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Friday, September 17, 2004

Too Much To Do 

by Kristine
I have too much to do. At the end of every day, I collapse into bed with a list of things left undone churning through my head. It's hard to pray, hard to sleep without this list intruding. It's even worse since I've had children, and my list of important things to do rattles around in my brain all day before I can even check off one item after the creatures are asleep. I've tried to explain the panic this induces to my husband: imagine that you went to your office and your boss came in and started piling urgent tasks on your desk, any one of which would take a day's work to complete, then she tied your hands behind your back, unplugged your phone and computer, dumped your files on the floor for good measure, and said "ok, get to work."

But this sense of too much to do, it seems to me, is pervasive--everyone feels too busy, out of control. We buy calendars and PDAs and Franklin Planners, hoping that somehow, writing down the oppressive lists of things to do, places to go, people who need us will somehow untie that knot of dread in our stomachs. As far as I can tell, these talismans are useless--they may push the panic out into the edges of our consciousness, but they don't meaningfully reduce the conflict between ambition and time.

I wonder what we are to learn from this conflict. After all, if we are truly eternal creatures, the pressure of time will eventually cease. And yet it is such a dominant feature of our earthly lives that I can't imagine we aren't supposed to take some lesson from it into the eternities with us.

I wonder...
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