road under cloudy sky

( Intermediate Level )

Janie felt her life was at a dead end. The same routine day in and day out. She was single but she felt as if she was married to her job.

When she looks back, to when she was in high school, she yearned to be an adult. No responsibilities for studies or homework.

How different her life would be when she didn’t have to go to school anymore. Freedom. Or so she thought.

She soon realized how much her parents had provided for her. Simple things like the laundry or having dinner every night, never fail.

She never paid much attention to these things. Maybe she was like all other teenagers at the time.

Working nine to five every day, sometimes six days a week. She barely had time for herself. She was usually too tired to go out with the few friends she had.

I am on autopilot, is how she explained her life to her parents.” I do the same thing every day, Mom. From brushing my teeth to making coffee.”

” Most of the time when I head to work my mind is so focused on the things I have to get done that I feel my car drives itself to work.”

“Honestly, I do not know how you and dad managed so many years. You had me and Johnny plus the house and work. And you never complained. I try to be strong like you were but I feel I am breaking inside.”

“Welcome to being an adult, Janie,” is what her mom always said to her. Janie knew her mom meant well and probably she, herself, felt the same but couldn’t do anything about it.

Janie knew she had to do something about this. She was slowly losing herself. Slowly losing the ambitions she once had. She was tired of driving down the desolate highway of life and going nowhere.

Work deadlines needed to be met and Janie knew she couldn’t think about such nonsense. If she was to make it in the adult world she needs to buckle down and focus.

Vacation time was in two weeks. At this time she could reevaluate her life. Was she like all others in the world, working a nine to five job and they too felt stuck? She hoped to find the answers.

The first three days of her vacation was bliss. She didn’t need to set the alarm. She had the choice to get out of her pajamas or not. She didn’t have deadlines to meet.

To her surprise, she woke up at the normal time as she would if she was getting up for work. She tried to sleep in but she kept tossing and turning in her bed.

To add insult to injury, she found herself in that same routine. Starting the coffee, showering, grabbing a small breakfast. Why was this? She was on vacation.

Janie had planned a lunch date with her mom for noontime today. They would meet up at their favorite eatery, The Barbecue Shack, at the mall and afterwards do a little window shopping.

“Hi Mom. It is great to get out. I was going crazy. Here I have two wonderful weeks off and I find myself already bored after three days.” Her mother smiled at this comment.

I used to feel the same as you, Janie. I felt I was stuck. My life wasn’t going anywhere but I soon realized without routine in my life I didn’t have a purpose. I made myself take time out for myself. To do the things I enjoyed.”

“Some people had argued this was selfish of me. I am, after all, a wife and a mom to you and your brother. This time was just for me. Selfish? No, not really. It helped me continue knowing my identity. Who I am and what I love to do.”

“Your father did the same. We spent our time together and then we had our own special time alone. We were much happier as a married couple and as individuals.”

Janie listened carefully. She didn’t have the responsibilities of her mom or had a husband to think about but what she said made sense. What time did she set aside to do the things she loved to do? She hadn’t.

“Mom, you’re right. I haven’t painted since I graduated from the university. I haven’t gone out hiking or even swimming in a long time. I was focused so much on my career I gave up on living.”

It is not that you gave up on you, it is that your priorities are set up in the wrong order. In order to be the best person you can be you must first take care of yourself and enjoy what you love doing. I went many years like you until I discovered this.”

The two finished their lunch, paid the bill and headed out into the mall. Neither one had anything special to say but but each was enjoying the other’s company.

After spending hours going in and out of shops it was time for them to part. Janie turned to her mom and gave her a big hug.

“Mom, thank you. Thank you for today and thank you for your honesty. When I return from my vacation I will have new priorities in place. Work is important but I should come first. Always.”

Written By Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

I think all of us feel like Janie sometimes in our lifetime. Is the grass greener on the other side? I do not believe it is.. I found that believing in yourself and following your passion you can achieve the necessary balance in life and enjoy every moment.

If you appreciate what I do please support me:


dead end – noun: no exit, no way out

yearned – verb: wanting something

never fail – phrase: someone or something always does what is expected

autopilot – noun: doing something without thinking

focused – verb: pay attention to someone or something

complained – verb: dissatisfaction

ambitions – noun: desire and determination to achieve success

desolate – adjective: emptiness

deadlines – noun: the latest time or date by which something should be completed

buckle down – phrasal verb: to finish a task with determination

reevaluate – verb: to look or evaluate again

bliss – noun: happiness or joy

insult to injury – idiom: make an already bad situation worse

eatery – noun: a restaurant or other place where people can be served food

window shopping – noun: just looking at products or items in stores without the intentions to buy

purpose -noun: the reason for which something is done

identity – noun: who or what a person or thing is

responsibilities – noun: a role, job or obligation

priorities – noun: most important

Question ( s ):

Have you found yourself on autopilot?

Do you feel as if you are working to pay bills and not enjoying life?

What hobbies or activity can you start to break up the daily grind?