Sometimes I think that the world has really gone completely crazy. The very items mankind has created for his improvement and benefit have become rods for our backs. When I started working in 1997, I didn’t have email or a cell phone. If someone wanted me for something, they had to call me on my landline. Work was printed out and reviewed by a senior and I made the corrections. When I left at the end of the day, that was that. I was unavailable until the following morning.
Now! Well, now it is entirely different. I have two cell phones and three email addresses. Everyone I know seems to expect me to be available to respond to emails and What’s App messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and that includes, friends, family, work colleagues and clients. Weekends are no longer rest periods as it is an expectation that you check your email messages on a Saturday and Sunday and respond to anything that requires attention.
As for our poor children – where have their childhoods gone? Each and every school day they bring home a mountain of homework that has to be done. There are projects and speeches, sport and cultural activities. There is never any time for them to relax and be children. There entire day from 7.15am in the morning until they go to bed at night is accounted for.
Charli Mills, over at Carrot Ranch Literary Community, challenged us to write a piece of flash fiction, in exactly 99 words, that expressed our views on being busy. You can take part in this challenge here: https://carrotranch.com/2017/09/08/september-7-flash-fiction-challenge/?c=29264#comment-29264. This is my contribution:
Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy
In this modern world, sometimes, I feel like I am going crazy.
At work, deadlines, unexpected issues; needing time, needing urgent attention.
An endless cycle.
It sometimes seems relentless, a knot of anxiety in my stomach, as I work through the list of tasks, carefully and exactingly, there is no room for error.
In my dual purpose life, sometimes, I feel like I am going crazy.
At home, husband and children, all needing help, needing time, needing advice.
An endless cycle.
I feel like a monster, driving them on, helping them meet the demands of their high-speed, high-tech lives.
This same thought inspired the following poem:
A balanced life
In my modern, affluent life;
I am a hamster in a ball;
Frantically running on and on;
Until I collapse and fall.
Work and colleagues relentless;
Hours, twenty four – days, seven;
An endless production line;
Very few’s idea of Heavenh.
The better your quality of work;
The more you manage to produce;
The more others pile on you;
The system open to abuse.
After a long day in the office;
Harried and stressed to the hilt;
I rush home to my children;
My heart heavy with maternal guilt.
In this high tech, modern world;
There is no balance to be found;
Over population and high expectations;
Stealthily destroying without sound.
Where and when will it all end?
How do I escape this endless treadmill?
Without seeming to fail my children;
Which would be a very bitter pill.
by Robbie Cheadle
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town