On thin ice again




How many times have I thought this and then pushed it away? The idea that my method of approaching life is just like the skater, sliding out onto the frozen lake, pretending full confidence in the thickness of the ice because they don't want to admit they might be wrong.

It's not pure pigheadedness that puts you out there, hoping for the best. It's not the inability to admit you're wrong either. It's much more simple: what other way is there to live?

Without the tools of organisation and a methodical approach, thin ice is always waiting for aspies. If you don't plan ahead or can't bring yourself to look at the future as it comes towards you, then you have to throw yourself into things all the time and hope they turn out okay in the end.

It's no good saying you'll be different next time and do things properly because this happens so rarely, you can probably remember the once or twice you did it that way. And this is a big thing to admit as I, like many aspies, can barely remember what year it is, let alone what I was doing this morning.

So, disorganisation, a need to avoid having to be organised (not quite the same things), an immaturity when it comes to life in general and being responsible in particular...all these things conspire to have us pulling on the skates and hoping we'll be able to circuit the lake and be back before any cracks appear.

It's terrifying, you know, doing this to yourself. You know it should be different and, in the back of your mind, there is an alluring image of another you who has planned ahead and seems to know what they're doing, who never has to worry about crashing through to the icy waters below. That you, the imaginary one, would have known to pay the bill when the money was in, instead of buying flowers and cat meat. They would have filled in the vital form for IT teen to go to London and wouldn't have had to make the usual feckless, pleading call to someone in charge at college.

This wonderful you, who probably has good hair and never runs out of toilet paper, they would have remembered to set off the washing machine last night so there would be shirts for today. Their bed will be made so that it's nice to climb into at night and the dogs wouldn't have had to eat cat biscuits for breakfast again.

This fabulous you would also have realised, before spending all the money on dog biscuits and toilet paper, that they should have left some over for new shoes as they have to accompany their mother to a funeral on Friday and neither turquoise wedges nor furry winter boots will fit the bill.

As usual, I will get these things done. Once I've been out to tuition, there will be food, there will be time to wash the right clothes for the right day and, at some stage before Friday, there will be sensible shoes. And I promise myself I will look in the wardrobe and make sure I have sensible clothes to go with the shoes.
It will get done, somehow, but I'll spend all week ticking things off the list; not in an organised way, you understand. This is the sort of list that is drawn up in a semi-horrified panic, felt when you realise that yes, that has to be done this week and possibly today.

It is a thin-ice list, readers, one that many of you will be very familiar with. It happens when other things grabbed your attention first and you suddenly found yourself with many things to do in a short space of time, none of which can be dodged and so you are left, frantically doing them all as well as you can in a small, tiny window of opportunity.

So, there you have an image of what my week is going to be like. Please cross your fingers and hope that the printer ink carries on its miraculous performance in defiance of the on-screen warning, as I don't want to have to choose that over the shoes. And don't say 'I told you so', when I discover the sensible clothes I checked I had on Tuesday turn out to be a size too big or too small when I take them out to wear on Friday.

To finish, I have a small confession to make. Well, I blush and hesitate to type it. You see, besides having to juggle the money and ignoring the sinking feeling of finding out why that black skirt hasn't been worn in 2 years, I actually quite enjoy skating on thin ice.

There, I said it. I apologise for all the difficulties I cause other people by doing it and I especially apologise to my future self, who will look back with a grim stare at me saying this now, but, well, it's kind of fun to shoot through life, hoping for the best because you're in too much of a hurry to slow down and make sure all is well.

It's exhilarating to feel the cold wind in your face as you skate around the lake, eyes raised to the winter sky, the sound of the blades on the ice, the rush of the grass as you go too close to the edge.
And when I hear the cracking? Yes, I do regret it then, sometimes quite a lot. It's simply that it feels more natural this way, to zoom rather than plod and to enjoy the ride as I shoot through the misadventures.

Sometimes, readers, when I have done everything on time and am sitting, waiting to go somewhere because I was ready for a change, I think to myself, 'I wish I'd done something else first now, all this waiting around is so boring!'

I would much rather be flitting about, hopping on one foot as I pull the turquoise shoe onto the other, then cantering around the side of the house, slowing down as I reach the gate so it won't look like I've been running.

Watch out for the thin ice, readers, as I'll have already been on it and warmed it up for you and you never know what might happen next.

Amanda

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