It’s About Time…
Pip Henderson is an actress, writer, voice artist and funny lady who in between Stage, Film and TV appearances looks after her 83-year-old mum. Pip lives in Hove with her husband Mark who plays a supporting role and provides the much needed holidays to keep everyone smiling. We are delighted to welcome her to the Bad Daughters Club and her fourth blog continues to sum it all up. Enjoy.
Time, they say, is the one commodity that we never have enough of.
As far as I’m concerned there are simply not enough hours in the day/days in the week/months in the year to fit in all the things that I am supposed to do, let alone the things that I would like to and I am finding that, increasingly, the conversations that I have with people include the phrases “when I have/if only I had/I just don’t have The Time”…
Now, I fully admit to having problems when it comes to time management (most of my friends know that it is generally best to add on an additional 10-15 minutes to my stated arrival time) and that was ok when it was just me, but since I started looking after Mum I have discovered that she and I now have totally different relationships with time and my carefree attitude to this rare commodity is far less acceptable to her.
In the ‘Before’ time when my life was still my own and Mum and Brian, although approaching their declining years, were still managing their lives independently in a whole different county, a late phone call (whether it was hours or days) was no big deal because they had other things to distract them – but this is no longer the case.
Despite my own failings in this area it has always bugged me that when you reach a certain age, those appointments that come with the territory seem to become increasingly loose weave when it comes to specific timings (“I’ll be round at some point between 8am and 6pm”). Visiting professionals are often late (irritating) or early (worse) – sometimes they don’t turn up at all – and the implication is that, well, it doesn’t really matter; what else were you planning on doing today..?
However, I have started to realise that when you have absolutely nothing else in the diary, the arrangements that people make with you and the timing of ‘things’ become especially important, because they are often the only things to look forward to in days that must seem to stretch out interminably. But whilst I understand and take into consideration the fact that our concepts of time are now radically different, Mum doesn’t; and this can be an issue.
For example, whilst I’m thinking ‘Oh God, I’ve only got 3 hours to fit in all the things that need to be done’, watching the 2nd hand on the clock race round as my personal time disappears, Mum is sitting at home watching those same minutes ticking by thinking ‘Oh God, I’ve got 3 hours to endure until Philippa arrives’; and then, when I arrive 20 minutes late, frustrated, annoyed and irritatingly tearful at having not come close to achieving all the things that needed to be done and Mum greets me with ‘Where have you been? You said you’d be here AGES ago’ – well, you can see the problem…
Don’t get me wrong, I do sympathise. I do understand that when I say, “we’ll do that another time” and then promptly forget, Mum is hanging on for that ‘other’ time. I do understand that, as far as she is concerned, time to herself (once longed for) is something that is no longer welcomed – and I fully appreciate the terrible irony that now she has all this time, she no longer has the capabilities, or inclination, to do all those things she had planned to do in the days when she didn’t. But that doesn’t make it less frustrating from MY point of view.
The thing is, I am painfully aware that, at some point, time will run out.
So how do we make the best of the time that we have left together in a way that works for both of us?
I’ll get back to you on that one.
When I have the time…