Humans see pattern everywhere, even when they don’t really exist. Usually there is no pattern, just coincidence. Sometimes the patterns collapse into meaning.
I am not prepared to say whether my experience this week was coincidence or some kind of spooky world consciousness kind of thing. I was feeling frazzled. I was tired and a little worried that by agreeing to take on a project on top of my existing workload (which is already out of control), I was losing the battle with my over-active God-complex. I was open to a new way of looking at things.
I agreed to take on a project that is in an almost desperate state. One that is likely to fail. One that could be damaging to my mental equilibrium. I agreed to work extra hours instead of reducing the time built up during last year’s marathon effort delivering a major OJEU tender and system migration to unreasonable timescales. Yes, I agreed to take on a Death March Project.
I can’t resist being told that no one else can do it, that no one else has the skills / experience / capability. How stupid am I? I bet you never knew people fell for that line of nonsense.
“EBL saves the world again!” scream the headlines. “Without her we would all be lost!”
It’s official. I am insane. But there are those words: almost, likely to, could be. I grew up watching too many superhero cartoons.
I got back home after being away for a hectic week at work, and decided to relax by catching up on some blog posts. First of all I found that Rohan7Things was expounding wisely on self-discipline and Internet use.
“That’s good stuff,” I thought, frittering time away by using the Internet. “That’s what I need to do – after all, I have cut back on my blogging, so that’s all good. Hah, this stuff is easy!”
Who am I kidding? How deluded can I be? Pretty deluded it seems.
Next I read Rarasaur, who fell off a wagon. Even the mighty Dino of the Blogosphere, the Blogosaurus herself, has limits. Who knew?
I looked at my life. It snarled at me.
There I was thinking I was doing well because I resigned from Governors. Already I have been told I am about to be asked to pick up some jobs at our local Quaker meeting, and already, without knowing what they are, I know I will say yes.
My reasoning is this: all work and no play makes EBL a dull girl. If all I do is work, then I don’t enjoy my life. I need to be involved in activities outside work for balance. So it’s good to take on those jobs, right?
Let’s say a friend has given up some voluntary work because it was too demanding and she had been doing it for nine years and felt stale and tired and wanted a break. This is all hypothetical, you understand. This friend has a fairly busy job and is often away from home. She works quite long hours, although not excessive hours like junior doctors. No more than 50 a week. Quite reasonable really; usually only 45 in fact. Civilised hours.
Now she has been asked to take on a trusteeship and another role in her community, on top of her other voluntary commitments for fundraising.
Did I mention she is also a carer? Well, she is.
Then there is her desire to pursue, in a completely selfish manner, some trivial hobbies for her own amusement. She had a rota for those but it has fallen apart recently.
She has just agreed to take on a Death March Project.
I have to admit that looking at it, it doesn’t sound so clever. Even so, I suspect I will still say yes.
My father died of stress in his sixties. I need to take that seriously.
But I will still say yes.
Only the good die young. What’s the point in living longer if you do nothing with the time?
Perhaps the first step to dealing with addiction is to recognise the problem and admit to being powerless over it. What I need is a Twelve Step Programme for Workaholism, like this one here. I scored 15 / 20 on the test, which is a bit scary.
So that’s another project to do – dealing with it.
How common is this, and is it because of the period of change our societies are going through? Or am I just a hopeless case?