Nothing playful about it

play catch-up



  • Fall behind continually with work or financial matters.

    ‘I’m always playing catch-up with my homework’

Whoever coined the phrase “playing catch-up” had a sick sense of humour – there’s nothing playful about it.

I’ve been doing it all week … make that all year … ok, all decade … and it’s a grind.

It’s especially challenging after heading to Canberra for two days for work. I’m behind on every front. The weekend didn’t even put a dent in the to-do list.

Which brings me to another phrase that doesn’t resonate when you are middle-aged, but have left the child rearing a bit late: “working for the weekend.”

Weekends feel like work too. They are MAD.

Mind you, they’d feel even more like work if I ever found time to clean the house, but I’ve let that slide yet again.

Here’s how the past few days panned out …

I took the youngest to her end-of-season  netball dinner on Friday. It was at a local cafe that’s instituted burger night – the kids’ meal is a burger, fries, homemade lemonade and a vanilla ice cream cone with sprinkles for the grand total of $12. Ace!

We parked the kids on one table and the mums sat at another, where we laughed and nattered and guzzled very nice “bianco” wine. It was so much fun we’re thinking about having another end-of-season netball dinner in a few weeks time.

I went for a walk with my school mum friends at 8am the next morning. By 9.45am I was hassling the kids into the car for a lightning trip to Newcastle to check out their grandparents’ new apartment.

We met my mum and dad at the pub for a very nice seafood platter. I showed suprising self-restraint and refused wine. I should have shown even more self-restraint and skipped the hot chips. There are a few too many hot chips expanding my belly these days. The ones at lunch were beer battered …. mmmmmm …

Then we headed to their new pad, which is very schmick and has an enormous balcony that’s perfect for eating mint-choc-chip ice-cream in the late afternoon sun. The development also has an amazing clubhouse that would be perfect for my 50th, with a bar and fully kitted out commercial kitchen, except that it’s a) in Newcastle, which is a bit far for most guests; and b) in an “assisted living” development … which might not be quite the right vibe for the occasion.

I’ve been seriously considering having a party. I think the universe has sent me a message – my 50th birthday is on a Saturday that happens to also be St Patrick’s Day … I mean, whaddya reckon?

Actually, the youngest and I decided in the car on the way home that a St Patrick’s themed party would be perfection. She and her friends are going to dress up as leprechauns and carry around pots of “gold” (chocolate gold coins) to dispense to guests. I said she might not be quite so enthusiastic about dressing up as a leprechaun when she was a cool high schooler next year, but she was dead set convinced it would still be a goer.

I was supposed to see Mark Seymour perform at The Basement with DD on Saturday night, but I piked. I asked if there was someone else who would like the ticket more than me. I mean, I used to love Hunters & Collectors when I was a whippersnapper, but going into the city on a Saturday night isn’t my most favourite thing any more. Turned out DD had been desperately trying to get an extra ticket for his mate Mike, so he (a little too eagerly) accepted my offer.

I sat on the couch watching X-Files episodes with the eldest instead and felt a bit sad face when DD sent photos of the gig. It would have been quite nice to be pressed up against him in a dark room …

The next morning was Pump class at 8am, where my favourite gym instructor  – who got me through the darkest Sunday mornings of my marriage break up – announced she was giving up the class to spend more time with her family. Noooooo! I mean, that’s great for her, but … Noooooo!

Then I headed to Rebel to get the youngest some skipping shorts, before driving her – and her hefty tenor saxophone – to Kensington to compete in the NSW School Band Competition, where her band won a Gold medal. Go them!

When we got home the youngest insisted on helping me choose my outfit for dinner – DD was making a roast for his mum and I.

I had to hustle her out of my bedroom when I realised there was a Christmas present sitting a little too prominently in my wardrobe. She fixed me with a cheeky grin and said: “Is it a Christmas present from you or Santa?”

We haven’t had the Santa chat … but it was obvious she was with the program. Turns out she saw me hauling her Santa sack into her bedroom when she was seven and has been keeping her lip zipped ever since. I was mildly devastated that I’d ruined the illusion so early in her little life, but she reckons she wasn’t bothered and was more worried about me realising I’d been spotted, so studiously pretended to be fast asleep.

As for the tooth fairy, apparently we should never have bothered with that little charade …

Those shock revelations made us a little late to collect her team mates for skipping practice, then I belted up north.

DD’s roast dinner was yum – the most delicious baked potatoes and cauliflower cheese and beef rump. I provided a rather nice Clare Valley shiraz and a lovely time was had by all.

This morning is a return to the work juggle, with bonus car trouble. The oil problems with the Renault continue, I just had to pour another litre of goop into the bloody thing, so it’s been booked for a service. Oh, and the driver’s side window is jammed, which I only discovered when I tried to open it so I could buzz the intercom of garage door at the apartment block where I collect the youngest’s teammate. Handy.

And then there are all the bit and pieces that have fallen off various parts of it. And it’s not even two years old …

Stupid French car.

How was your weekend?

Oh, and here are some rag tag snaps …


Song of the day: Loverboy “Working for the weekend”


4 thoughts on “Nothing playful about it

Add yours

  1. I spent my weekend marking. Year 7 assessment tasks (x80) and HSC trial exams. I dream of a job where you leave your work at work. Today is my ‘day off’ but will beheading in to work to help my HSC Drama students with final touches to their major works as today is the official hand -in date. Doesn’t matter that I’m not paid to turn up. A bit over it? Yes.

  2. “Stupid French car…”?!! “Bits and pieces falling off”?!!
    I’m devastated! Feel like crap now…sad face.

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