Life is Short, Buy the Hamster

Once upon a time on a random Tuesday, my husband had a day off work. We spent the whole day out together, and had made plans to have sushi for dinner that night. While we were out and about, we stopped by the pet store to pick up some food for our hamster. I don’t think I’ve ever set foot in a pet store without looking at the hamsters, so before leaving, we took a little look.

A little look turned into a long look, and my husband fell in love with a tiny white dwarf hamster. He said, “Let’s get her!” Being the responsible adult in this situation, I said, “No.” I had a million reasons why we shouldn’t get another hamster. So we left the store without her.

Throughout our day, we couldn’t quite get that little white hamster off our minds. My “reasons” seemed more and more like excuses.

“I don’t need another cage to clean.”

“One hamster is enough.”

“She’ll probably still be alive when we have our first baby. How will we have time for her then?”

It slowly became apparent that we would have to go back to get the little white hamster. But I continued to worry all day that I would regret our impulsive decision to add another pet to our family.

When we had our sushi for dinner that night, we realized we had a perfect name for that little white hamster: Sushi. As you know, once you give an animal a name, you have to keep it. (This was the case with my brother’s fifteen-year-old gecko named Steve.) After dinner, we went back to the pet store and brought Sushi home. The picture at the top of this post is from the night she came to live with us.

Over two years have passed since that random Tuesday. Last Saturday, Sushi unexpectedly passed away. I never would have imagined that I would write a blog post about her, but this is the thing that I can’t get off my mind that I have to share with you: as much as I worried that I would regret impulsively buying a hamster, I have never regretted bringing Sushi home to live with us. Not one single moment.

One hamster is never enough. Cage cleaning isn’t that huge of a commitment. And it turned out that our baby loved watching that little white hamster run around in her cage. When we adopted Sushi, I had no idea that God would lead us to move from Utah to Tennessee. But I didn’t regret making her a part of our family even when we were carting her in and out of hotels and running the air conditioning in the car for her while we ate meals outside. And now we always eat sushi on the anniversary of the day we adopted our little white hamster. Those traditions are the little, seemingly insignificant things that can make a marriage stronger. All because of a little white hamster.

There are some things you should pray about and take time to make a decision; we prayed about our move for five months before making the decision. But some things in life aren’t that big of a commitment. Sometimes it’s okay to be a little impulsive and enjoy this amazing life God has given us. I’m learning to celebrate life every day and not wait for “one day.”

I have a bottle of perfume that I used on our wedding day that I like to wear on special occasions to bring back the memory of our wedding. A couple months ago, my husband asked me to wear it to church on a random Sunday. So I did.

I’ve been wanting a journaling Bible for months. I thought my husband might get me one for Christmas. Instead he gave me one on a random Saturday a couple weeks ago just because.

Wear the perfume. Give the gift. Buy the hamster on a random Tuesday. God has given us so much beauty in this world to enjoy. So why are we so hesitant to enjoy it? When I get to the end of my life, I won’t remember how responsible I was saying “no” to everything. I’ll remember the times I said “yes.” I’ll remember a little white hamster named Sushi. And I won’t have any regrets.

Published by Michelle Elaine Burton

Wife, Mother, Storyteller. Living a life to bring God glory, one story at a time.

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