DECLUTTERING THE MIND

I think I need a Spring de-clutter.

I’m not really talking about my house. I’m quite good at sifting through and getting rid. With six of us living under one roof there simply isn’t the room to hang onto things that don’t have a purpose.

No. I mean my mind. My head is completely cluttered up with stuff and most of it is pointless.

There are all those things that I’ve known as long as I can remember. Song lyrics mainly. Nothing recent of course. Hits of the 80s in the main and the words to random hymns. It’s all very jolly to find that when a long forgotten ditty pops up on the radio I can pluck the words from the recesses of my mind and sing along. It’s not very useful.

But I can’t remember how to do long division or anything about my first seven years of life or the phone numbers of my children. This things elude me no matter how hard I try. There just doesn’t seem to be any space left for them.

And then there’s the day to day rubbish. It feels like the better part of my brain is fully engaged by who needs to be where when, what they need with them and when they can be fed. And not only do I have to remember everything once but then I have to send texts to remind them all to do the things that I reminded them about at breakfast because by then the rest of their busy lives will have taken over and they will have forgotten. It’s my job to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Sometimes I reflect on how irritating it must be for them to get a text like that. I wouldn’t know of course. I never get one.

I try not to make lists. It is my equivalent of doing sudoku, keeping it all in my head with just my diary as aide memoire. I’m hoping that the mental gymnastics of family life will be enough to keep my brain from shrivelling up as old age approaches. The trouble is that my head is so bunged up with the detritus of daily life that there doesn’t seem to be any space left for any other stuff. Where is the room for blue sky thinking, for dreaming up stories or even to switch off and let banal telly wash over me? Those little voices that keep telling me what needs to be done when never shut up!

So I need to find a way to silence them. Not all the time of course or my finely balanced house of cards would collapse taking my family’s lives with it. But just sometimes it would be lovely not to be planning or calculating or working out timings. I would love to have just lose myself entirely in a thought process of my choosing without the rest of it getting in the way.

Am I being unfeasibly optimistic? Does anyone out there manage to do that? Answers on a postcard to Mrs Fullbrain of Ilkley.

What do you think? I'd love to know...