Because life is a series of edits

A Good Kind of Tired

In Humanity, Seminary on May 17, 2007 at 2:23 pm


There are few things in life more anti-climactic than finishing your last final exam of the semester. I don’t care if it’s high school, college, or seminary, when you’re done, you’re…done. That’s it. No brass band; no immediate feedback; no on-the-spot acknowledgment that, by golly (and by the grace of God), you actually completed the hundreds of assignments you were assigned four months ago (maybe even learning something in the process). Congratulations!

You’re just…done. And, I am…done. Or, to be more proper, “finished” (carrots are “done”).

My finals schedule really wasn’t that bad this spring (in addition to a big paper last week, I only had two – one a 10-page takehome and the other a wretched online exam, which I hate), but it certainly seemed more complicated due to everything else going on as the semester wound down. Writing messages and papers, applying and interviewing for jobs, teaching students, working with folks at church – it’s all been one big whirl that I’m not sure I fully recognized while in the midst of it. I’m still not sure I do even now.

And yet it’s been good, things have gotten done, my wife and kids still know and love me, and, though I’m tired, it is, as my father (pictured above after a full weekend of corn planting at the farm) would say, a “good kind of tired” – that kind of tired you feel when what you’ve done is all you can do and, looking back, there really isn’t anything else you would have done all that differently except go through it again because that’s the only way any of it would have gotten finished.

I won’t speak for you, but I’m a closure junkie; unfortunately, I don’t experience the sensation often enough. So little of what I work on ever seems to make it to or past a point of no return – there’s always something else to learn or write more about before I finish; always a room or a garage or a yard that needs help (and will soon again); always some issue or idea or person that needs more attention than I sometimes think I can muster up.

When was the last time I was just done with something? Like this spring semester? What was the last thing I walked away really feeling “a good kind of tired” because I couldn’t go back?

Mine is the curse that comes with the blessing of living in our digital world – nothing’s ever “finished” until it goes to analog; only then – when you can’t mess with it anymore – are you truly “done”. Perhaps like you, I’m a slave to the “undo” function on my computer, and often find myself longing for such a command in real life. But keeping life in digital form for editing purposes may not be the best, when going to analog and being done is not such a bad thing.

Two years of seminary down; who knows how many to go (more on this in a future post).

I’m tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.

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