Friday, 27 August 2010
Keep calm and carry on packing
The Congratulations-You-Got-A-Job flowers are dead. My bank account is empty. I have a start date for the new job, but no finish date for the old one. I have almost sorted a place to move to after days spent tearing around Yorkshire, guided by an indecisive sat-nav. Southern Man is calmly coming to turns with relocating farther north than he had ever been before chatting me up in a pub three years ago. And unemployment.
Even though I have been dreaming of a move back north for months, now it is almost here there is a real danger of my brain reducing to mush. I am Susan Boyle on finals night of Britain’s Got Talent, about to flash a chubby leg at Piers Morgan before being carted off to the Priory.
Packing, cleaning, moving, mending, binning, rearranging, buying, borrowing, driving. Saying goodbyes. Then starting a new job.
I write a ‘to do’ list. I cross things off the list, but that makes the list look messy, like my thoughts, so I start a new list. I take the list to the shops. I think of something to add to the list. I look for the list. I have lost the list. I write a new list on a bigger piece of paper, with footnotes.
Apparently if there are more than seven things on the list, then the list becomes a source of stress itself. I have 22 things on the list. Some of them would have taken less time to do than to write (‘get big box out of cupboard’ written while sat by cupboard), but I put them on anyway.
I have three weeks until I am meant to say so long to London. Can I sit in a dark room rocking back and forth for three weeks? The idea is appealing.
I phone my mother in Cumbria, no stranger to feeling stress.
‘What you need to do,’ she says slowly, ‘is write a list.’