Updated: Nov 15, 2020
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
Do this… Do that… Run here…Run there.
It never ends.
I have an endless daily “to do” list at home and at work. There never seems to be enough time in a day to come close to completing everything. I, along with countless others, am the proverbial hamster trapped on the hamster wheel…and my hamster wheel is everyday life. I desperately want to jump off the hamster wheel, but if I do, I think my life will be akin to casually strolling across a freeway during rush hour.
I’d get run over faster than I could blink.
I have noticed this phenomenon up and down the spectrum of what used to be called “the rat race.” Sometimes it feels like I don’t even have time to breath. A typical day is as follows: roll out of bed, let the dog out, grab a cup of coffee, get in a quick walk, feed the dog, fix breakfast for me and the kids, take something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, take a shower, get ready for work, eat breakfast, make sure the kids look halfway decent while they’re heading out the door as I make sure they have their schoolwork, load up the kids and drop them off at school – one at this school and one at that school – then hit the freeway, utilize time tested offensive and defensive driving skills to navigate through the gnarly rush hour traffic, take in the sight of the other drivers sharing the same expression on their faces as I have, glance in my rearview mirror as everyone bears down on me while being stared at in someone else’s rearview mirror as I am bearing down on them, piling into the parking deck at work, rushing to work wishing I had worn flats instead of heels, briskly walking in the building to the breakroom to grab another cup of coffee, sneak in some quick conversation, make it to my work station, and finally log on to my computer to begin with my work “to do” list.
And as soon as I see my at work “to do” list, I automatically remember I forgot to check my at home “to do” list.
Production, production, production…need maximum production! It needs to be done today. Ugh, I have so much to do I don’t even have time to go to the restroom…I’ll just have to hold it until lunch. Push, push, push. The company is always pushing for us to do more in less time, to do more with less help, to do more with less help in less time. The hamster wheel is spinning so fast I can barely keep up with the pace!
Since I didn’t have time to make my lunch last night, I have to run out and grab something to eat at my desk. And, wouldn’t you know it, it seems as though no one else was able to fix their lunch either. Every drive thru I see is packed! Here’s the real question: do I have enough time to wait in this line and make it back across town to pick up the dry cleaning and get back to work on time. A quick glance at the clock says no. Sigh, I will just have to get the dry cleaning after work.
Wait a minute, how about that spinning class I wanted to take at the gym this afternoon? If I hustle, I can do both. Hold on, I can’t get the dry cleaning after work or go to spinning class today! I have to pick up Bonita from After School Care and get her to dance class. Think…think… Okay, well, the dry cleaner stays open until 7:00 pm, and I’ll just have to spin another day. Let’s see, I’ll have to drop off Bonita at dance, scoot over to the dry cleaners, swing by and pick up Mark from basketball practice, and then circle back and pick up Bonita.
Honk! Honk! Honk!
Hold on! I can’t swing by the dry cleaners this evening! I’ve got to stop by the grocery store; the cupboards are bare and whatever is in the refrigerator is well past the expiration date. Gosh, I have so much to do and so little time to do it in. I definitely know what that little hamster feels like on his wheel…or what a dog feels like when he is chasing his tail. Lord help me, can this line move any slower?
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I was only a few minutes late picking up both kids from their practices...a small victory for me, although I could only wave at the dry cleaners as I drove by three separate times. Now to drop off the kids at home so they can tackle their homework while I transform into a whirlwind to rush up and down the grocery store aisles.
Oh no! I forgot the peanut butter…I guess that’s why you make a grocery list. Oh, I’ve got so much on my mind to do I can’t keep up.
Huh? Great, just what I need. A gas tank on empty. Let’s kill two birds with one stone. I’ll pull into that convenience store to fill up and run in… Surely, they’ll have peanut butter. Of course, I will pay out the wazoo for it, but you do what you got to do. As they say, you pay for convenience.
Trudging into the house with grocery bags in hand, I stare at the clock. Wow, it’s already 7:15. I am beat. Okay, spring into action and throw something together for supper while putting the groceries away. Motioning for the kids to come over and help, I see the den is also in desperate need of help. There are piles of stuff everywhere! Oh, but I just can’t get to them today. The clothes will have to wait until tomorrow to be folded…unless they want to give me a hand and fold themselves. And whoever invented the automatic dish washer must have had me in mind; there’s no way we’d have clean dishes until the weekend without it.
Ugh, time for me to sit down. Thank goodness.
Plopping into the recliner to relax, my feet pound rhythmically to relieve themselves from the exertion of running around for the past few hours. You know, I really would like to read some in my new book, but I just don’t have the time or energy for it today. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it all in.
Maybe I’m pushing too hard. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe I’m not superwoman, supermom, or even super. Maybe I’m not meant to get everything done because it’s quite obvious that I cannot get everything done. Maybe in the hamster wheel of life, I’m my own worst enemy. There are only twenty-four hours in a day and I do have to sleep sometime. That’s what I need: a good night’s sleep. Surely, I’ll feel refreshed in the morning.
Dream, dream, dream. All night long, I dream. Dreams about doing stuff. Dreams about getting my “to do” lists completed ‘today’. Dreams about not being able to get it all done in a day.
Cracking my eyes open, the clock stares back at with a big 6:30 am. What? How can that be? I just laid my head down! Is this another dream? The clock does not respond. It just continues to stare.
Immediately, my mind spurs to life going through the never-ending list of what I need to get accomplished today. Okay, get up! Get going! I’ve got to get the kids up and moving. Let’s go! Let’s go!
* * * * *
Merging onto the freeway as I head to work after dropping the kids at school, I feel the familiar twinge of pressure mounting in the pit of my stomach. I clinch my jaw, overwhelmed and intimidated with all the day has to bring.
I make a silent plea in desperation. God, tell me, what is one to do? Tell me, please, what am I do to? I need help. I can’t seem to get all I need to get done in a day or in any day. Help! A new billboard catches my eye, and I can only breath in awe as I read its words. It says…
* * * * * * *
REMEMBER, I DIDN’T GET IT ALL DONE IN ONE DAY EITHER.
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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!