I believe I've become the hamster.
I've been here before; I think most of us have. It happens when we over-commit, forget how to say "no," and make promises we're not sure we want to keep. We find ourselves spinning madly out of control and getting nowhere fast.
Here's the situation. Everyday I go to work and do a job that I absolutely love. I know what needs to be done, I know how to do it, and I enjoy my responsibilities. I consider this the "hang out dome" part of my day. I am steady and content and sitting on my butt (at the computer) for hours on end. But around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. as my day is about to end (hey, I start at 7:30 a.m., so don't judge me), I start to feel the slightest pang of anxiety. On my drive home, the traffic is much heavier than it should be, giving me entirely too much time to think. I spend 20-30 minutes considering what my options are once I reach my humble abode. For most people, heading home after eight-plus hours in the office is the best part of their day; the at home options are far better than whatever they've just left behind. For me, this transition time is the equivalent of the tube/passageway section of the hamster cage. As I pass through, my anxiety reaches a dangerous level, and before I know it, I'm on the hamster wheel.
As I spin, I know I have some decisions to make, namely, what should I do with my time? There's the gym, and I know I should go, but I don't want to go, even though I always feel better afterwards. Then there's my never-ending list of things to do. If I could handle just a few small things, I'd spend less of my weekend making myself (and my children) miserable with what needs to be done. One of my most stressful
If I survive those couple of hours before dinnertime, I now face a decision about what to do with my evening. That's assuming I don't have a meeting on the calendar for youth committee, church session, or book club, and that Abby doesn't have a sporting event that I'd like to attend (providing me with a very good
Because I am a completely insane individual, I recently decided that it would be fun to add a little something extra to my list of
You might be saying to yourself, "I wonder what Kim really wants to do with her time?" Well, it's nice of you to ask, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I want to catch up on American Idol (love that Harry Connick Jr.), watch last week's episode of Scandal, or binge watch some new series. If we want to pretend I'm more highbrow than that, then let's say I'd like to read, or at least play spider solitaire (I'm up to three suits!) or sudoku until my eyes glaze over and I can shut my brain down and go to sleep.
Ah, sleep. My happy place. The other night, Abby asked me why I go to bed so early. Without hesitation, I told her that some people do drugs to deal with stress; I go to bed. (Then I asked her to fill my weekly pill organizer; the irony wasn't lost on either of us). It's true. Sleep has always been a wonderful avoidance technique for me. I recall during college, if I felt the least bit tired, I could convince myself that sleep was more important than my school work. Worked then. Works now.
Not surprisingly, by going to sleep early, the morning comes more quickly. I love mornings. I realize this makes little sense, given the way I've just compared my life to a hamster cage, but for some reason everything dissolves away overnight and I wake up happy, even though I know what I'll face at the 4:00 hour. Makes me think of the movie Groundhog Day when every day is a repeat of the last. I'm detecting a rodent theme here. Of all the animals I could compare myself to...
The good news is that I think I may have found a solution. I've been asked to join the Sanctuary Choir at our church (I felt flattered at the invitation, but in reality 1) they will gladly take anybody and 2) they just want to use me to help bring the median age down closer to 60). Singing has always been a source of joy for me. In fact, it's one of my favorite memories of my Pop Pop: "When you're unhappy, Kim, just sing." So I might say yes to this choir opportunity. That will take care of Thursday nights, giving me one less evening to figure out on my own. Although it does add one more commitment to keep...
|Hanging on by a thread...|