It has been a hectic last few weeks. Hectic! Adjusting to this new life of ours, dealing with nasty random viruses, and keeping said infected germ factories (aka: the girls) away from the baby, watching an ever-growing list of things to do steadily grow, downing wines. You name it, we’re dealing with it!
When things get hectic, plans tend to go by the wayside. Some of us handle this ok and roll with the punches, others, like yours truly, tend to get in a flap about it. I *may* be a teeny, tiny bit anal about my routines, and about marking my to-do list off.
So it got me thinking. What makes some of us rollers, and others flappers? What’s your style? Those terms sound rather crass, don’t they? Totes my style.
Think about these questions- how would you respond?
1.The house looks like a bomb has gone off. In fact it probably has- a bomb of toys, detonated by tiny hands throwing crap all over the shop. Your friend rings (or texts. Because who rings these days?!) and says “what’s up? How bout I pop around in 20 mins?” Do you:
(a) Respond- ‘sure thing, you’ll just have to navigate the maze of toys on the ground’ and just put the kettle on in preparation?
(b) Get really annoyed that you’ve been given 20 minutes notice, pace the house for 10 of those minutes muttering under your breath, panic and start throwing toys in a cupboard (that will most likely burst open smacking said friend in the face as they walk by. Penance for giving 20 mins notice in your mind), while responding ‘sure thing. Can’t wait to see you! xoxo’ (because even though you want to throttle them, kisses and hugs are mandatory to end a text).
(c) Just not respond. If you pretend the message never came through, then it didn’t, right?
2. You’ve got an appointment you have to get to in 15 minutes. You’ve prepped, you’ve sorted the troops out. You’re on top of this shiz! Then one of your cherubs decides to spill vegemite toast (because we ALL eat vegemite, right? And it’s Murphy’s Law that something so heinous would stain a shirt just before you have to leave) all over themselves and then the other has a toileting accident. AT THE SAME TIME. It’s kismet. And if you’re cherub free- let’s pretend you spilled something on yourself. We’ll save the toileting accidents to protect your modesty. What do you do?
(a) Laugh it off. No biggie. You’ll get there when you get there, these things happen.
(b) Stand motionless, paralysed by frustration. Noticing a twitch in your eye, you think you may be having a mini stroke. Curse Murphy for such a shitty law, panic about missing the appointment, and the chain of events that results from rushing and being late. That’s it, the whole day is ruined now.
(c) Pretend these things didn’t occur. Throw new clothes at one, hide the vegemite stain on the other. Smile and nod people, smile and nod.
3. You’ve budgeted to within an inch of your life. You know what bills come in when, your money is sorted. Feeling rather chuffed with yourself, you feel like it’s all covered and heck, at this rate you might be able to take the family on a holiday! To a caravan park an hour up the road, but hey, it’s still a getaway, right? Then you get an unexpected bill in the mail… in the form of a speeding fine from your delightful partner. Do you:
(a) Chip your partner for not following the road rules, but reassure that it’s all ok. It will work out somehow, and you’ll just have to budget a bit tighter for a few weeks. The caravan park will still be there.
(b) Begin plucking your eyelashes out, because it’s less painful than dealing with your reckless partner. Your voice quivers with rage, whilst simultaneously panicking about where the hell this money is going to come from, given the money tree out the back ain’t producing the goods. Curse Murphy’s Law once more and you’re convinced that Murphy is specifically out to get YOU.
(c) Shove it to the bottom of the bill pile, down a shot of whatever alcohol is close by and deal with it when it’s due.
If you find yourself gravitating toward (b) then welcome to flapperworld. I’m right there with you. Though of course we’re not that flap-extreme. Much. Cursing Murphy’s Law is mandatory though. Flappers need advance notice for everything. They need a notebook and a pen for obsessive list-writing. They are the planners, the organisers, the sorter-outerers. It’s a word. For real. Spontaneity, while it sounds awesome, really isn’t their shtick. When that routine is thrown, even the slightest, the flap begins. And the melodrama. And the mountains out of molehills shit.
If you’re more of an (a) person, you’re a roller of the highest calibre. Nothing phases you. Breaking a sweat isn’t in your vocab. Shit happens, and you’re ok with shit happening. You shake it off, shake it off (ooh ooh… yeah try getting that song out of your head now…), and rolling with the punches ain’t no thang. People rocking up at the last minute? Come on in! Stuff going haywire? Not a worry.
And what about the (c)’s? Classic avoider. Like kids do when they’re really little- ‘if I close my eyes it’s not really happening, right?’ It’s akin to being a flapper on Valium. Rather than getting upset, they just block it out. Put fingers in the ears and go all ‘la la la la laaaaa’. While it feels nice in the short term to avoid shit, long term it is a big ouchie. The shit doesn’t go away, and that ick feeling in the pit of an avoider’s stomach doesn’t go away.
So ideally, we all want to be rollers. How do we get to divine roller status, without having to listen to Cat Stevens or spend a weekend in Nimbin? It’s not easy. My flapper self still struggles with rolling. Things I would say to a friend (but of course I can’t do for myself. You know, like the best kind of advice….) that might help would be to just chill out, relax, prioritise- what really matters? Is it a big deal worth flapping about? And what if you did just let it happen? Let that friend come over, or clean up the kids and run a bit late? Is the world going to end? Will your friend disown you because Toys R Us vomited in your lounge room? Will you be condemned because you’re 10 minutes late for your appointment (let’s face it, you’ll be like 20 mins late at least… but hey if you say 10 minutes you don’t feel as bad so let’s roll with that)? Challenge the flap- things might actually turn out better if you roll, you know? Or it might go to shit, but let’s not worry about that right now.
I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to have our shit together, and to be ordered, and to present a nice, ‘together’ us, that we often end up in a flap about stuff we don’t need to flap about. Friends don’t care if the house has exploded in toys and crumbs (unless it’s like from an episode of Hoarders), appointments normally run late anyways, it’ll alllll work out. Kids have been sent to test our flapability, I’m sure of it. They are like heat-seeking missiles when it comes to mess, and tardiness, and delays.
We can roll. They’ll roll when we do. And in the meantime there’s wine. There’s always wine.
How about you? Are you a roller or a flapper? Or just avoid the whole shebang?