Keeping Current – One Job that’s Never Finished


I am always feeling just a little bit behind. Or, maybe, a whole lot behind.

Take the current turmoil in Iraq, and surrounding areas. I’ve done a fair amount of reading about Al-Qaeda. I read The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Lawrence Wright, the week it came out. I’ve read other books about the history of the Muslims, and the turmoil in the Middle East.

But not enough. Certainly not enough in the last year or two. And now, I feel completely ignorant about the new Islamic State, and the Caliph and the Caliphate he has established, and seeks to spread. I’ve got another round of serious reading to tackle.

I do read a fairly large number of books. And so, people ask me all the time “have you read ________?” More often than not, my answer is no. And more than I am willing to admit, I haven’t even heard of the book they are asking about. Talk about embarrassing…

the stack always seem to grow bigger
the stack always seems to grow bigger

And so, I’ve fallen behind. I’m simply not current. I want to be. But every week, there are new books to read, new articles to read – books and articles that I can’t seem to get around to.

And the turmoil in the Middle East is just one tiny (though vitally important) area which calls out for my attention. Even in my own fields of expertise (you know, the areas where I am supposed to really be on top of things), I never quite feel on top of things. Not completely.

And, so, I feel behind.  Because I am behind. All the time.

My iMac/iPad/and iPhone all have a bunch of articles saved in my “reading list.” It is more like a reading warehouse. I could spend days/weeks (maybe more) reading what I’ve saved to read later. Well, it is way past “later,” and I have not read them.

So, what do I do? What do you do? I bet you’ve fallen a little behind yourself?

Here’s my current plan. I’m just going to relax. I will read what I have to read (books I’ve committed to prepare and present), and quit feeling quite so guilty about my stack of books and my long, long list of articles in my “reading list.”

That’s my current plan. But I’m not sure it will work.

I really do wish I was more current.

I have read all of these books, and many more -- but never enough!
I have read all of these books, and many more — but never enough!

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