30 August 2006

I'm grown to really hate my inspirational calendar

Early in the year, someone I was working for at the time gave me (and others) a "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" daily calendar. I propped it on my desk and now dutifully tear off to the current date each morning and read the quote that is supposed to give me perspective.

Here's today's message, which is typical of the messages it offers: "I've found that being more open and diverse has reduced my feelings of stress because it has helped me reinforce the fact that life is so much bigger than the things I sometimes worry about."

At the start of today when I looked at this I was also looking at 15 To Do's and 2 meetings. Turned out those 2 meetings turned into 4 meetings that entirely took up my day. No lunch. No time to address the 15 tasks, some of them quite complex and urgent, much less process and respond to the 6 voicemail and 27 e-mail requests that came in during the meetings.

So I began to work through what I could at 5:30 pm, knowing that there were a number of key pieces I couldn't get to because contacts were already gone. In the midsts of this my eyes strayed to the calendar and I thought, how does this help me? I'm open. I'm diverse. I'm still stressed.

Aside from providing me with something to hurl across the room, I'm not at all sure this calendar is useful to me.

It's like when people say "Don't worry." Oh, thanks. I was gonna worry but since you said that I'm calm and cool.

Perhaps these calendars should be repackaged as "Absurd platitudes to laugh at while you're getting through your ridiculous day"? Just a thought.

And what is the obligation when one receives a "gift" like this? I gave it a try. Can I pitch it now? Hmmmm, I'm about to move offices (yeah, no extra stress there), maybe the calendar will get "lost" in transition.

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