Thursday, 27 June 2013

Overcoming Daily Hurdles

When I look at my life over here, I can see a succession of daily hurdles that I have to overcome. That said, help is at hand, and I have just come to realise that I rely a lot on some products or services that make my life easier. I suppose that we all go through a similar process, and I would be interested in knowing what your tips to make it easier are. Come on, sisters, don’t be shy, please share them!

1. The Dirty Laundry Basket
Honestly, why is it always full? And does my family think that everything washes itself just by magic? I am wondering whether my daughters are using the dirty laundry basket as extra storage, because I found a couple of clean pairs of socks in there. I am thinking of going on strike.

2. The Daily Commute
Whatever I do, it is going to be stressful. And there is always something with the London Tube, buses or roads. This morning, the machine wouldn’t accept my Oyster card (local pass). Go figure.

3. The School Opening Times
Not only are they ridiculously short in London compared to France, but things keep changing, and you had better keep up. After school clubs are cancelled at a moment’s notice and, from time to time, the school decides to have a day off. They call it different names: teacher training day, Valediction, festival, whatever... They can be creative and make it sound like it is fun, but the bottom line is always the same: as a mum, you are going to be the one who will take care of the kids.

4. Food, Glorious Food
Some things drive me mad. It is usually comments like “Darling, why are there no eggs any more?” or “Where is the orange juice?”. Again, it doesn’t miraculously come to the fridge, does it? But with food, nobody is happy. Ever. “Why are my pastas cold?” Well, if you had arrived on time they wouldn’t be. I simply can’t win. I am thinking of putting all the family on some fasting diet to show them how lucky they are.

5. Poor Customer Service
Have you noticed how difficult it can be to talk to the right person when you have a problem? The amount of time I spent trying to make appointments and solving various issues is simply ridiculous. Everything is difficult: talking to your bank, your energy supplier, reorganising a delivery...The list is endless.

That said, all is not bleak, and lots of things are helping me to go through the day. I sometimes wonder how our grandmothers were managing without such help. I am not sure that I could survive without it.

1. Internet and Google
Honestly, how were we managing before? I research everything on the net, from schools to properties and health issues. Google has helped me through all the different phases of my life. I try to do as much as possible from the comfort of my own house. And I love it.

2.  My dishwasher. 
Having the best dishwasher is a life saver. I just stuff mine with all the dirty plates and dishes and I don’t need to do anything else. If you don't already have a dishwasher, just read some dishwasher reviews to see how much your life would be easier with it. As for me, I wonder what would happen if it were broken. I think that I would suffer a breakdown. The prospect of taking forever to clean everything doesn’t appeal to me. At all.

3.  My Microwave. 
I know that it is a controversial one, but life is so much easier with a microwave. Too cold: here we go, and 30 seconds later it is perfect.

4. Grocery deliveries. 
That’s the ultimate luxury, isn’t it? When I was younger, we were shopping every weekend and carrying all our bags back home. In London, you can have all your water bottle and heavy stuff delivered to your very own door. What’s not to like about it?

5. Yoga. 
I wasn’t a yoga person at all but I am starting to get into it. It is probably the only time when I don’t think about anything. And it feels good.
How about you? How do you overcome your daily hurdles? What makes your life easier?


  1. Ironically, blogging. Great post

  2. Definitely the dishwasher, and washing machine, and my cleaner, God bless'er. She is my weekly saviour who just by doing her thing ensures my sanity is in place for the weekend. I friggin' HATE housework.

    I also overcome daily hurdles with a daily apero (rosé at the moment) and some nuts or crisps.

  3. Hi,

    You are describing what everyone goes through on a daily basis and it is sometimes more than one can stand.

    I remember one time I made a mistake with laundry (not on purpose) when the children were teenagers (no husband), anyway, their clothes came out anything from light pink to red. They were not happy. But guess what/? They said they were going to do their own laundry from then on because of this one incident. At first I took offense, and then I said "Aha!" and so I was now only doing my own laundry. One problem off my list.

    You can do this and just say it was an accident. They will never know. Your husband may be upset, but not as upset to start doing his own laundry. You may have to wait till kids are teenagers and obsessed with their looks. Just a thought! Sally

  4. Carolina HeartStrings27 June 2013 at 09:26

    Poor customer service is one of my biggest pet peeves... (I have several) As for reading dishwasher reviews I will be for my next one. I bought the current one based on price only and it is awful. It runs forever, is noisy and leaves even mostly rinsed off items dirty.

  5. I have found a folded clean shirt in the laundry basket, along with clothes that I know have been worn for no more than an hour. The washing fairy has fairly regular tantrums in this house.

    Yoga - couldn't live without it.

  6. I'd love to leave a comment but when I read about the misery of your daily existence I was too overcome with emotion! Sob, sob, .........

  7. Of course, you could link your computer to the fridge, have it order what is missing, and then just pop things into the microwave.... That would make you a yogi!

  8. We get very few things delivered in our out-of-the-way area... even pizzas do not get delivered to our door (dramatic sigh). And my dishwasher is not so heavenly, we have to rinse everything that goes in or it comes out dirty. How sad is that? As much as I hate to admit it, Amazon has made my life quite a bit easier, especially since it is so hard to find certain things in our area, but I know many people worry that they are taking over the world!

  9. I messed up family clothes and my boys (still in middle school) took over taking care of their things. My daughter just put up with my ineptitude. I either microwave of eat out of the fridge. I have a friend who helps with the house work. All my daily hurdles come from the computer and are as varied as they are frustrating. Oh well. Great post.

  10. amyyoungmiller28 June 2013 at 05:03

    Sometimes making a list and writing it all down is the springboard for figuring out how to solve problems and make things better for all. Sounds like you've got a great start to problem-solving! Love your list!

  11. Thank you! I am not very good at lists. I keep forgetting something. I cannot win!

  12. I suppose that it is just life, isn't it? That said, I wish my family would take care of their things. I really do!

  13. Well, I shamefully admit that I use Amazon a lot. It makes my life so much easier. Such a shame that your dishwasher doesn't work. It is making my life so much easier!

  14. I really wish that my fridge would automatically order what I need, because I keep forgetting something. I can not win. I think that, in pure yogi style, I will put everybody on a diet.

  15. No sympathy from you, then. Sigh. Seriously, I wish I could just lie down and do nothing. If only!

  16. I think that I would have blown a gasket if I had found a folded shirt in the laundry basket. What did you do?

  17. Do buy a good dishwasher. Honestly, there is no coming back, I couldn't manage without it. As for bad customer service, i am becoming less and less patient too.

  18. Lori Lavender Luz29 June 2013 at 13:58

    I do like having access to both ancient yoga and modern appliances.

    Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday! I hope to see you around again for our monthly exercise in mindfulness.

  19. Thanks for coming over! We are truly blessed, aren't we? Yoga and Internet...

  20. I am not very good at housekeeping, I must admit. That said, it hasn't deterred anyone to give me his/her dirty laundry. Go figure. Maybe I need to become even worse?

  21. I like your tips. Ah, a glass of rose in the sun. It would be exactly what I need right now...

  22. You are right, blogging helps too. But it doesn't do the laundry. Sigh.

  23. Lori Lavender Luz30 June 2013 at 07:48

    We are!

    I hope you'll come comment on the blogs of other Perfect Moment Monday participants -- it's a terrific bunch!

  24. I have had a look and you are right, it is great!

  25. AmericanMominBordeaux4 July 2013 at 23:57

    Just found your blog - via twitter...I love this list!! I laughed at the laundry part - my oldest daughter (12) I swear cleans her room by putting everything in the laundry - or my favorite - Where's my sweater - and it's buried in her closet....We are new to France - so have some of the same adjustments to figuring out things! Looking forward to reading more!

  26. Well, welcome to my home country! I can totally believe that you are still having to figure things out. To be honest with you, I am not sure that I could go back and live in France again. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions (I will try my best to help!).

  27. AmericanMominBordeaux6 July 2013 at 04:51

    Thank you! I have come to believe that even the French are still figuring out their own country and how things so often it depends on who you talk to as to which answer you get....or not get. Anyway, we are enjoying ourselves - especially the bit slower pace of life here. Looking forward to reading more.