chocolate

4. If the fur ball is now dessicated ignore it

5. Put your feet up (with or without red shoes)

6. Accept hugs from cyber Mum

HUGS

Kate

 
At 8:59 pm, Blogger Edie said...

Anna, I've had days like that too. Do what Kate said and eat chocolate, put up shoes. I've found booze helps too.

 
At 9:23 pm, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

I have resisted the chocolate (which is a good thing!) but finished the day with a pampering hot shower which was just as good. :-D

Thanks for the hugs, ladies!

 
At 12:11 am, Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Booze IN chocolate should also be considered after a morning like that one. I don't even want to ask what happened in the afternoon. I hope the parcel was worth the trip -- something really good (except, obviously not chocolate).

 
At 7:00 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Ooooh I love liqueur chocolates.. especially the ones with the sugar crust inside and the really liquid, potent centres... mmmmm

Parcel contained our English Heritage membership, which was good... but not that good. ;-)

 
At 8:56 am, Blogger Jessica Raymond said...

Oh, Anna, that made me laugh! Hoep the damage wasn't too bad.

 

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