Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The 24/7 Merry-Go-Round

When I was a girl (back in what my children always refer to as the olden days) you got up in the morning, ate your breakfast, went to work or to school, came home in the evening, ate dinner, maybe watched a little TV (if you had been good and had all your homework done) and then you went to bed.  That was it.  At least in the Midwest.  On a really adventurous night, you might go out after dark and catch fireflies for awhile.

No one went to the mall in the evenings - there were no malls, and the individual retail stores all closed at 5:00 p.m.  Their proprietors had all gone home to dinner, too. Sensible folks.

No one worked evenings or weekends, because nothing was open in the evening or on the weekend.  If you ran out of bread or milk on Sunday, you were just going to do without until Monday, for two reasons:  1) my mother would not frequent any store bold enough to stay open on the Lord's day, and 2) very few store owners had any desire to do so.  They had something called "blue laws" which meant businesses were strongly discouraged from opening on Sundays.

People worked hard, and played hard, but they managed to balance the two.  The old cliche on the "division on labor" was that:

A man's work is from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done.
Tell me about it.  I'm just saying ...

Now that I think about it, this was not some hair-brained Midwestern idea, as the Israelites had been told to gather manner for each day, five days a week.  But on the sixth day they were to gather enough for two days, so that no one would be out manna-gathering on the sabbath.  It was a day of rest.  If someone tried to cheat and gather several days worth, it got moldy and full of worms.  I know the feeling.

Now we have 24-hour "convenience" stores on every corner.  Not very convenient for the poor schmucks who have to work at 3:00 a.m. because someone forgot to buy milk.  Factories have been running 24/7 for decades.  Workers' biological clocks are completely messed up because they cannot regulate their circadian rhythms with rotating shifts and days off.

My mother worked nights at a hospital for 15 years, and she claimed it had turned her into a mole.  She slept during the day and only dug her way out at night.

I only worked nights once for about six weeks, forty years ago, and I hated it.  I spilled coffee, sometimes on myself and once or twice on others.  I ate to stay awake, never a good thing, and then fought to go to sleep.  My metabolism went completely to sleep, though, and did not wake up again for twenty years.

So here we are, my son and I, doing a 24/7 routine while he recuperates from his surgery, and he has the harder job.  I just do the "fetching and carrying" - while he is confined to bed.

But I've got to tell you that after only two weeks of this, I am rummier than a pina colada or a rum and cola (couldn't tell you which as I have never tried either.)  I wander around bumping into walls....that aren't there.  I have no idea what time it is, or even if we are still on daylight savings time. Is it still July?  Just asking.

I am more convinced than ever, after this recent go-'round that we were not meant to operate on a 24/7 schedule.  So right now, while it is necessary, I'll just trust that God will keep me and my "charge" safe while I toddle around deliriously.  We laugh a lot, although I am pretty sure neither he nor I have any idea about what.

So you will excuse me now, as I need to go wind up the cat, and put out the clock.  Good night ... at least I think it is ...until next time...Marsha


  1. However, some of the best memories are made during those delirious, "I have no idea what I am talking about" moments. LOL Hope your son is better soon, and you get some rest!

  2. You poor thing. Try to rest!

  3. Oh Marsha, I'm sorry to be chuckling at your expense, but you just painted such a funny picture.

    Hope your son is healing quickly, and that you don't wear yourself out in the nursing department!

    And yes, may God keep us all safe as we toddle around, oftentimes 24/7, in this crazy thing called life!


  4. I can so identify with you.....I have three grandchildren ages 2, 4, 6 for 8 days and I am feeling pretty much the same way......I wonder if I will ever find my way out of Nanie, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, etc......It has been wonderful having them but oh boy am I tried....I just had to laugh at your post.....

    By the way, I have enjoyed my first visit to your made me smile and that is good....I hope you get some rest, I intend to, and that your son is better soon......

    Please come over for a visit.....

  5. I remember blue laws too. Sometimes I still feel guilty when I eat out for Sunday lunch because I know I'm causing workers to have to be there that day.

    Yep, it’s still July. :-) But not for much longer. I pray your son’s healing will go by as quickly as time is flying for me.

  6. Oh blessings....sounds like the way a new mother feels whose baby isn't sleep through the night...or has colic in the middle of the night...may God continue to bring you rest and refreshing.

    Oh I wonder sometimes what it would be like to go back and have things closed...I love it when that really snow for us, it closes down things and we have to slow down...I don't think we were really made for the schedules we all keep now. Has it really been that good for us...I mean do we really need 24/7???