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Putting on a Front

keeping up appearances 3

In the town where I live is an old, empty shop.

It used to be the local op-shop. Now it is sad and run down, the roof is falling in and it’s full of debris.
I pass the shop many times a week on my way to drop Foghorn or Bubble at kinder, and although the windows are smeared and dusty, I can’t help but peer inside. Maybe I am hoping that one day someone will have taken some time to care for it, help it back to the way it once was, before everything began to unravel and fall apart.

Last week I noticed, in the little display window at the front of the shop sat a small hand held vacuum. The carpet around it had been cleaned. Behind it sat a mountainous heap of rubble and mess.
I laughed at the irony of it, the sheer impossibility that this lonesome vacuum could make it right.
Don’t ask me why, but I snapped a picture of it on my phone…and then, as I often do, I forgot about it.

This morning, whilst moving some photographs of the children onto my laptop from the iPhone, I came across the photo of the vacuum.

keeping up appearances 3

Can you see my reflection?

Yes, so can I.

keeping up appearances 2

Some days I feel like that little handheld vacuum.

I’m trying hard to keep the front up, keeping everything looking nice for when people take a peek into my life, but in the background lurks the anxiety, the overwhelm – the tasks that loom large and heavy, too much for me to do alone.

But that’s just it isn’t it?

Nobody expects that little vacuum to be able to move wooden posts or rake up the rubble, do they?

No one expects the vacuum to hold up the roof when the wind blows and keep it all together.

It’s high time the little vacuum learned that she doesn’t have to do it all alone.

She has to stop setting impossible tasks for herself.

She has to stop feeling like everything is her responsibility and she has to learn to ask for help.

Because without help she will only ever be able to keep up the front, and what a sad waste that would be.

jolene Facebook a           Jolene twitter a




Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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