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July 31, 2006
I am the worst at this sort of thing, I type in the half-light before dawn. This confession is part of a sheepish email I sent to a colleague in the wee hours, asking for a resend of a document which seems to have gotten lost in the bowels of my computer. Anybody else would have created a folder for it and its sister and brother documents, but such a thing never occurred to me. Instead, I must try to use the search function to find it, struggle to remember the names of the other people in the group.

I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd get up and do some work. Not writing work, although I've got plenty of that to do. No, I am occupying myself this morning with a simple collating job: I am to take five colleagues' responses to a questionnaire and arrange the answers so that the group can easily read them together at our meeting later today. What could be easier?

Oh, I don't know -- laying an egg? Running a marathon?

I forgot, when I volunteered to do this, how awful I am at such tasks. The ordering of things, the creation of documents and files and lists, even the adding of long columns of figures using a calculator -- all these things elude me. I add and add again: two different answers. I add again: a third. I consider holding an election to determine the result of my sum. I have taken to presenting my deposits at the bank untotalled: You do it, I tell the kind young woman behind the counter. I always get it wrong.

I'll send you a spreadsheet, a colleague says, and my heart sinks to the soles of my feet. The spreadsheet arrives, a simple list of names and addresses and categories, a document that will save me hours of addressing individual letters. I can't open it. The computer suggests that I download something that might help. Okay, I tell it. Nothing happens. Suddenly I am very tired.

And very something else: I am ashamed. Ashamed of not being a fine administrator. Of forgetting things, losing things. Of not running a tight ship: the sails of my ship flap uselessly in the wind, like laundry on a clothesline, and we do not progress.

A little discernment would have come in handy here. People should volunteer to do the things they do well, not the things that make them feel weary and ashamed. The person who could collate those lists by pushing a button should do so -- not the one who doesn't even know which button to push. That there was a need for this task should not have made me imagine that I should be the one to do it.

I hope I hear back from the person I emailed to find out who else is on this committee. Then I hope I can find the responses they sent me. I hope my printer doesn't go south just as I am preparing to print and leave. And I hope I learn from experience, for a change, and volunteer my strengths from now on, rather than my weaknesses.

Crazy, He Calls Me

I say I'll move the mountains
and I'll move the mountains
If he wants them out of the way
Crazy, he calls me
Sure I'm crazy
Crazy in love, I say.

I say I'll go through fire,
And I'll go through fire
As he wants it, so it shall be
Crazy, he calls me
Sure I'm crazy
Crazy in love, you see.

Like the wind that shakes the bough
He moves me with a smile
The difficult I'll do right now
The impossible will take a little while

I say I'll care forever
and I'll care forever
If I have to hold up the sky
Crazy, he calls me,
Sure I'm crazy,
Crazy in love, am I.
- music by Carl Sigman, lyrics by Bob Russell
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