Way Too Hard

Anne-Marie Smith

I woke up. I put drops in my eyes and then after squinting through the crosswords on my page, I went back to bed. Much warmer, and listening to the radio was as soothing as birds tweeting in a tree. I kept thinking about all the things left undone in my life, such as why I had never opened my own bookshop. I also remembered I was negligent in my tasks on the weekend when I missed out on watering the garden. 

On Monday I start by making a list of about seven urgent things to complete. I work my way through the first two items. I feel so good that I go shopping, buy myself a new T-shirt, with a powerful world message like ‘There is No Planet B’, then go home to catch up with hanging around the house in peace and quiet. The next day I jot down about five things that will need finishing that week. So pleased that I have tackled my list of undone actions that I take out a book and fall asleep on it. It’s a good job that the next day requires me to attend a regular medical appointment. No need to check any list. Just go to the clinic. Stop nearby for a coffee and cake; pop in at the chemist’s for some miracle tablets and my day has been a full success. On the following day, I may catch up with some housework, drop in to the library to borrow books and check my photo albums on Facebook. I can even be bold enough to post a selfie outside the flowering bushes at the front of the house. 

The next dilemma occurs on the day when I don’t want to achieve anything. 

I have forgotten I left some washing on the line. No need to put the heater on. I can stay warm under the covers. No doctor to visit. A friend for coffee? That can wait for another day. Check the letter box? Nobody ever writes anyway. Vacuum-cleaning? I did sweep under the table the day before and there isn’t anything I can’t gather with a brush and pan when I do get up. Water the front lawn? It may rain at the weekend. Lunch? Well, sit up in bed and watch TV with a sandwich and a piece of fruit. Drinking water? A bottle is always by my bedside. A wash? Can always catch up first thing in the morning. 

Today, having to get up was way too hard.

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Anne-Marie Smith is a French Australian  from Adelaide. She edited a Multicultural Anthology for Australian Multicultural Writers and Wakefield Press (2008). She has published stories based on her cultural experiences teaching in Africa, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Ginninderra Press published her Memoir (2018). At present she writes flash fiction online and at https://amsmithbordier.org.

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