Alan Clark


“The world is too much with us, late and soon;

Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours” … William Wordsworth


Ever notice how much is going on these days?

The poet Wordsworth tried to warn us about this a long time ago, trying to keep us focused on staying in touch with nature and stopping to smell the flowers every now and then.

But, in our wisdom, we just keep piling it on, adding more and more to our plates to the extent that weird things begin to happen just from trying to keep track of it all.

For example, just the other day I loaded up the family garbage in a sack thrown into the bed of my pickup, intending to drop it off at the nearest solid-waste facility.

I had a long list of things to do on my mind, and while I was out, I thought I’d get the truck washed.

After entering the car wash lane, the guy who had sprayed the preliminary foam on the front and back began banging on the side of the pickup.

Annoyed, I turned around and in my rear view mirror saw him holding the garbage sack as I disappeared into the wash.

When I retrieved my garbage which the gentleman had tossed to the side of the building, I asked if this happened a lot.

“All the time,” he said with a laugh and a smirk.

So, this is a symptom of having too much to do. My mind had skipped right to washing the truck and left out the part where I tossed the garbage at the SWF before I did that!

Which brought to mind a lot of other things that are symptomatic of this affliction.

So, in the style of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck if…” monologue, I thought I would develop my own description of “You might have too much to do if…”

You remember as you depart on a road trip that you left the keys to get back in the house on the kitchen table.

You forget to tell the newspaper delivery you’ll be gone a few days, and when you return, your yard is full of weathered and outdated newspapers, a sure sign you were out of town for a while.

You walk confidently into a building, take the elevator up to the third floor, turn left when the doors open on the floor and say to yourself, “Now, where was I going?”

You and a business colleague are having lunch when your most recent client walks up to the table to say hello, and as you turn to introduce this client to your colleague, you hear yourself saying, “I’d like you to meet, uh, uh, what was your name again?”

You find yourself texting the person in the cubicle next to yours to find out what they’re having for lunch.

Upon returning home from a nice dinner with friends and/or your spouse, you suddenly remember you left the debit card at the restaurant tucked neatly inside that little black envelope with the paperwork inside.

This is just a small sampling of the situations you may find yourself in, whether you are young or old, active in a profession or retired, or male or female. It is a sign of the times, when the world is too much with us, while we get and spend.

My only advice to remedy this malady is to stop, slow down, breathe, focus, laugh, and say a prayer every now and then, because that’s the way it oughtta be.

Alan Clark’s editorials are available in book form and on his website at