It’s the little things

 

Our shower curtain won’t stop falling down. The whole thing. The pole and the curtain and all the many, many products in between it and the floor, they come tumbling down every couple of weeks, sometimes more. It’s fallen on my head more than once. It makes a loud clatter as it smacks off the side of the bath and onto the floor. It absolutely will not go back up when I try.

I like to think I’m quite handy around the house, and I’ve become pretty good at fixing things. But this curtain? I can’t do it. It defeats me every time. I can’t get it to stick. And this defeat is made worse by the fact that it always seems to fall when I’m having an especially bad day. It’s become almost a cruel joke. And I know it’s only a curtain. It doesn’t matter. But when everything in the bigger picture is going wrong, it tips me over the edge.

Have you ever noticed that? Really important, worth-talking-about life things can be going wrong but it’s actually those little things that really push your buttons and make you feel like you just might lose the plot altogether. Maybe this is where the line about spilt milk came from. I could probably deal with a bit of spilt dairy or a dodgy curtain if everything else in life was tickety-boo, but when is it ever? Work can be a clusterfuck of stress but I’ll deal with that until it’s lunch time and Pret have run out of my favourite salad at which point there may be tears. Or my messy flatshare home can be causing me to wonder whether it’s worth committing a crime just to get into a solo prison cell but it’s the fact that I can’t find my umbrella that finally tips me over, not the dishes that have been sat there for over a week.

Life can be falling apart at the seams but I can just plod on, keep on plodding, until that damned curtain collapses yet again and then I’m done. But who needs a shower curtain eh? Our shower’s so pathetic it wouldn’t splash over the side anyway… Ah, the joys of renting.

 

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What’s the rush?

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I know I live in one of the busiest cities in the world and that Londoners are rather known for having no time, charging through life at speed whether ‘life’ be a Tesco queue or a tube gate, but still. I am utterly exhausted. Not by everything that I have to do (which is quite a lot, when I think about it… *doesn’t think about it*) but by always, forever, every day being in a rush. Everything is a rush.

I leap out of bed in a rush. I eat my breakfast in a rush. I brush my teeth in such a rush that sometimes it hurts. I get dressed in a rush (and this is probably clear from what I am wearing and the fact I’ve recently decided trainers are totally OK for work). I cleanse in a rush (and I write about beauty for a living, this is not OK). I rush through the three tubes it takes me to get to work, sweaty and heart racing, as if my life depends on it. To be fair it sort of does, since I need my job, but you get what I mean.

I send emails in a rush. I pee in a rush*. I go and get my lunch in a rush and then I eat it at speed at my desk. Often followed by an anti acid for obvious reasons. I talk in a rush and work in a rush, hoping that I’ll get home in time to pop to Sainsbury’s in a rush before I power walk home and then cook in a rush, choosing the fastest and easiest thing to make so that the precious few hours afterwards are mine to rush through as I please.

One of my most upsetting rushes is the shower. I usually have this while my dinner cooks (read: heats in the oven). Living in a shared house aged 30 means it’s one of the only times in the day that I am truly alone with my thoughts and doing something for ME (and the benefit of anyone in whiffing distance). It’s soothing, too, or should be, shouldn’t it? But no. I have to shower in a rush, either because a flatmate jumped in before me and now my dinner is burning, or simply because I chose the fastest thing for dinner and surprise, surprise it’s nearly done. Then I forget whether I even did the shampoo (did I?) because I must get dinner finished before the house burns down, must watch that programme that I’m really into, must get X Y and Z done in between rushing through 40 WhatsApp notifications before rushing off to bed come midnight.

I can imagine certain people reading this and thinking, ugh, London life. But I don’t think we can blame London for this. I certainly don’t. In fact I’m fairly sure I was exactly the same when I lived in my little idyllic village in Sussex and worked at my local leisure centre. Everything fast, everything a little furious, too much to do, too little time. When has there ever been enough time?

The iPhone doesn’t help. Sometimes I’ll get to 6:15pm, standing and waiting on the tube platform wishing I could just be home like RIGHT NOW, and realise that I’ve barely looked at anything all day. You know, really LOOKED and *seen* it. And then I will put my phone away smugly, looking at everyone else who is neck-bent and hooked on their phones around me, thinking how silly they are; I’ll step onto the tube and stand next to a bunch of strangers and think, as hot and crowded as this is, at least I’m not doing anything, because I can’t. I have to just stand here and wait for four whole stops. Enforced slowness is the only way to slow me down.

Of course, someone who plans things, those weird, organised planners, probably wouldn’t have this problem. They probably waft through life on a perfect schedule of timed appointments, timed lunches and blissfully long showers, while I find de-stressing solace in four stops on the Circle line.

Wait, so is the tube – unreliable, clunky and expensive as it is – secretly keeping me sane? Now there’s a scary thought…

 

*This one is a worry. Please do tell me in the comments if you can relate to this, or of course anything in this post. Make me feel better. Thanks!