What kitchen?


Anybody would think the fridge had broken or the stove had gone kaput. I haven’t cooked all weekend. We’ve had cheese platters and take-away Thai food and explored the suburbs looking for an afternoon coffee. Tonight we should have eaten left-over cheese and green chicken curry. Instead we picnicked at Mt Coot-Tha, picking up karage chicken and rice from the local Japanese joint on the way.

It’s a sign of the ambient stress levels in the house and our complete immersion in our work. The Ballerina slaved all day deconstructing poetry. The Socialite snuggled on the sofa and slept, sniffling and coughing, worrying about going to work tomorrow. And I stayed in pyjamas till midday, fiddling with different projects on my laptop without making progress with any of them. At one point I had nearly a dozen browser tabs open as I jumped between watching videos, learning how to make videos, downloading software so I could pilfer videos and trying my hand at editing videos.

This is an example of my inefficient day, a day spent burrowing deeper down unfamiliar rabbit holes, desperately hoping to emerge with a lighter to-do list but instead ending the day with an untidy house and unhealthy body.

This morning, after my tea and toast but before a shower or cleaning the kitchen or doing the laundry, I looked up a colleague from a past life who runs a successful design business. I needed a quote for a new sports logo and I wanted to reach out to her personally. So I found her on LinkedIn, a social media platform where I have only a basic, bare bones presence. I could have messaged her immediately but instead decided to give my own profile a spit-and-polish first. I wanted to leave a good impression with my virtual calling card.

First I reviewed my listed work history, which is depressing; full of holes and short on details. For anyone who’s taken time out to have kids and nurse kids and then just drive kids around, describing yourself through a chronological employment resume is like wearing a hair shirt .

Then I noticed that my current place of employment, my own fledgling writing business, didn’t display a logo. I spent a lot of money on my Two Thumbs logo. I’m proud of it and like to use it whenever I can. I read the LinkedIn FAQ, learning I needed to create a separate profile for my business with its own image and contact details and “about the business” sales pitch. So I created one. And then I had to find the correct logo, which I have stored on my Google drive. That drive isn’t installed on my laptop, so I had to log in online, which meant finding the password.

Are you feeling my pain yet?

I found the password and accessed the drive and located the logo and created the page and uploaded the logo then changed the logo for a different one then cut-and-paste from my website to populate the business page and connected the business page to my personal profile on LinkedIn. Then, finally, I messaged my designer colleague from a past life. The message took me five minutes. It was lunchtime.

I did many other tasks in the afternoon, all while sitting down and staring at a screen. I didn’t do laundry or clean the kitchen or visit the supermarket.

So while the fridge is not broken it is empty. And my hunched shoulders and furrowed brow are reflected in my children, both battling their own project demons. So at dusk, when The Socialite raised her head from the sofa and suggested an excursion and more take-away, I said yes. Why not?


Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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