It’s Friday so:
Someone in my blog comments yesterday accused me of anti-Semitism. I had no idea whence such an accusation could arise, so I googled around and discovered that Mr. Sanders is Jewish. I wouldn’t have known that because I never do know that kind of thing. I have often embarrassed myself by not knowing that someone was of that particular ethnicity. Everyone else knew, and I didn’t know, because that is the kind of cultural knowledge that is relayed in the myriad and sundry ways that an outsider would always miss. Even when it is explained to me, I still often do not understand what is being said. There are a lot of things about American culture that fall into this bucket for me.
If, that being the case, my post sounded as if I was criticizing Mr. Sanders for ethnic reasons, I absolutely apologize. I wasn’t. He is an avowed socialist, and it is on that basis that I am dubious about his plans for the country, and how he is organizing his own personal finances. I am not a socialist. I don’t mind people having money at all. Personally, I would have thought saying that Mr. Trump’s claim to be a Christian is specious at best was a touch meaner than noticing with a jaundiced eye that Mr. Sanders’ lifestyle is beginning to resemble those of whom he is so critical.
Another person in the comments said this, first quoting me:
So, then they feel aggrieved, horrified even, that I am not living up to my own declaration.
No, the aggrievement is that you were peddling advice which your conduct shows you know doesn’t work.
Again, no. My parenting philosophy is working great. Nevertheless, of course I am still open to the charge of hypocrisy because I am not a perfect parent. I don’t do what I know I should do perfectly. I do it some of the time, and in so far as I am doing it, it is working great. But I don’t want to hold myself out as an example of perfect parenting because of course, I fail. I sin. My children sin. And yet, we are going in the right direction. And no, I’m not “peddling” anything.
Matt gets mad at me when I put these sorts of comments up. I should just trash them, he thinks, because really, they are trolling at best. I’m sure he is right. But I also don’t want to insulate myself from real, and even sometimes angry criticism. I try not to spend very much time online, in spite of commenting on the ways and iterations of the internet almost every day, and I don’t see the rancor of message boards and places where lots of fighting is really going on. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. This is one place to preserve a sense of how bad it can be.
More interesting is a dear friend who asked in a general way on Facebook if there ever comes a time when one wouldn’t feel “utterly and completely and irrevocably behind” and many people commented that having young children is a major culprit. But I would just like to point out that having older children is also a big bad source of this feeling. There’s no way to accomplish everything, or attend to every task, or gain any feeling of satisfaction about a job being all the way done. I’ve been working through my master list for January, a list to which I have done all the things that you’re supposed to do to make it achievable, like assigning tasks to actual days and hours, and breaking tasks down into doable parts, and bla bla bla…I am not even halfway done and the list for February is epic in its own right. I’ve even started saying no to things, and have cut out most of my internet scrolling, and don’t really waste time. I’m not sitting around eating bonbons, but gosh, I might as well be.Five
Some people do have “time.” I’ve noticed this. I don’t really understand. It astonishes me. Please, I long to know the secret. And no, please don’t try to channel Rachel Hollis and tell me to get up earlier and do self-care, because I’m already doing that.
Seriously, maybe my angry reader can help me. Here was an average day for me—and I post this, obviously, to shame everyone who doesn’t manage this kind of productivity. Indeed, my whole schtick is shame:
- 4:30 take thyroid pill (self-care)
- 5:00 bible/prayer (self-care)
- 5:40 weights/bath (don’t be fooled by weights, it’s basically totally lame) (self-care)
- 6:00 blog (ok, maybe wasted time)
- 7:15 edit book (oh my word, I can’t believe it’s taking so long)
- 7:45 coffee downtown (self-care, friend-care)
- 9:00 bible study at church (we all go, family-care)
- 10:30 school (go ahead, ask me how school is going for the year)
- 12:30 lunch (Matt cooked it the day before, because we barely have time to cook)
- 1:30 clean (had to, because of what comes next)
- 2:00 meeting (at my house)
- 3:45 another meeting (on the phone, go ahead, ask me how well I was able to concentrate)
- 5:00 haul the girls to dance/edit book (across town, of course)
- 8:00 evening reading/school progress check-in
- 9:00 bed
Notice that on this particular day I did no email, returned no phone calls, and did no laundry. I was interrupted by children constantly but managed to shove off all longer school questions till the next day. My two hours of school was only what I have to do with the little girls. The whole day I was shouting at people to actually do their own work. And, even though I labored hard all day, I nevertheless went to bed with a feeling of despair, because the number of things I didn’t get to was epic.
Seriously, I’m not alone. I feel like so so many people live like this. The person whose house is basically trashed is not sitting around doing nothing, just lazily binging on youtube clips and pushing back the sadness with a plate of cold tater-tots dipped in mayonnaise. There’s just not time to deal with all the piles of paper that build up, and the unmatched socks, and the ever-lengthening list of phone calls that need to made. And, remember, Rachel Hollis, even while she tells you to wake up earlier, has actually chosen the Just Be Rich way, whereby she can pay people to do a lot of the stuff that most of us still have to face (like laundry and childcare and education and cooking food). The thing is, the question of money is a really complicated one. There are a lot of good reasons to amass money, to save, to try to make more of the stuff. I am blessed to have some friends who have a lot more of it than I do, and who use it to build up the kingdom of God in ways that I cannot, because I’m busy doing a lot of things that do not make the stuff roll down like water. Not having enough money to pay someone to come do your laundry does not mean that you’re lazy. But having enough money to pay someone to do it doesn’t make you evil either. There are lots of kinds of wealth, and plentiful kinds of generosity.
Anyway, go check out more takes. I have to go do all the things.