Rise and Shine
The unpleasant, shrill ring of your alarm clock penetrates the air around you.
You stir in your bed, wondering what day it is. ‘A Sunday, perhaps? That’s great.’
Then suddenly, it hits you. It’s a Monday. You want to groan, but you’re too tired for that. Physically, and emotionally.
The ringing gets progressively louder.
You attempt to drown out that dreaded, ear-piercing sound with your pillow.
But the ringing just wouldn’t stop.
You wish the ceiling would fall on you.
Anything would be better than heading back to that hell on earth.
They tried to term it a “workplace”. Such trickery. They attempt to deceive people into thinking that they belong there. That it isn’t so hellish after all.
But you know better.
Trying to Stay Strong
Mustering all the courage you have to face the day, you pry your cold, lifeless body from the sanctuary that is your bed.
You shut off your alarm clock before it shatters your ear drums.
Painfully resisting every urge to call in sick and crawl back into bed, you stumble into the shower. You hope the water will wash all your sorrows away.
When you step out of the shower, you realise you’re dreadfully late. You panic. You make a beeline out of the house without even stopping to brew your precious cup of coffee.
Racing out of your driveway like a Formula One professional, you subsequently slow down behind a string of cars, all making their way to work. The number of cars stretch as far as you can see, across the horizon and beyond. You find yourself trapped in a seemingly never-ending nightmare of what you call the ‘godforsaken rush hour traffic’.
An hour later, you make it to your workplace in one piece.
You’re not quite sure if that’s a good thing.
Facing Your Demons
The first hour’s always the worst. You’re half-asleep. You’re grumpy. You have the whole day ahead of you before you’re allowed to go home and rest. You’re in absolutely no mood to get any work done.
People occasionally drop by your desk, armed with the latest office gossip. You see their lips moving, yet you don’t hear whatever’s coming out of their mouths. But you smile and nod at the appropriate moments anyway, in a valiant effort to appear less zombie-like.
The rest of the day ticks by. What seems like an hour was actually only more like ten minutes.
Papers pile up on your desk. You’re buried behind a mountain of work that you don’t want to do. Number crunching. Paper pushing. Meaningless, unfulfilling work.
You close your eyes to take a short mental break.
Your mind races. You dream about drinking cocktails on the beach. Lying in the middle of a vast meadow. Scaling the most terrifying yet astounding mountains. Diving into a school of fish in the crystal clear blue ocean.
You open your eyes.
A dreadful spreadsheet full of numbers greets you. Office phones ring. Annoying customers are on the line. Colleagues look like zombies out of the Walking Dead. Except they talk; they gossip mindlessly and complain about work. ‘Noise pollution’, you think to yourself.
You sigh and stare out the window.
The clouds billowing in the distance seem to be beckoning you to another land. But you’re trapped in your own prison.
You pry your eyes away from the scenery to focus on your work, forcing your overactive mind to keep at bay.
Freedom at Last?
As the evening sky gradually replaces the afternoon one, you watch the last surviving streaks of sunlight trying to make their way through the seams of the clouds.
You count your blessings for being able to witness such magnificent glory. You hope that one day, you’d see more of such beautiful, wondrous sights.
The sky eventually turns to black as night falls. You stare at the overflowing papers on your desk and sigh in resignation. That’ll be a fight for another day. Tomorrow perhaps, if you even make it out of bed.
You leave the office, and the cool night breeze caresses your cheek. You close your eyes, soaking up the feeling of apparent freedom. You congratulate yourself on surviving (albeit just barely) yet another day at work. Unable to contain your excitement, you rush home.
You arrive home, thinking, ‘finally, some time to do something I truly love. Something that truly matters to me.’
You love reading, so you grab a book.
It’s dusty. You haven’t read anything in ages. You just haven’t had the time. Perhaps today, you can get started.
You settle into bed, armed with the book that you’re determined to start reading.
But you’re exhausted from the day, much more exhausted than you thought.
You fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. Your arm goes limp and the book falls to the floor, once again untouched, as it will be for many years to come.
Then the unpleasant, shrill ring of your alarm clock penetrates the air around you.
You sigh in defeat.