In Over My Head

I’m five feet ten inches tall
Average height for an American male
When standing in three feet of water
my head is well above water

When standing in six feet of water
I’m slightly in over my head, and
I can jump up and down, and
bring my head above water

When standing in twelve feet of water
I’m considerably in over my head
Short of floating to the surface
there’s no way to get my head above water

At the bottom of a deep glacier lake
I’m really in over my head
There’s no standing, even for a second
at this unfathomable depth

Clearly, there’s no trouble
understanding any of this
So, why can’t I figure out
when I am in over my head in life?

Why don’t I realize that
when I say yes to 5 work projects
due in the same week
that I am in over my head?

Why do I fail to grasp the insanity
of working twelve-hour days
five days a week, and
two four-hour days on weekends?

Thanks to GE former-CEO Jack Welch
there is a business concept called a stretch goal
which refers to performance expectations
exceeding resources available to reach them

Am I a victim of too many stretch goals?
Have I mistaken myself for a fish
with the ability to breathe underwater?
Gee, maybe I’m in over my head!

This entry was posted in Humorous Poems, Poem about Life Balance, Poem about Work by Don Iannone. Bookmark the permalink.

About Don Iannone

Don Iannone is a poet, writer, teacher and photographer who lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Don is the author of three poetry books and five photography books. He is working on a short book of photographs and poems about human trafficking. This work was exhibited at six venues in Ohio. Don holds an M.A. degree in Art and Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, where he teaches writing. His educational background also includes studies in Anthropology, Photography, Organizational Behavior, and Economic Development. Don’s website: Wisdom Work Press:

11 thoughts on “In Over My Head

  1. I’ve always admired your ability to do many things, usually simultaneously, it seems. I myself am stressed at the prospect of having to pay the utility bill and then go out and clear a space for the new storage shed. Not to mention having to wash the teacup I’m now drinking out of in between….

  2. i don’t think many have mastered the art of managing their activities so that they don’t get in over the head at times…
    but you can tell that in an amusing way

  3. I have a lot of leisure time but I still manage to make things difficult for myself. I guess we are all made that way regardless of circumstances.

  4. I wonder what’s up with that, and for so many of us. My sister’s also in over her head with work and my own last several years of work – I was able to continue working until May 2003 – were increasingly hectic. Seems like stuff would get added to my plate but nothing was ever taken off.

  5. Thanks Kai.

    Rob: Thanks. Everyone is their own worst enemy.

    Polona: Thanks. Yes, I think you’re right.

    Dan: Thanks. You’re too kind. Re: the teacup, don’t wash it The stains give the tea flavor. LOL.

  6. Groan. I relate – I’m feeling over-worked at present!

    But Don, you’ve expressed it in such a charming manner! 🙂

    (Funny, I always assumed you were 6′ even for some reason.)

  7. I really enjoyed this poem.
    so much that we do…is running on the hamster wheel…or chasing our tail…all for the gold watch.
    I don’t want a gold watch from the cleveland clinic.
    I want time.
    I love to sit in silence and clear my head….then I realize what is most important!!!
    I am enjoying you blog!!!!!

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