Saturday, March 5, 2016

Pizza-Making for the Organisationally Challenged

"Agh - the play starts in 25 minutes!" I exclaimed last night, between bites of pizzas.


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It seemed like a simple plan: A kind friend was coming to babysit the girls while the rest of us went to the high school play; I'd planned a simple meal for us all to eat before the play started.

I had been able to buy ready-made bases and sauce (woohoo) so all I had to do was throw on some toppings and cheese, put it in the oven, and then cut up some salad to go with it. 

This is what really happened:

Although I came up with a time that I planned for us to eat, I didn't fully consider how long it would take to find and chop up the toppings and grate the cheese.

I also didn't think that I might not have enough time, while the pizza cooked, to chop up the salad and clear and lay the table. 

I gave no consideration at all to the 'putting everything away' aspect that would ideally have happened between finishing the meal and leaving the house.

I didn't stop to consider the importance of having the meal on the table at the specified time, given that we had to be somewhere by 7pm.

I also didn't think about all the small jobs that needed to be done before we could leave the house, many of which could have been done earlier in the afternoon.

We did make it to the play on time, but not without stress and panic on my part!  The hour before leaving for the play certainly wasn't a relaxing one, or one in which I had time to focus on the friend who had joined us for dinner.

I considered the contrast between this stressful evening and other recent evenings when we've had friends over for dinner.   When we've had families over for dinner in the last few months I've been careful to plan out my time so that things would run smoothly.   I've actually come away from the evening feeling happy and relaxed about how well everything came together. 

The more simple the event I'm working towards, the less likely I am to plan out my time carefully.  And the greater the potential for disaster!

Planning out my time properly is important in so many situations.  I'm slowly learning that.

Last time we were in the UK, I remember how difficult it was to get the children out of the house and into the car.  There were bags to be packed, socks to find, shoes to be put on, nappies to be changed, hair to be brushed.  The list seemed endless.  

Again, I found that I had to plan carefully and be realistic about how long everything would take, even for a trip of an hour or two, or I'd find myself running terribly late. 

The older I get, the more I learn about myself.  It's all useful stuff!