Stacking The Shelves

I’ve had a bad cold and ended up ordering my weekly groceries online. They were delivered to my kitchen counter, a couple of days ago and I had to rely on my ten-year-old son to put them all away.  I was ready to find a few things out of place but nothing had prepared me for the chaos in my house.

Today is the first day that I felt much better. This morning, I ventured into the kitchen but couldn’t even find bread or breakfast cereal in its usual spot! So I gave up and ate a muesli bar instead.

The vegetable drawer in the fridge had shampoo, face wash, body wash and a few fruits and vegetables. The flower vase had a slender bottle of concentrated fabric softener in it. Furniture polish and dishwashing liquid jostled together in the fruit bowl along with a bottle of raspberry cordial. The microwaveable wheat heat pack was in the kitchen cupboard next to a bag of flour. I found some fresh green and red capsicum and a little bundle of lemongrass in the medicine cabinet, nestled amongst the chili plasters next to the insect repellent spray. My expensive toothpaste was on the shelf with baking ingredients.

When I was looking for something else, I eventually found the errant breakfast cereal and loaves of bread alongside packets for the bird feeder. When I quizzed my son about these strange storage places he calmly said, “Mum! I asked ….  and you said ‘Just read the packaging and think where they should be stored. Common sense!’ So I did …

That breakfast cereal looked like birdseed, the bread loaf said nuts, seeds, grains on it.

The capsicums went in with the chili plasters in the medicine cabinet.

There is avocado in the facewash, cucumber in the body wash, green apples in the shampoo so they all went in the fridge.

The toothpaste said ‘Baking Soda’ in large letters.

The fabric softener said ‘Lily of the valley’ …..”


I panicked, “Where on earth, are the two whole chickens I ordered for Sunday’s family lunch?”

Silently, he lifted his eyebrows and rolled his eyes in the direction of the backyard.




Factory Settings

Every morning, I drink a cup of responsibly-sourced coffee from some remote mountains. The caffeine jump-starts my body as some money from my coffee purchase goes towards the health and education of children in that remote coffee region. And so the multitasking begins as I rush through my morning routine, every day.

I watch what I eat, I eat what they advertise is good for me, thus I nourish and educate myself at the same time. I am paid, to know what I know and store in my brain what I read and use it effectively to dispense more information to other people. I try and use multimedia to educate myself every day about health, politics, corporations, parenting, sharemarkets, food, foreign countries, taxes, sales in my favourite shoe store.

All day, I feed my mind with endless information, news from the radio, articles online, podcasts in the car, gossip on coffee breaks at work. Plus, all the usual… newspapers, grapevines, magazines, newsletters. I look at social media photos to compare holidays, homes, car sizes, children’s achievements, their looks, dress sizes, ageing husbands and personal wrinkles. This who, what, where, when, how and why of everything from the eccentric neighbour to the reigning politicians affects my moods, my clothes, my appetite and my relationships. I try my best to store most of this information in my brain and on my laptop so that my phone can share it too.

Even my glasses multitask. Myopic glasses are also reading glasses and sunglasses with numerous prescriptions and tints on them. I do not have to waste time switching between glasses, sunglasses and reading glasses. All the time saved, is put towards gaining even more knowledge and information. Some of which I need and the rest, I must have, because I can.

I wear a device that tells me the time as it records my heart rate, blood pressure, steps I walk, stairs I climb and calories I burn; wearing a watch would be too simplistic,  monofunctional.

My phone has replaced my watch, diary, alarm clock, address book, camera, maps, torch, weather report, music system, shopping list, emails and credit cards. My handbag now, is much lighter but the demands on my time have become heavier. I am now, my own secretary, travel agent, photographer, DJ and I shop online, even for groceries. All this multitasking keeps my day full, my family life restless and my relationships dependent on that last post I ‘Liked.’

I thought multitasking would free up some time to be at peace but it only makes more demands on my time. By the time I go to bed every night, I am tired. My brain is full, it has been like a sponge all day.

Early every morning, I go to a meditation session where I pay to be guided to empty my mind like reverting to ‘Factory Settings’ on a smartphone.

And I can start all over again.