Monthly Musing – October 2017 – Hamster wheel
friend and her family have recently been looking after some gerbils for her
son’s friend. Gerbils are busy little
creatures, always ripping up cardboard, racing up and down the ladders in their
cage or rocketing round and around on their wheel. They have fascinated my friend, who has never
kept hamsters or gerbils before, and despite her claims that she’ll be glad
hand them back, I am sure it won’t be long before her family has gerbils of their
I had dropped small daughter off to play
at their house and my friend encouraged me to stop for a while to watch the
gerbils. “I’m finding it quite
therapeutic!” she told me. I used to
keep hamsters when I was younger and they would also be very busy on their
wheels, running faster and faster before deciding to get off and go and do
something else. There’s something about
watching them on that wheel – mostly I joke about needing to hitch them up to the
meter to save on electricity – but more recently, watching those little
creatures running has felt more personal.
We’re all good at running on a wheel of our own making, faster or slower
depending on the demands of life. What
we’re not always so good at doing is slowing it down once it’s going too fast,
or remembering to get off once in a while.
It’s no mistake that this is October’s
Monthly Musing posted now in November.
It’s a reminder to me that every now and again, I need to get off that
hamster wheel. To remember that it’s OK
to stop “doing” because our in-trays will never be empty and all the jobs that
we want or need to do will never be done.
That sometimes, if I want to take the night off and do nothing at all
apart from watch TV and knit then it’s absolutely fine. Those emails, the ironing, tweaks to my blog
page will all wait until tomorrow.
Nobody gets hurt, nothing is spoilt by waiting another few hours, or
even a few days. The hamster wheel will
keep spinning as fast as you run on it and the only one who can slow it down is
you. I don’t want to stop being busy or
being curious about the world, but I do need to remember that I only have the
same 24 hours as everyone else and that sometimes I need a rest!
I spent yesterday in the garden. The sky was blue, the leaves on the trees
were shades of red, green and gold and it was one of those moments when you’re
glad to be alive. Oh, to bottle those
moments! I hadn’t been outside long when
the battery ran out on my phone and as I was gardening away from home, there
was nothing I could do about it. No
texts, no emails, no notifications about anything. Just me, the fresh air and the garden. And definitely no hamster wheel. And it was liberating. I should do this more often!