When things are going badly. When I am ill, tired, fed up, bored or just generally at odds with the world, I revert to my default position. Life needs a reboot, as it were. My friend, Heather and I are often chivvy each other along at these times. She is one of those rare people that ‘gets’ me. She can make me laugh, calm me down and we have loads in common, but when it comes to our ‘rebooting’ strategies, we couldn’t be more different and this really amused us last time we talking about it. She is over on her blog explaining her default settings and so we thought we’d both do the same.

If I need a little life re-grouping my first instinct is home. To retreat a little, keeping plans to a minimum. I crave cosiness, organisation and quiet. My default position is to potter. Of course, that’s not always easy to do with a two year old to amuse at home full-time and so I have to plan my day of cosy around a small person, well two really as Mini Mck is only at school until 3:15.

However, instead of planning a day where we run wild and stay out of the house, I will tend to plan a few activities that are not messy and can be quiet, preferably things that can be done sitting down and with little interference from me. Jigsaws are a big default activity here. I find something very soothing about watching my children doing jigsaws, while clutching a hot cup of coffee in my hands. Cutting and sticking are another and if I really want some space and peace, then a train track is definitely the way to go.


If the weather is nice, but only if it is really nice, we may venture out, but not far, definitely not far enough to involve the car. A quick trip to the playground or the shop to get something comforting for lunch.

While keeping the children occupied with as little effort as possible, I will take the opportunity to get organised. Usually my anxieties stem from a feeling of being out of control and so when I need to get myself together, list writing always features. It may just be what I need to do that day, or a stream of consciousness, brain dump, or both! Next is where the pottering comes in. Tidy the mess, get some washing on, prepare dinner early. All of these things help me clear my head and feel more in control. Getting control of my environment helps me get control of my emotions.

Hopefully all of this would mean that by the time MM returns from school I am in a position to sit with the children and a film, accompanied by tea and crochet, which if I am honest I probably won’t do much of, getting distracted by Twitter or just nothingness, but the comfort of having it there makes me feel better.


I guess the intention of my default behaviours are to take a pause, get some control and feel that I can move forward in a less cluttered, anxious way. Of course, Heather is always pushing me to get out, make plans, do something out of the house and she may be right and sometimes I may do that, but only after I’ve had my day of rebooting.

What about you? What are your default settings when things aren’t going to plan?


3 thoughts on “Defaults

  1. Loved reading this! In theory I can totally see why this is a good default ā€“ I’m just completely unable to do it in practice if I’m on my own with the kids. It’s such a lottery as to whether the twins will be in the right mood to play without constantly bugging me. I reckon I could learn a thing or two from you though šŸ˜‰

  2. Think my default is to open all the windows, turn up the music, write a big list, clean up the house – total blitz and then eat cake, drink tea and tweet…. And to plan outdoorsy stuff for the day after šŸ™‚ I’m always a bit rubbish at cosy and quiet time our house is too chaotic! I often think how much I’d just LOVE a duvet on the sofa and old films, never ever ever has happened yet.

  3. I default in a similar way to you. Going out only seems to make me need to default more. I say in, bake, restock the freezer, make this nice for the boys and enjoy them, films, snuggles, lego, crafting.

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