Breathe Josie, Breathe

6:10 AM - The iPhone alarm clock screeches some odd tune in the darkness of early morning, and my mind fights being wrenched from the soft fog of slumber. Hit the snooze, snuggle into soft flannel sheets, shove the phone under the pillow in feeble attempts to muffle it's second demand that I arise. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Hurry now, just time to shower, dry my hair and dress.  Start the car by remote, greet the furkids and feed them kitty treats, tug on clothes and shoes in laundry room so as to let sleeping Papa Bear sleep one more hour. A different alarm tone sounds, reminder to put in my hearing aids; else I would forget them, and I have.  Hurry, time to leave! Grab coat, purse, and water bottle, turn off house alarm and slip out the door. Settle into car seat and Go!  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Turn left on to busy two-lane highway and head for the city.  Damn oil-field trucks and equipment have it so congested.  Speed limit is 75, but traffic crawls at 60, no room to pass.  Muscles tense. Hit the main highway, keep eyes open for road construction and accidents, join the lines of lemmings moving into town. Red light, red light red light, how do they time these things?  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Zip through McDonalds line, though more often not zipping but instead queuing up as yet another new trainee tries to master speaker and register keys.  Check tea before leaving window, always check the tea - 50/50 chance it's unsweet as you requested. Exit, turn right, headed downtown. Idiots flying up behind you before applying brakes, watching in the rear view mirror, anticipating jarring crunch. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Arrive at work early thinking there is time to soak in a bit of quiet and check email before others arrive.  Wrong.  Attorney calls, "Will you please fax a file to me for the hearing right away?"  Coworker calls, "I'm running a little late, can you call my first appointment". The next to arrive initiates play by play review of yesterday's issues. One round of the drama wasn't enough? Breathe Josie, breathe.

Time to kick it into gear, phones begin ringing in endless succession. Questions and concerns, heart-breaking stories, appointments, files, forms, faxes, bank deposits, and mail. Go, go, go, everything must be ready to go by end of day.  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Finally going home time... but no, not quite yet... drop off mail, pick up dry cleaning and/or groceries, or maybe stop by pharmacy, or get gas.  Join traffic crawling slowly out of town while mentally listing the things that must be done before bedtime. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Pick up mail from Post Office, carry in bags from car, feed furkids, scoop kitty box, make supper, stack dishes (don't ask for how long), wash a load of laundry,  fill pill boxes, pay bills, try to read, write or blog a little, play with furkids while visiting with hubby and watching TV in background - or get tied up in long winded phone conversations that make me squirm as time disappears. Breathe Josie, breathe.

10:30 PM - What? It's bedtime already?  But I wanted to.....  Ok, you're right, if we don't go now I will be even more tired tomorrow.  Slip into soft flannel sheets, visit, snuggle and sink into darkness. Little light in brain flashes off and on, thinking of all the things to be done tomorrow, pressing life issues and worries regarding family, friends, jobs and money.  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Deep breath... more like a deep sigh. Don't check blood pressure, you can be sure it's high.  Sleep comes at last, maybe good dreams, maybe bad, but at least distance from the endless list of "must do's."   My last thought before drifting off, and my first one when arising, are the same... Is this rat race really what life is supposed to be?   Please, slow down!  STOP!  I want more time to play and breathe!

Note: Not all days are this bad, but often this is how they go, and I am saddened by the way we hurtle through life at blinding speed, missing so much of the beauty and opportunities for interaction because we must run the race, there is little reprieve.  If we should live long enough - maybe someday we can opt out. But realistically, we all know that someday is not to be found in the days of the week. I keep looking for ways to break the cycle and make more room to breathe. 
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are breathe and spring


  1. I really like this...and can relate on so many levels. It seems that life is a constant climb uphill against the perpetual, gravitational force propelling time and tasks and to-dos on us, daily, relentless.

    It is one of the reasons that I came to the conclusion that where I am in my job right now is exactly where I need to be - not because it doesn't these very same daily struggles, but because at least my schedule offers more flexibility than it did before - I am not locked into having to be up before the crack of dawn every day, out the door before seven and staying in one building (in one room) all day. I was before. It was one of the things that brought me the change where I am now.

    I think the secret in this is being intentional to plan 'opt outs' - times away, mini-breaks of respite during the day, even if it is just a longer glance out the window to appreciate the coming season. It is why I am fairly adamant that we get away like we often do (and am doing right this moment - I can hear the waves right outside the glass doors...and it is so restorative).

    Make that room to breathe. We all need to remind ourselves and each other of this often. I know that for me, I don't want to get to the end of my life, whenever that may be, and realize that my focus was on all the wrong things the whole time. We have to keep trying to find the margins.

  2. I am exhausted just reading this. Well written as usual, and I am glad everyday does not go this way for you.

    I am retired now and breath a lot...breathing is good. When I worked my commute was horrible. Work could be incredibly hectic or sometimes very very slow. Looking back, I preferred the hectic times.

  3. It sounds to be sometimes scary busy. There are times when i wish things could slow down, too.

  4. Isn't life crazy? It's hard just finding time to breathe!

  5. Isn't life crazy? It's hard just finding time to breathe!

  6. Am I glad that I have retired. What a wonderful account of the stress of being in the workforce and a commuter too. Mind you being retired has its problems too such as why is my doctor always 1 hour late for appointments and why do parents break every road rule when delivering or collecting their kids from school? Now let me start your deep breathing exercises!

  7. Zoom...Zoom, go Josie, go! That's sounds like a tough day! I used to have a schedule like that when I was going to college and had a tough time trying to find time and would end of going to sleep past 12 am and waking up before, or a little after 5 am. I was very tired, but I kind of liked it though, doing things. As long as the things that I am doing are a little bit different each time.
    I don't know, but I guess that we all have our jobs to do! : )

  8. Breathing is good....recharging iss even better...I will do a metta meditation for you this morning to hope for more calm to enter...z

  9. I remember work for pay. Now I seem to be even busier and can't ever catch up.

    Sometimes we do have to take a minute to breathe.

    Good write.

  10. I agree. I look at my daughter sometimes and am just STUNNED that she is a teenager. How in the hell did she get so old so fast? I often feel as if time is my enemy, it just keeps spinning out so quickly.


Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)