When Will I Ever Find Time For Myself? A Poem On How To Surpass The Glorification Of The Busy

Illustration by Henn Kim, print available for purchase  here

Illustration by Henn Kim, print available for purchase here

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Wake up at 6 and butter your bread
And watch her pour your coffee in your favourite green mug (leave out the milk, please)
Off to work at 8
Sit up straighter
Heads down
Fingers flying on the keys at the speed of sound
Spell out S-T-O-P
But you can’t
Glue on the envelopes
Paper-tape your life together
All the moments that you can’t staple because you’re busy
Alt+Delete what you can’t and want to
File away what you can but don’t want to
Break for lunch beings in
5 – 4 – 3 -2 – 1
Orange juice and cold spaghetti (extra cheese please)
It’s dark before you remember mum’s birthday
A large bunch of roses
By speed post will suffice
Heads up
Screens down
5 – 4 – 3 -2 – 1
You’ve reached your floor sir
Step out, don’t stop sir
Pauses are made for the weak and you’re not
Dinner’s ready (I’m working honey)
Read us a story dad (I’m busy tonight)
Maybe tomorrow
But tomorrow daddy’s working too
Daddy lives in a world where you lose if you stop
Time’s up
Blinds down
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Until 6 in the morning
Breakfast for one
Smiles for none
And on and on count
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Quick step till you reach the car sir
And then count
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
You may cross the barrier now sir
(Just hit rewind)
But you can’t
And then
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Till the grass dries
And your dog dies
And the children are gone
And you’ve lost track of just how much cheap porn you watched
As the years fell by
And you’ve never even seen your forehead crease in the mirror
And the trees are gone
And your house now stands in the shadows of industries
That you haven’t even heard of
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
One more year
Before you forget
What name you call your wife if you wake up
Shaking at 4 am
Just five minutes more now
And a 100 breaths to take
(Watch time slip away)
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
You could have hit rewind
But you were busy…

Tanvi Deshmukh is a nineteen year old girl from Pune, India, with an affinity for words and books, cats and coffee, Nepalese food and hippie music, and the colour green (along with Oxford commas). Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English, she loves poetry, volunteers at an NGO and plays the keyboard in her free time. Along with devouring books of all kinds, unless of course, she’s in the middle of heated discussions on feminism, patriarchy, gay rights, or what to name the neighbour’s new dog.

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