All my life I’ve been a runner. My first stint as a runner was as a child running away from a chaotic home. Then I ran relay races in grade school. As a pre-teen, I was a star short-distancer, running 100 yard dashes until I hit puberty, the turning point to an inconvenient truth: I was not built for competitive sports. Then I noticed another kind of running. It was also highly competitive; the kind of running that makes some people insanely happy and others just insane. Running to keep up with the you-know-who’s made me insanely insane. By then I was living near-enough-but-not-next-to Central Park, where jogging became the obvious escape. Solo running saved me until my knees and feet rebelled.
Lately I notice I am running again. This time, information is the culprit. There is simply too much of it, and I find myself alternately running to keep up and running to get away. What has this age of information done to me? Am I the only one to feel this way? Based on the proliferation of Blackberries and iPhones, I’d have to say, “let’s be honest.”
I recently, embarrassingly, had to defend myself from the taunts of my son who couldn’t believe (I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud) I didn’t know where the World Cup was played. “How could you miss it, mom? Are you living under a rock?” Boy, did I feel stupid! I simply (and defensively) explained that I had to carefully choose how I spend my time. Obviously, he and I did not share the same interest in the World Cup. “But really, mom, how could you not know?” Is it any wonder I feel I must be totally-informed-about-everything-all-the-time?
While my escapes afford me the time to write, I wonder how can I write if I am not informed? Which things do I need to be informed about in order not to sound like an ignoramus? After all, one cannot possibly be informed about everything, can one?
These are the questions that plague me at 3AM. These are the ideas that interrupt me as I go through my day, weighing the importance of the various things demanding my attention. These are the things that keep me running. I am a runner, chasing my tail. Am I the only one to feel this way?