I’m juggling two major deadlines, both due in two weeks’ time on the same day. One is a six-page story for a magazine and involves interviewing about ten people over the phone. The other is a deeply technical chapter of the book I’m helping to ghost-write.
I work in the fissures and cracks of my life, when people are at school and kindergarten (a grand total of three and half hours free every morning), during someone’s nap-time and then at night when all three are sleeping. This method has worked for me thus far, but is starting not to work so well anymore. I may just have too much on my plate.
Today, for example, I:
- forgot Ollie’s rucksack – containing nappies, wipes and spare clothes – at home
- imagined that an interview was at 10.30am when it was in fact at 9am
- carefully planned my entire afternoon around an interview which I thought was at 2.30pm, only for it dawn on me at 2.20pm that the interview was scheduled for 2pm
Aargh! Embarrassing! Normally, I am professional, but today I am dropping all the balls.
The good news is that in two weeks’ time (yes, after these two deadlines are past), we are importing a lovely au pair to help me out. She is in her sixties, speaks excellent English, cooks like a dream and will run around fetching and carrying the children so that I can focus on my work. She will do anything to help. I will be able to work all afternoon if I need to, all morning without having to stop, collect people and cook their lunch. I can’t wait for her to arrive, and I hope that my professional standards improve as a result of having her help.
Her name is Granny, and she is that special kind of au pair – the unpaid, but much-loved, kind.