Life Skills

I have written before about how I struggle a little bit in the “life skills” department. You know, paying bills, replying to emails, settling fines and filling in forms. The crux of it is that I just hate doing it and I’m not very good at making myself do things I don’t want to. I’m really good at enjoying life – great at it, in fact. I’m relaxed and love to cook and I make time for leisure. But the day to day admin that results in us actually having money and a roof over our head? Not so much.

J and I had a laugh recently when we read an article about an Australian man who had been very successful in business and when asked one of his secrets to success, he mentioned that his wife ran absolutely everything on the home front. So not only with the kids and school and everything but paying all the bills and controlling the finances. “She ran a tight ship,” he said, mentioning how he had an allotted amount of pocket money each week. We were reading the article together and I saw J flick me the amused side eye at one point and knew exactly where he was up to. “Yeah, yeah, I run a really loose ship!” (I’d like to see me try to give J a weekly spending limit!)

If all that stuff were left up to me the electricity would be going out constantly. I just can’t get it together with that stuff, although I am trying. I’m getting better at using the calendar on my phone (by better, I mean a level that normal people would still probably scoff at) and I do seem to find myself in less and less self-induced stressful situations than before. But lately, I’m blaming the move, I have had a whole HOST of them to deal with and am feeling pretty shit about myself!

Firstly there was the parking fine I received on the day of the move, which I lost, and can’t get a reminder because all our mail was still going to our old address. Okay, fine, I can go to the old apartment and check the mail. Annoying but fixable. Then there was the OTHER fine I got for driving in the right hand lane (!?). Seems I have missed the due date on that one and now have to wait two months for a court order! Which I have just done a whole heap of research on and seems like it is actually just a small additional fine but SERIOUSLY! Why couldn’t I just have paid it!!??

I also missed the cut off date for filling in a whole heap of forms for schools Heike is applying to (she starts Kindy in August!) which led to me having to tell some white lies to make sure she could still attend interviews (please remind me to write a WHOLE other post on interviews!). GAH!

The thing that is REALLY getting me down is Heike’s ballet. She was desperate to start last year so we signed up and she seemed to be enjoying it. But she missed a few weeks due to sickness, then one week we got stuck in such bad traffic that we missed it, and then suddenly she hated it and refused to participate week after week. Then we had to miss more classes with Thailand and moving, and now here we are with the concert next week and they are saying she can’t do it because she has missed too many classes. And what’s more, she doesn’t WANT to do it, she “hates” it, and I genuinely don’t think she is a ballet girl (I can tell you she is never doing classes again unless they are self funded!).

photo (2)
It may have all been worth it for the photo ops

The worst thing is, I paid for the concert, and two tickets, when all was fine and happy and going well. It was $1000HK (just under $200 AUD) including the costumes and everything, and it just bloody sucks! I feel like I am throwing money down the drain all the time just because of my own disorganisation, and maybe inability to be a bit strict. I mean, should I force her to do the concert? I think that sucks, when she hasn’t been doing the classes, it just opens her up to feeling embarrassed and scared. Should I punish myself for being so frigging dumb?! Probably, yes. Suggestions for appropriate punishments welcome.

I feel like I am always trying to do the right thing. And I am always run off my feet and exhausted. So why am I never getting it right?! And how much worse am I going to be with another small person in my care?!

Any organisation tips for me from organised people? J has told me he always actions anything as soon as it arises if he knows it will take 5 minutes or less (e.g. paying a fine. Yes.) Otherwise he puts it on his to-do list. I need one of those, right?


Z x

3 thoughts on “Life Skills

  1. EmilyMaine

    haha you remind me of M. He HATES admin and lets thing go all the time and then feels frustrated by it. Can you not get the ballet school to give you a refund given the circumstances? I think that is a little unfair when they say H can’t go in the concert. The least they could do is refund your money. Sheesh. I can’t believe she is Kindy already – of course the school year over there starts at a different time. I can’t wait to hear about this interview crap you have to endure!! I like J’s suggestion that anything that takes less than 5 mins to action he does right away. The thing I find too (as I am a master procrastinator even though I actually enjoy admin) is that most tasks never take as long as I expect them to so it is easier to just get them done. I have used various types of to-do lists and what not over the years. I do have a reminder app on my iphone that I couldn’t live without. I even put in there when bills are due so I remember to pay them and that works quite well. I can’t clear the reminder until the job is done. I can put it off to another day and that is fine but usually if it is something I know needs doing and can’t be put off then I will do it.


    1. mrswilde

      Oh my gosh, does he still find himself in stressful situations?! I’m afraid there is just no hope for me, it gets no better as I age! What is the app you use? I find my calendar reminders aren’t great as I can just ignore them.

      I am wondering if they will refund me, although they will have made her a costume…maybe we can just take the costume for dress ups?! So annoying. Any children of mine will now have to do a lot of begging if they want to start dance classes, I’ve had no luck with it! X


      1. EmilyMaine

        He has less stressful situations. To be honest he has made great improvements in this area since we met 6 years ago so there is hope for you yet! Yes I don’t like the calendar reminders either. To easy to palm off. The app I use is called Alarmed. It has a nag feature you can set to so it will go off again at certain intervals until you mark as done if you like.


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