When the alarm goes off, you can’t believe it’s morning. Another day you’re not ready to face. You check your phone, pushing aside the book you’ve been meaning to read on your nightstand. Your feet haven’t hit the floor yet and your boss is already yelling at you through email.
Why do you keep going back?
After a rushed breakfast and too little time with your family, you’re on the road for the thirty-minute commute to the office. As you hit the freeway on-ramp, all you can see are brake lights. Thirty minutes turns into ninety. You go from sitting in your car to sitting at your desk. More email.
The picture next to your monitor of you and your friends at Yellowstone reminds you that you still haven’t gone to a national park in all fifty states. After the baby, you got stalled at twelve. And then it was hard to get vacation. And the flights to Alaska are so expensive. Maybe next year. You crack open the single-use plastic containing your lunch. The turkey sandwich is drier than usual, so you settle for the chips. The guy next to you on the park bench is sweating profusely, his shirt sticking to his chest. You’ve lost your appetite.
Back to the car. Sit. Back at your desk. Sit. Afternoon staff meeting. Sit. Your boss asks a question but it’s more of a directive, “Can you have the quarterly report done by end of day?” The call home that you’d be late was received icier than usual. There’s barely enough time to do all the yard work let alone have a date night. Back in the car. Sit. All the lights seem to be on in the house as you pull into the driveway. The mortgage was more than you could afford, let alone the electricity bill, but interest rates were so low, your dad said you’d be crazy not to go bigger. You look up and down the empty streets. Everyone inside, safe and sound. It’s Wednesday. Spaghetti night.