Friday, 29 January 2016


Women are supposed to be good at multi-tasking (think looking after babies, preparing a meal, looking after a house) and I used to pride myself at one time that I could hold down an important job, run a household, have hobbies and the like.

Now is a very different story.   I do not like to be under pressure and when there are jobs to be done I like to do them one at a time and then tick them off on my mental list of 'Jobs to do today.'

Is this something to do with the ageing process do you think?   Or is it something to do with lack of practice?

Whatever it is, after a morning with the coffee girls (thin on the ground today because of the weather) when it was nigh on impossible to stand up in our Market Square because of the incredibly strong gales, my job to do this afternoon, along with the farmer, was to go to our Post Office in the little town of Bedale, about twelve miles away, to send off (after their checking) for passport renewal.

All done and dusted now, but why is it now so frustrating and stressful to have to fill in forms, get accompanying photographs, get said photographs verified and then have the lot checked.  And this is a week when I have already given up on forms from the Income Tax office and sent them off to my accountant to sort out.
Yes, if I am not careful I shall go into a decline believing I am getting old.


donna baker said...

I think it is because after a lifetime of multi-tasking and hurrying from here to there we are tired of it all. I'm raking leaves today and cleaning out flower beds and I hate it. Plus the wind is blowing more out of my piles than I'm getting up. We should all have people to do these jobs for us. Trouble is, I don't want to pay them.

Rosie said...

I so agree with you! There seems to be more beaurocracy now surrounding transactions that ought to be simple. It is so frustrating. It is a!most a surprise when things go smoothly with no hiccups.

Joanne Noragon said...

The other day at work I was working on paying some taxes on line when the phone rang. It was not important, but one I had to listen through. I though I'd just keep ticking those tax boxes while I listened. I found I absolutely could not. When I hung up and resumed the tax job I wryly noted to myself it's probalby just as well I'm through multi tasking.

galant said...

Although I was a secretary (today that would be a PA would it not?) I now do anything rather than filling in a form. Also, as I've grown older I find that I can manage one-job-at-once rather than tearing around trying to do several things - cook, clean, look after the children. Today, as it was so awful outside, high winds and rain (Thank you, Storm Gertrude - what's all this with the naming of storms? And why, if this silly idea started in American, aren't they given names like Bobby-Ann and Jolene?) I spent the day cooking and really enjoyed it: banana and walnut loaf (a cake really, loaf shaped); veggie curry; Hunter's chicken; bolognaise sauce, first for spag bol and then the rest for the base for cottage pies; French onion soup ... Some was for today but most of it portioned out and in the freezer. A job well done and I hardly noticed the bad weather.
Margaret P

Wilma said...

I agree with Donna - tired of multi-tasking after a lifetime of having to do so! I like to think that I am enjoying each moment for what it is rather than having to cram more in to a single day than could possibly fit and then feeling guilty for not having done enough. Some days I felt like a circus performer. Glad that is over!

Heather said...

I think a lot of procedures are more complicated than they used to be, so it's not all down to the ageing process. However, I would like to multi-task as well as I once could when I cooked my husband's dinner, nursed a grizzling infant, refereed a dispute between the two girls, and helped another child with his homework simultaneously. Those were the days. I like plenty of time to do everything now and hate to be under pressure.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Old? Never!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Finding it stressful when dealing with bureaucracy isn't a sign of age - it happens to everyone.

angryparsnip said...

You are the least "old" person I know !
I have read that multitasking is really not that good for anyone. The do one job at a time
has been shown to be the way to go.

cheers, parsnip

angryparsnip said...

Oh forgot..... @galent, for once I know the answer ! That never happens.
According to Norrad, forecasters give names to tropical cyclones, hurricanes to avoid confusion
when there are one or more storms to follow at the same time.
In American there can be more than one storm at either coast.
Storms were informally named for forecaster to use so they knew what was happening. Around the 50's naming was the phonetic alphabet then English names were used.
The names are used so people living in the area of a storm can follow it and move out of harm if needed.
I am not sure this matter as much were you live ? but super helpful for us.
Why I know this is I am a crazy weather person and have Norad, and many other weather blogs to follow and I love it.
I am hoping to take some classes in weather predicting soon. I find it so interesting. Plus living in the desert weather is very important. Here in Tucson we are counting the days till we might get some rain. Monday we hope !
I also love looking at the stars. My father worked on some of the first telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Looking at weather patterns from space is awesome. At lest for me.

I hope this helps, naming storms does seem silly but it is helpful, really.
Sorry about you bad weather I hope the sun comes out soon for you.

cheers, parsnip

Frances said...

Weaver, this post and the earlier comments have confirmed my long-held belief that multi-tasking is not the answer. Given a choice, I'm much rather concentrate on one thing at a time and to do that thing well. This could be house cleaning, various duties required at my job, reading, drawing or painting, visiting with a friend in person or over the phone (without any smart phone nearby.)

I do find that I can still knit a simple design while reading a book or a blog, but don't expect this is doing either pursuit a favor.

Listening to music can still form a pleasing background to many of my tasks.

I think that most of my multi-tasking came about as a job-related requirement to increase productivity. Not by my choice.

Parsnip has described the naming of storms so much better than I'd have been able to. Now I want to check out the NORAD site.

Many thanks for all of this. xo

Hildred said...

If I try to do more than one job at a time, say go from the kitchen to the bedroom to do something or other, I invariably find that when I get to the bedroom I have forgotten why I came - now Pat, that is getting old!!!

Cro Magnon said...

Taking one's time, one can achieve the same (if not more) than rushing about like a 6 year old. Younger people often like to LOOK as if they're busy, whilst actually doing very little. I can assure you this is true!

Derek Faulkner said...

Why do people find it so difficult to accept that getting, or being old, comes with the inability to do many of the things that they used to do when they were younger. Instead they find reasons why it's not old age - it's because things are more complicated these days, or younger people look as if they're busy but actually they're not.
Old age is about lots of the physical and mental inability to do things, why stress one's self out trying to pretend that you're not old. I'm 68 and when I've finished a long walk, my feet and legs ache, when I do anything physical parts of me ache that never did, I need stronger reading glasses, I forget things etc. etc. I don't need to ask if I'm getting old, I know I'm getting old.

Coppa's girl said...

It has little to do with age, but the fact that you are no longer working. Now that you are retired, you have become used to not having to rush around. It's nice to be able to give time to those tasks that were always done in a hurry, and to spend much more time on your hobbies and interests. I know that I seem to be busier than ever since retirement, but it's doing what I want to. It's so good too, to have more time to spend with friends and family.
As to the form-filling - the world has gone mad ! I'm sure it's all to do with how many extra thousands of people are now employed sorting the paperwork !

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I don't know. That sounded like quite a full day. As to paperwork, the tediousness of it makes me think it zaps my brain. The gathering of materials and checking to see that everything is correct. I'm not so good at mulit=tasking as I used to be and I truly hate to admit it, but perhaps it is just the things are doing now are not quite as demanding or set in stone as what we used to do.

I don't know.

Rachel Phillips said...

Are you planning to travel over the border outside the Dales then?

Dartford Warbler said...

I can still multitask when I have to, but it is so much better to do one job at a time and make the most of it. Not form-filling though. A tedious and frustrating job however old or young you are!

Gwil W said...

Oh dear. Donna just reminded me I'm supposed to be working in the garden, not lounging here tipping and surfing on the old keyboard. But I've already been to the Saturday farmers market and done my 2 hours jog and walk, and eaten my piece of filleted carp which somebody kindly cooked for me, and checked a few news items that don't make the actual news like 50 women sentenced to be flogged for not wearing Islamist approved clothing , so I've no more excuses, I must now multi- task. We used to say being busy. At work I used to say if you give a brush I'll sweep up while I'm doing everything else. My boss said he always gives work to a busy man. In answer to your first question I think it's wisdom.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I multitask brilliantly. Everything I do is a mess.

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm not a good multi-tasker I'm too easily distracted, so it's one job at a time for me. To renew our passport you fill in a form and mail it and your old passport, plus way too much money. Not too bad.

Jennyff said...

Having worked full time most of my life, organised a home, large productive garden, run at club level and so on I think I deserve to suit myself and so do you however you want to do things. It's not getting old its reaping the rewards, enjoy.

Jennytc said...

My view is that, having had to rush around doing too many things at once for most of my adult life, I have now earned the right not to have to do that, but to be able to take things more easily and do one thing at a time. Unfortunately, I do get a bit ratty when life conspires against me! :(

The Weaver of Grass said...

One thing we all need to remember is that we are all getting old from the moment we are born - so it is no great shakes.

It seems we all 'suffer' from the same thing.
Rachel - we do sometimes move outside the Dales, so we like to keep our passports up to date in case.

Thanks for calling and cheering me up on a horrible day.