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by Teresa Basich on February 8, 2014

Word 1: Carousel
Word2 : Insensitive
Word3 : Lamb
First sentence: Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel!

Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel! Maybe those going-nowhere-fast moments in life would be more enjoyable if they felt like riding a carousel. Or maybe life is like a carousel after all. Up, down, toy piano music playing from an unidentifiable speaker source…and a cash deposit every few minutes to keep riding.

I think people relate better to this visual of running on a gerbil wheel because its more insensitive than a carousel, and life can feel pretty damn insensitive at times. Carousels were created for fun and appeal, right? To entertain. They market to the kid in all of us, whether we’re still innocent lambs or we’ve already grown up and into adult sheep.

But gerbil wheels? Patently boring. Utilitarian. Easily fallen off of when they get going too fast. Lonely. Okay, yeah, sometimes you’ll see two gerbils try and share a wheel, but how long does that last?

Carousels? One speed. Slow enough to take in the scenery. Your friends can ride with you. For the most part your gaudy-yet-spectacular pony is up when your friend’s is down, and vice versa, so there’s balance. There’s something to hold on to. You can change the way you sit on your flamboyant carousel pony and still enjoy the experience.

If I’m being honest, the attachment we have to feeling as if we’re stuck on the gerbil wheel of life is an easy out, a way for us to make it seem as if we have no choice in the matter. We’re smarter than gerbils, folks, and we can easily slow and step off the exercise wheel and jump onto the carousel for the rest of this mortal journey. While they both go in circles, at least the carousel is colorful, musical, and you get your very own pony.

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