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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I still don't do very well on days like these, days when everything happens at once. At one point this morning I swore to myself that if the phone rang one more time I wouldn't even answer it. It didn't, and I would have anyway, despite my solemn vow. I meant it when I said it, though.

My mind works in a linear manner, but I fight against it. I try to give myself over to the free-flowing artistic side. It's been this way all my life, ever since I realized that I could read music but I couldn't really play the piano. I worked hard to be able to fake it, but the music in my soul never quite made it to my fingers. I'm still more a technician than a musician (and I can't sing a note).

That mindset is also why I turned down a mathematics scholarship to major in English in college, even though numbers make more sense to me than words and ideas that can't be quantified. I struggle against that, too. I'm even in a sort of denial about my job. I don't call myself a bookkeeper or an accounts clerk, but that's what I do. I never know what to write in the box that asks what my job title is. I usually say something vague like "office manager" or "business manager," but I'm really a calculation technician.

So when everything is happening at the same time, like today, I feel a little lost. I'd like to be cool and competent, and I definitely try to present myself that way, but it's a sham. It's all an act to make me seem to be the person other people — especially the Boss — want and need me to be. Because, you see, that's who I want to be, too. And I won't give up on that until they strap me to a chair and carry me out the door babbling.

It didn't quite come to that today, but I could sense the darkness closing in as the demands on my time and energy were coming too fast for me to keep up. There are some people who won't give up telling you what they want until they have it, even though the fact that they keep telling you is keeping you from giving it to them. And I can't yell "Shut up and go away so I can get to work" into the phone. That's not professional, la de da.

This wasn't really all that bad a day, but I felt deserted. Everybody's in SoCal, and I'm here faithfully taking down messages with no one to pass them on to. It's hard to concentrate with so many things up in the air like that. Let me complete one task before I have to start another and I can do them all perfectly. Ask me for two things at once and neither of them gets done. That's just the way it is.

I do try, though, and I don't give up. It's only at the end of the day, when the to-do list is longer than it was at the beginning, that I recognize the futility of it all. And I get to start over again tomorrow.

16 September 2003

Swallows line the dying birch.

One thing I decided today in the middle of all this was that if I'm not going to sleep at night anyway, regardless of whether I sleep during the day, I might as well take a nap when the spirit moves me. I sat down late this afternoon, when I thought the work day was over (I was wrong), and before I knew it I'd drifted off. It was nice. It was the best time of the day.

A corollary to that theorem is the thought I had recently that if I'm going to wake up every morning feeling hung over, I might as well drink at night. I haven't followed up on that one yet, though.

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It's getting on toward midnight now, and I still don't know how the big meeting went today. The Boss told me to cut short my errands this morning and get back early, because they might need some last minute revisions in the presentation. I never heard from them, so I guess they didn't need me after all. Maybe I'll find out tomorrow.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Many Fine Qualities
"I'm not sure where the roll of duct tape landed when I flung it across the yard. Wait, let's go back to the beginning. No, that's too painful. Let's go back to the middle."

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