Hamster on a Wheel

A hamster goes around and around on his squeaky wheel. If he could count, he’d do maybe 50 laps or 100 laps. And at that point possibly feel he is accomplishing something. It’s not that going around and around in an exercise wheel is pointless. He’s letting off energy that needs released, like a too full balloon. After all, he doesn’t have to run to escape any cats or owls. His life is safe.

Sometimes I count my laps on my own proverbial wheel. It makes me feel better. I’m accomplishing something. I cleared my emails. I’ve paid my bills, answered questions, and commented on funny posts. I’ve completed my tasks. Sometimes, though, I think I’ve missed the point. Life isn’t about achievements. It’s not about how many coins you collect or how many grains of sand you’ve sorted. As I dig into my sand pile I can count, one brown grain of sand, one off-white grain of sand, one lighter brown grain of sand, etc. It’s funny if you stop to think about it. We applaud some of the craziest behaviors. If someone has a need to climb mountains, to touch the tops of as many peaks as they can, that’s great. But that’s their quest, not mine. And just because I can count something doesn’t change its value.

What if life was meaningless? What if it doesn’t matter what you put meaning into, like counting your shell collection or keeping your priceless classic cars waxed? If you strip all of your accomplishments away, at the end of the day, we are all the same. It’s only what we value that matters.

We might discover at the end of our lives, the only thing that is valuable is our level of joy. The 600 thread count sheets are not your measurement of worthiness. Did you smile and feel the pleasure of sleeping on them? That’s what’s valuable.



Starting February 15th, at the beginning of the Chinese Year of the TIGER, I am the new Lead at my office. And I am super excited about it.

Anytime you get a new job, you inherit someone else’s space. Their paper clips, pens, forms, rubber bands and miscellaneous items that are shoved to the back of the drawer become yours. After you leave a job, you too, leave behind those items in your old desk. Who ever gets to the back of the drawer to sort and clean out the useless items.

When we are born, all of our surroundings and our family, with all of its miscellaneous people, are inherited. The fixtures, like Uncle Jerry’s pipe smoking and Grampa’s overalls, are all there. There is so much to learn when you are young that you cope as best you can. You try to understand. Why is Mom frowning at you and will she stop and give you another cookie if you smile at her? There isn’t time in life to sort through all of the behaviors of your family. You don’t know enough about God or Love or Traditions to analyze and sort through them.

I have decided that when I move into my new desk this Chinese New Year, that I will keep the items I need. I will thoughtfully toss the useless ones. I will try to place in my life the things or people I really want to be there. And I will ask for what I need, because I am here for a purpose.