Posted by

Emily Morrison Emily Morrison
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


A rat's paradise

Rate this item
(2 votes)
A rat's paradise A rat's paradise

Life's a rat race to the finish sometimes. We all want to get to the cheese before some other rat noses his little whiskers into our gouda. Though it's painful to admit, sometimes we just have to concede that we're not going to get there first. In fact, we might not get there at all. When we accept the smelly crumbs we come across and start picking up the pieces, sometimes where we end up is even better than the rat's paradise we envisioned.  

In my life I have three unshakeable priorities: my family, my career and my writing. Now that I've added a marathon to the mix, I suppose you could say I have acquired a fourth: training for the marathon. And church on Sunday. Oh, man, I can't forget about Baby Jesus. But that's it: Kids, teaching, writing, running and sweet Baby Jesus. That's it for me. 

Occasionally, these priorities get all discombobulated. I can shift the timing of my run around to coincide with the kids' 'just getting home from school and I like my siblings time.' I can do the school work after they drift off to peaceful slumber. While they're sprawling on the couch watching movies, I can sprawl on the couch and write stories. I go with them to church, so that's a win-win. Sometimes I skip a run (a sin, I know.) Sometimes I skip church (please don't tell the nuns), and sometimes I fall behind in the steady onslaught that is grading, but I try to never compromise the time I spend with my children and my husband. (He deserves an honorable mention at least.)

It's on the days where all of my priorities collide that this theory is truly tested. When Hal Higdon's training program for intermediate runners says it's a five-mile-run day, when my boss says my grades are due, when my editor is expecting an article, when my kids want to spend time with me and Baby Jesus just wants me to remember to be nice to people, I have a really hard time prioritizing. I can do 30 laps in the driveway before dinner, grade every moment I'm not teaching, write like the wind, try and reign in all of the pissy frustration I'm feeling, but where does that leave my kids?

It leaves them missing me and me missing them. Days like today when the afternoon went haywire and all my plans to be productive got derailed, my middle child began to get 'mommy withdrawal.' After spending an entire day with my youngest child, I found it unfair that the middle child would get the short-end of the stick just because I had more things to do than time in which to do them. The tears came out and I realized that I don't even like gouda. I can get to the grades tomorrow and still make the deadline. I can take a rest day on running and pick up the slack on the next scheduled rest day. I can find my happy place and remember what's important without a James Earl Jones voiceover from up above bellowing down, 'Remember the children...' 

So I picked up some pizza by the slice and junk food by the bundle, lit a couple candles on our counter, and had a romantic candlelight dinner for two. We sat by a cozy fire and talked about our fears and dreams (literally, we both have had some spooky dreams lately.) We moved the pets off the couch and cuddled up to read and write by a snapping fire (she's reading and I'm writing). Every now and then I pause my typing just to watch her. When she looks at me and says, 'Isn't this the best night ever? Can you believe it we're together?!' I know this is just about the best rat's paradise I've ever nosed my little whiskers into.

And I didn't even have to fight anybody for the brownie we just split. She's a chocolate girl, like her Mumma. 


The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine