As I watch the clock slowly inching toward my alarm time, I just wish there was a way to stop time.

Life is a lot busier since I took a full-time position at Connor and Logan’s school and work part-time as freelance writer. And through this, I have learned a valuable lesson.

I suck at time management.

For example, it is now 1:30 in the morning and my column is due by noon tomorrow. Once upon a time, I started writing about three hours before it was due after I took the kids to school, but now I go to school with them for work.

After procrastinating through the weekend, I thought sitting down after the boys’ bedtime would give me sufficient time to write something brilliant by midnight, and as long as I fell right to sleep (without worrying about that 30-day collection notice for a bill I don’t remember getting in the first place) I should get at least six hours of sleep.

Alas, my planning strategies are always far too optimistic, my brilliance far overrated, and here I sit yawning into old coffee when I should be asleep.

It’s not all my fault though.

For one, I did not suspect that a fly would buzz around my head and randomly dive-bomb my nose until I was forced out of my chair to bust out some ninja fly swatter moves. I mean who plans for that — except the fly, because I know I heard him laughing.

I also didn’t think I would sit here and stare at the screen for at least an hour backspacing every ridiculous sentence. A while ago, during a little melt-down, I offered the fly my chair and told him he could write a better column than me.

I haven’t seen him since.

I also have a sink full of dishes, a load of forgotten laundry marinating in the washing machine, and two dogs who are now wide awake and think it’s a brand-new day.

But as I watch the clock slowly inching toward my alarm time, I just wish there was a way to stop time. If only I could hit pause for maybe an hour or two then I could get it all done and still be refreshed enough to be human tomorrow.

That’s not how it works though. The world won’t stop turning just because I chose to look at Disney vacation pictures on Facebook (wasn’t even my vacation) instead of doing what I should have been.

And it’s not always poor time management that causes us to sometimes wish for a break in the constantly running clock. It’s about the need to breathe.

During the greatest tragedies time seems to stand still – but it doesn’t. Clocks keep ticking, nature keeps producing, and we just have to keep hitting the pavement one foot at a time. When we feel broken or we feel like giving up, time always drags us along.

A few weekss ago, two hurricanes and various wild fires ravaged parts of the country leaving disaster in their wake.

Never panicking, the clock hands waved on another day.

Less than a week ago, the worst massacre in recent U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas.

And the Earth stayed perfectly on its axis.

Unfazed by the chaos and devastation happening on its surface, our planet has traveled the same path since the beginning of time, and though it seems callous and insensitive, there is a lesson to be learned from its continual path to tomorrow.  

We can always know that another day will dawn. Nothing is permanent. Sorrow and devastation is a season that blooms into hope as the world continues to turn.

When we totally go off schedule; when we are tired and overworked; when we are broken and hopeless — life goes on. Minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day, we move forward. Time gives us no other option but to strap on some boots and walk through the trenches until we reach better days.

As we grab every moment and make the best of it with whatever we’ve got — those better days are certain to come.

For me, those better moments will be spent grasping the three hours of sleep I have left before my alarm goes off. Just please don’t remind me about that bill we got a 30-day notice on in the mail today.

I swear I don’t remember getting that in the first place.

Meg Duncan has lived on the same corner in Hannibal for most of her thirty-something years. Raising two boys and one husband, she writes about real life because it is far better than fiction. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.