A few days ago, faced with the imminent end of the year and the impetus to rush to get things organised that that usually triggers (Hurry! Hurry! Time running out for anything you want to feel you've achieved in 2009!), I thought it over and concluded that the three things I really wanted to get done before the year ended were:
1. Catch up on my accounts
2. Catch up on my letters and other paperwork at work
3. Get a blog post up for this month.
Which was, of course, like saying that what I'd really like to do right now would be to travel around the world – very nice to daydream about, but not actually anything that's going to happen in real life.
However, I then spent the past few days turning into a whirlwind of speed and efficiency. Intermittently. Between long periods of child-watching, website-reading, or just plain torpor. But I spent my evenings logging on to the work computer (it's set up so that we can log in by remote control) trying to get letters done a few at a time. On Tuesday, while Katie napped and Jamie went down to the shops with Barry, I blasted through I'm-not-even-going-to-tell-you-how-many-months of bank statement reconciling and ticked no. 1 off my list. On Wednesday, I spent the day catching up on as much paperwork as possible. By this morning, I had three letters and half an insurance form left to do. By 7.30, I was at my desk typing, interrupted only by the need to sign the usual stack of prescriptions and see someone who turned up before surgery as an urgent extra. Six hours later, after seeing a million patients (OK, we had a couple of no-shows, it was actually only nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight) and phoning five more about various things and checking results and scribbling madly on forms in every spare minute between patients (or while waiting for patients to get undressed, or for the automated cuff to take their blood pressure…), I was done. Apart from the two visits, which took an extra hour. And the time to log them onto the computer from home afterwards (we closed at 1.00 for the New Year's holiday. Theoretically, anyway, though with the number of patients that had been booked and the number who booked in as urgent extras it was in fact somewhat after that, not even counting the extra hours for visits.) And one incoming letter that I hadn't had a chance to summarise in the notes and had to do from home as well. But apart from that? Done. The pending letters, the extra couple that arose from the day's work, even the darned insurance form. Done done done. I drove home for my afternoon off with a light heart.
So, there you have it. Nos 1 and 2 satisfactorily crossed off my to-do shortlist, and if I can manage to hit 'Post' on this any time within the next twenty-four minutes it'll be three for three. I can end the year, highly unlike the way I spent almost all of it, bathed in a warmly satisfied glow of achievement.