My Life on the Gerbil Wheel
When I was a little girl, we had pet gerbils — Diana and Charles. As in the princess and prince of Wales. Was I a child of the 80s or what?
Their favorite activity was to spin on the wire wheel that was attached to the side of their cage. They would run around and around and around and around, never going anywhere or making any progress.
As I was wiping the kitchen counters and loading the dishwasher this morning, for the eleventy-trillionth time this week, I remembered those gerbils, running round and round on that wire wheel, going nowhere, accomplishing nothing. That’s about how I feel.
All day long we make messes and clean them up, wash, rinse, repeat. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.
I feel like a gerbil on that revolving wheel. I am so very tired of doing the same chores over and over and over again, only to have my hard work sabotaged within minutes of completion.
I know that what I do is important. I know that it’s my job. I know that someone has to do it. I know that jobs aren’t supposed to be all fun and games.
Furthermore, I know that I should do everything to the glory of God, even if it’s cleaning toilets and wiping up spills and loading the dishwasher forty times a day. I am to be grateful for the work I have been given.
And truly, what do I have to complain about? I have plenty of good food, a comfortable home, healthy
happy kids, a devoted husband, my health, a
reliable income, a loving supportive church family. I have nothing to complain about. I know that women all across the world do what I do with much less to be thankful for. I know that I should be
content with the revolving wheel.
But some days, I just don’t feel like doing my job. I am not joyful. In fact, sometimes I’m downright cranky. I put off wiping that counter again and running the vacuum again and picking up a dirty sock AGAIN because I know as soon as I do it, there will be something else in its place. Instead I peruse another few blogs, read another chapter in my novel, phone a friend, anything to avoid my responsibilities. And the messes multiply.
It’s not a time issue. I have plenty of time. It’s an attitude issue. It’s a heart issue. I am not grateful for the work that has been given to me to do. I wouldn’t mind the work so much if I just didn’t have to do it over and over and over again every. single. day. It seems so futile.
And yet, whether I procrastinate or not, the work eventually has to be done. And I must be the one to do it. I might as well just get it over with. Procrastinating only makes the work seem more continuous. So what is the answer?
There is really only one option. Just put one foot in front of the other, and "do the next thing."