I have a perfect pantry. I have matching jars. I have matching baskets. There are shelves on which certain things sit. Together. It is small and perfectly formed. It is organised. It is tidy. It is utterly gorgeous. And it is the only place in our house like it.

You see, we are all project people.  We have great ‘start-up’ abilities and not such good ‘follow through.’ We do finish things, but it takes longer than anyone else – because we tend to go off on tangents. We think we can multi-task when all evidence points to the contrary. This creates an interesting home.

Our kitchen, for example, took nine years for my husband to renovate, and the rest of the house is a work in progress. We walk around piles of tools, and bits of wood are stacked next to me as I type.  Craig is an archer. Archery equipment does not fit tidily in neat rows.  There are a variety of things which fall on my head when I get too close to his archery cupboard. Most of them sharp and pointy.

I like handcrafts, and experiment with a variety of materials. I have a half started business, and two manuscripts in the bottom drawer. I also enjoy art and the boys at least pretend they do too. We own a guitar and a piano, which one or another of us tinkers with most days.

The boys, yes even the Butterfly toddler, dabble with hand tools. Today, we have a half-finished boat, a half-finished go-kart, and a half-finished hut in our back-yard. Several nails protrude from a spare piece of wood: where the Butterfly decided to help my husband.

There are inside boy projects too, they mostly involve cardboard boxes or Lego. All the inside projects tend to move from room to room, sort of  like  heat-seeking devices seeking space instead, as in I’ve messed up my own room – where can I go next…The house and yard feel a bit out of control and chaotic. Fun, interesting, creative and chaotic.

Being busy with our projects and the real world,  means we all tend to suffer from domestic blindness, which the fictional Van Der Zwet family dictionary is defined as:

domestic blindness adv 1. the inability to see tasks which need to be completed around the house, despite walking past them, over them or around them for months. adv 2 the inability to take responsibility for mundane tasks, because if I wait long enough someone else might do them and I can carry on with my current project(s).

Projects have taken over our house.  Disorganisation reigns. Yesterday, being brave,  I insanely set a goal of sorting  one pile of papers from beginning to end. I set the timer on the microwave. 10 minutes – concentrate and complete task. I’m not sure who I was trying to convince but the  same piles of paper are still on my desk. Sigh.

Which all leads me to suspect I was meant to have been born a Duchess. At the very least, I think, I was meant to have staff. I’m sure people can’t be serious when they suggest that I am the one who is meant to organise all the stuff.  I need time for my projects! I need an extra 24 hours each day or the help of a good fairy.

a good fairy n a mythical creature who, when we aren’t  looking: comes and tidies the house; does the washing; buys the groceries; and does all the other tasks, which have mounted up due to domestic blindness (see above).

It wasn’t always like this. Once there were only two adults  and a very small baby living here. Once we were organised, always project-ing, but organised. I knew where things were. It was lovely.

So, sometimes I hide in my tiny and perfectly formed pantry – it reminds me of who I was and hopefully who I will become again. One day.

Is anyone else a failed multi-tasker? Where do you hide, when it all gets too much?

 (That’s our nine-year-old Hare hiding under the washing in the picture.)

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Karyn Van Der Zwet of Napier,  New Zealand.  Karyn can also be found on her blog, kloppenmum.

This photo is attributed to Karyn Van Der Zwet

Karyn Wills

Karyn is a teacher, writer and solo mother to three sons. She lives in the sunny wine region of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in the city of Napier.

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