Stop the Hamster Wheel, Take the Time

Little Miss, supervising our work in the yard this weekend.

A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook that really resonated with me. You can view it here. I have been actively trying, for the past six years or more, to be more present with my child.

My mind is filled with ideas, plans, dreams, and a “to-do” list a mile long.

I’m a Type A, “it’s all on me” type of mindset. If someone is going to ensure we have a decent retirement, it will be me, through financial planning and investing. If we are going to have a meal plan, groceries for whatever food needs we need, or a well-organized kitchen, that will be me too. If I want to have paths in my garden, I’ll be the one to build them, and so on…

My point is that I don’t tend to look to others to handle things. I might assign tasks, but I’m the one with the task list running through my head.

And sometimes the noise it causes in my brain is overwhelming. And right around that moment, Em will walk in, a hopeful look on her face.

My blue-haired beauty ready for swimming at CocoKey


I smile at her, stop what I am doing and get up. She’s eleven, almost twelve, my one and only. She’s growing up, almost a teenager, so each time she asks, I think, “This might be the last time she asks me.”

We lay down in bed, sometimes read or turn on the tv, other times just talk about whatever comes to mind. Her head pillowed on my arm. Sometimes we have tickle fights, other times we talk about body changes, books we want to read, or upcoming events and plans.

The point is, I try hard to stop what I am doing and be with her. I’m reminding myself daily to do the same with Little Miss, our foster daughter.

She comes in, first thing in the morning, and I smile and sing the good morning song.

Good morning, good morning and how do you do?

And you say, Good morning, good morning, I’m fine how are you?

She smiles and I see her trying to remember the words as she repeats “Morning! Morning!”

I can’t turn off Type A, and honestly, I wouldn’t even want to try. Type A gets things done. Type A makes our home run smoother and gives us a solid foundation for the future. Type A is the “get ‘er done” gal that makes five times the work happen in a single day.

But sometimes, I have to rein it in. Get off the hamster wheel and remember what is important here. Not the money, or the house, or the retirement or the financial goals – not even the yard that I love so much – but those moments when Little Miss asks, “Bug go ka-choo?” (her favorite book is A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!), or Em asks for cuddles or to go swimming.

Because the writing will wait.

The retirement, while important, doesn’t need ALL of my time.

Childhood is fleeting and time waits for no man (or woman).

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