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Serenity Now: The Sweet Relief of Bedtime

There are certain days, well, many days, where I look at the clock and anxiously anticipate the magical numbers of 8 and double 0 separated by a colon.  At times it seems like I am slowly creeping towards that magical time of 8:00 and that I will never get the sweet relief of seeing that time.

I know that at least figuratively a watched pot never boils, but that understanding doesn’t seem to prevent me from watching that clock as the minutes tick down.

The experience often reminds me of at least a hundred different experiences I’ve had while jogging on the treadmill.  I don’t know which is worse, watching the clock waiting for bed time or watching the timer on the treadmill waiting for that magical number of goal attained.

I swear, when I climb on a treadmill the whole world’s time slows down. Running late for that all important appointment?  No problem — while it normally takes you twenty minutes to drive to that location, I’ll jump on a treadmill and it will magically only take you five minutes.  Meanwhile, my five minutes on the treadmill will actually feel like forty-five minutes.  Then there was that one time where someone at the gym decided to bring cake and ice cream so all I could smell as I plugged away on that treadmill was the sweet scent of cake. Sure, I may not have ever physically seen anyone with a cake that day, but I swear someone had a cake there that day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, but sometimes I want 8:00 to get here so I can sit back and relax for a few hours before I head up to bed so I can start the daily routine all over again.  That’s the thing— it’s not really the kids that cause me to anxiously await 8:00—it’s that darn daily routine.

Get up at 6:00 a.m. head to the gym.  From the gym to the office.  From the office to lunch.  From lunch back to the office.  From the office to home for dinner.  From dinner to the dinner dishes.  From dinner dishes to kids.  Finally, from kids to bed.  I’m usually pretty beat by the time I hit the home for dinner stage and the dinner dishes stage sends me over the proverbial edge.

My wife once told me that everything regarding work in this life is backward.  We grow up and have our careers rather early in life and then retire at around the age of sixty long after the kids are moved out and having kids of their own.  In a perfect world, the career wouldn’t start until fifty and all the time prior to that would be spent in a pre-career type of retirement spent with family while enjoying all life’s activities while our bodies are young.

Phew, now how much longer until 8:00?

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More on Dadding:

The Joys of Being the Second Favorite Parent

Redemption: A Second Chance at Being the Favorite Parent

The Family Wars: Kids and Gun Play

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