So, shortly after Christmas I came down with a sinus infection. Then I had a reaction to the antibiotics I took for the sinus infection. Then I broke a tooth. Then, having gotten all those things appropriately dealt with, I promptly spilled coffee on my laptop and it died. (It later came back to life, after I had invested roughly two days of my life evaluating and then purchasing a new one.) All this happened at a fairly busy time in the production schedule of a particularly difficult issue of Christian History magazine. (It’s on the history of Jewish-Christian relations and is terribly important, currently applicable, and profoundly delicate to assemble. All of that is matter for another blog post.)
Of course, as all this was going on, I was emailing various people about various things that were going undone while I was breaking and spilling and losing touch with things, and telling them all some variation of “I’ll get that dealt with as soon as I get caught up.”
There’s a meme that’s been going around all the meme-able places that says (at least in this version) “Being an adult is just saying ‘But after this week things will slow down a bit again’ to yourself until you die.”So then I thought “What if I never get caught up?”
What if all the social and technological and personal pressures on all of us are, as a matter of fact, so structured that we will never catch up and we will all feel bad for not doing so ? What if the world operates in such a way that if we ever try to aim our life at any other end than productivity, or even if we have our life aimed that direction without our consent, we will fall off the hamster wheel and spend the rest of our life chasing the hamster wheel down the road yelling, “Hamsters, stop! Let me back on!” And if so, did we do this to ourselves on purpose? Did we do this to ourselves by accident? Or did somebody do it to us? Who benefits from us never catching up? I have a few suspicions.
At least I can check this blog post off my to-do list now, anyway.