As early as I can remember I have been acutely aware of my mortal temporality and I have never wanted to waste the all too short period of time allotted to me (Job 14.1-6); consequently, I have given the matter of maximum productivity considerable thought. I have recently revisited my thoughts on this matter and after some intensive musing on this vitally important subject it has become increasingly clear to me that there are very few activities that can be truly considered productive undertakings. While, on the other hand, Linda has a great many undertakings that she considers not only productive but essential for life to go on unabated. Metaphorically, you could say that Linda is into picking fruit (to be read gardening) and I'm into cogitating about the life cycle of the plant kingdom (to be read vegging out).
As long as I can remember I have always been more interested in why things happen rather than in the event itself. I like philosophy more than history. Generally, I like thinking about things more that actually doing anything. As you might imagine this could be a source of tension between my wife and me. She does not understand what is perfectly clear to me; namely, that mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, indeed, any domestic activity around the house is clearly unproductive. However, understanding the hierarchical domestic structure of the home and the inevitable delegation of tasks is fascinating to me. I tried explaining Adam Smith's division of labor in his treatise "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" but she feigned disinterest. Clearly her idea of productive activities involves something to do with labor; my idea of productivity has everything to do with the philosophy of labor. So, in order to promote domestic tranquility I have conceded her this point and I am willing to let her do anything around the house that she wants to do.
In brief, here is my guiding principle for domestic work: the roof only leaks when it is raining and when it is raining I can’t fix it; however, I can take Charlie for a walk in the rain because standard poodles love the water. While I'm walking Charlie I can think about why the world is the way it is. Other than thinking great thoughts while walking in the rain, it is my fervent desire to wander aimlessly around the country posing as a “peripatetic philosopher” (a title I’ve attached to this undertaking; perhaps lending some dignity to my meandering and possibly impressing some of the philistines I meet along the way).
Finally, let me say that all married couples, indeed, all members of the opposite sex clearly have gender communication issues regarding productive and non-productive activities (Linda and I are no exception to this byproduct of the fall of man). Thankfully, there is a workable solution to this universal conundrum; we can just agree NOT to communicate about the things that really matter in life. For Linda and I it is simple: I ignore her insistence on a dust bunny free living room and her addiction to scrabble and she allows me to roam about in my phenomenological and ontological Myst-like fantasy world. There is, of course one caveat, she insists that before I mentally check-out that I take the garbage and the recycling out to the street.
Now, I ask you: “How unproductive is that?”