Too Busy For Dreaming

Delta Winds cover 2001Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Too Busy For Dreaming

Irma Diaz

Whoever said that I have a busy schedule? Not my husband or my children. No, they do not think that my day is stressful enough, but it usually starts at 4:30 A. M. and ends at 11:00 P. M. My daily routine involves food preparation, errands, housework, night school, and a full time job, which after ten years my husband still refers to as a hobby.

The alarm clock rings at 4:30 A.M. I turn it off, half awake, but somehow manage to get on my feet. First I make a cup of coffee and then I start cooking so that the food is ready before I go to work at 6:30 A.M. The food is ready at about 5:30 A.M. I wake up the kids, feed them breakfast, and send them to take a shower before they leave for school. By now I have just one half hour before I leave for work. I quickly shower, dress myself, put on make-up, and comb my hair. At times I might end up with a totally mismatched outfit because I am so hurried. This morning while driving to work, I remembered to look at my shoes to see if they were a matched pair; fortunately they were.

My job is not a relief from the stress. I work at a high school library. My workday is from 6:45 A.M. to 3:15 P.M. Only two of us work in the library, so we keep very busy. We open the library at 7:00 A.M. and close at 3:00 P.M. The fifteen minutes before we open and after we close are for set-up and clean up. Usually we service full classes from 7:20 A. M. to 2:05 P. M. In addition, students walk in for assistance in using the library. These students walk in to use the library before school, during lunch, and after school. We not only help students with book searches, but also with computer use, including word processing, internet, and electronic encyclopedias.

At 11:00 A. M. I take one half hour for lunch. During lunch today I called my husband to see that everything was fine at home. The first thing he asked me was what he should take for lunch. I told him to take the fried chicken and Spanish rice I cooked this morning. He replied, "Do you want me to die?" He says the chicken is "too greasy." Does he ask what I am having for lunch? Guess again. He doesn't care that I am having a can of pineapple for lunch. Although I prepared a full meal for my family this morning, there was no time to prepare a decent lunch for myself. A can of pineapple was all I could take on my way out the door this morning.

After lunch I go back in the library to continue my workday. It would be so nice if after work I could just go home and relax, but I cannot. On my way home I have to stop at the grocery store to get milk. Someone decided that the empty milk carton should stay in the refrigerator, instead of throwing it in the trash. The culprit is obviously a total stranger because no one in my household admits to doing that. I also have to pay a gas bill before the PG and E office closes at 5:00 P.M. Since I am going to pass by Wal-Mart, I might as well get those school supplies that my son needs.

When finally I get home, I find my house upside down. My husband and kids apparently think mom has abundant energy when she gets home, and is really looking forward to cleaning and picking up after them. Furthermore, they have not eaten, but somehow have managed to create a very messy kitchen for me to clean. I cleaned up everything this morning before I left for work, but after we eat I clean up again. There is laundry to be washed, so I do that, put away the washed clothes, and I make sure everything is back in place before I leave for night class.

I gather my homework and books, assuring myself that I have everything I need for class. I sit in class for about three hours and try my best to focus on what the instructor is saying. I do not want to fall behind in class. I complete my class assignments and turn them in around 9:30 P.M. Class is over, and on the way back home I think of other things I might have to do before I can go to bed. And, yes, there are still things that need to be done. I have to pick up the house one last time for today, make sure the kids finished their homework, and I have homework too. It's about 11:00 P. M. and I wonder if my family would ever consider me. "Foolish idea," I tell myself. If it has not happened in twenty years of marriage, it's not going to happen now.

No one does things for me; still, what a great daydream. I dream of someone fixing my lunch, cleaning the house for me, washing all my laundry, preparing all my food, and running my errands. It's a pleasant dream, but it's not reality. The reality is that my alarm clock goes off in a little over five hours. I take a book to bed with me and begin reading. I almost make it to the bottom of the pa.....