And so the week begins….


Accidents happen

My working week more or less starts on at 6.00am Saturday, when breakfast comes second to clearing through 500 WeAreTheCity emails collected in my inbox over the last 7 days.  Urgent ones get dealt with daily or referred to the team, weekends are for more consideration, client liaison, replies, networking and helping any one of my 15 mentees that might need guidance or support.   It’s the only time I get before the kids get up and then life descends into a non stop schedule of breakfasts, clubs and trying to fit in an hour for a run or to see my personal trainer.

Saturday night was a nightmare – I went to the toilet and my iPhone was in the back pocket of my jeans.  Cue moments of hyperventilation as soon as it hit the water as without my phone, I am totally lost.  It was quickly retrieved but died anyway and was laid to rest in a bed of rice in case it felt like coming back to life whilst I frantically tried to salvage as many numbers as I could off my work phone.  Not really what was needed!

Sunday is definitely not a day of rest, and this Sunday was one like no other.  Up early to make Stewart his annual breakfast, I only managed to set the kitchen alight once – that’s real progress for me.  Stewart stripped me of my cooking chores years ago when I cooked a chicken but left the giblets inside.  He told me he loved cooking & promptly took over culinary chores. Personally I think it’s more about self preservation from salmonella and botulism than love of the kitchen.  Stewart and I split to see our respective parents meeting back at 3.00 pm for our own Sunday lunch and prep night at” WATC Towers”.

Unwelcome visitors

Sunday’s we sit down and look at the next two weeks ahead. What do we need to do in order to survive another week?  What help and favours can we call in? What nights are we out/need to work late in order to cover each other?

It’s an operation normally planned with military precision that got thrown aside with a frantic phone call from my mother who was having a vertigo attack. I ran to her rescue – and I literally ran, as 2 days without a run and I’m getting twitchy so this seemed as good an opportunity as any.  On getting home I was having a pre-hair wash cuddle with my 8 year old to find her carrying  very unwelcome house guests.  Nit alert was declared and everyone saturated in “Once” and left to set for 15 minutes.

15 minutes seemed a very welcome break except the cat (now called “Killer Ronnie”) chose his moment to try to drag a half eaten, still alive crow through the catflap.  Negotiations to prise open his jaws to save the bird failed dismally.  Amidst all the furore the children ran in to kitchen hotly pursued by what can only be described as a bee the size of a small plane.  Clearly on a mission to sting before its impending death, I now have 2 children screaming and running around like maniacs, a killer cat, a crow flapping in death-throes and nit shampoo being sprayed around the house. And its only 8.10pm.

Some hours later, with nits picked out with fingernails, beds stripped and everyone treble checked to make sure I don’t carry anything into my office team, it’s time to collapse. Almost. Just a phone bleep and text from a colleague in the US which means I have to be in the office at 7 am. 5 am wake up it is then.


Sickness and strength

My 8 year old comes in at 5 am on the dot complaining of a sore throat.  I didn’t have to feel her temperature, I could see it.  The mirror reminds me that I didn’t get time to straighten my hair last night and I’ve sprouted an 80’s disco wig requiring another 30 minutes of taming time to shoe horn into the schedule.  Stew and I race through feeding the cats, checking emails and prepping the childminder and trying to work out how I can stay home with my daughter and be in work by 7.00 am. Ultimately kids come first but creativity helps me be in two places at once when required.   As luck would have it, the childminder is free today, so Ella is covered at least for today.

I’ve found a new word this month – Pessoptimist. Neither pessimist or optimist

I’m still lost without my iPhone.  I feel like I have done a week’s work in the last 12 hours alone.  I figure if things revert to their normal pace ,which is 150 miles an hour, it’ll feel like everything’s slowing down.  The afternoon ran like this :

Town Hall done – rapturous applause.

Emails cleared – no applause, sadly.

Ella gets an emergency doctors appointment – miraculous!

Personal trainer might actually see me this evening….

….If nothing else intervenes.  I’ve found a new word this month – Pessoptimist. Neither pessimist or optimist. Somewhere waiting for something to happen right in the middle!

About the author

Vanessa Vallely is co-Founder of WeAreTheCity, The Network of Networks and WeAreTheCity India. Vanessa is a speaker and author of Heels of Steel. Vanessa sits on the board of Women in Influence. Vanessa won the WIBF Champion For Women Award 2011, she is a Progress 1000 winner and Financial News Top 100 winner. Follow Vanessa on Twitter

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