I'm no Superman....

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Traditionally, my mom cooks for my dad and I, and one of her brothers joins us. It is a time for relaxation and lots and lots of eating, with the promise of leftovers for days to come and a box of fresh cannoli from my Uncle. The best part about Thanksgiving for me has always been the day after however. What most people regard as ”Black Friday” has always been the truest day off of the year for me, whether working or in school. I get to sleep late the day after having eaten very well, and do nothing but play video games. Sure there are plenty of great sales and I've barely made a dent in my Christmas shopping, but I can't deal with the crowds. Plus Saturday I have to work and play in a holiday parade, so Friday's really a great nothing day between family obligation and musical obligation.

This has definitely been a weekend I've been looking forward to, and though I've slowly been falling behind on some projects at work lately I need to use my vacation days or lose them. So I put in for Monday to make it an extra long weekend. In addition, our company was closing at 3PM today. Today I needed to have a catalog and five flyers completed, and I managed to get those done yesterday. Unfortunately my workload overlaps, and when I'm completing one project I also need to have the next one ready to show my team. Prior to each meeting we have about my issues, I need to e-mail my initial design to the them. My next meeting is Thursday, so with the holiday and my vacation day I really only have two days for them to see it. I managed to get my catalog e-mailed out by noon today, but then was interrupted by my editors requesting a new jacket design, and by an illustrator accepting another book jacket. I had to pause from my regular workload to discuss one project with the painter, and then move on to the new jacket. The new one was not to be a commission fortunately, since it's in my next issue and there's no time. Rather we'd be pursuing acquiring rights to an existing piece of art. My editor told me what he wanted the picture to be of, but I still had to search online until I found one I thought would work. Once I got the book jacket detours out of the way, I was able to focus on the five new flyers still hovering over me like a sword of Damocles. Earlier in the day my supervisor had asked what shape I was in and if I needed any help. I assured him that everything was under control and I only needed to complete five flyers before leaving for a long and restful weekend. Clearly he was unconvinced however, since he returned with one of my coworkers in tow at 3:45 and insisted I hand off some of my work for him to do on Monday. I told him I could do it and I only had two more left(though it was actually three). He was quite adamant about it and so I was forced to explain the assignment to my coworker, who insisted on repeating my instructions in his impression of Sean Connery's voice. His trademark clowning didn't inspire confidence.

I had intended to stay as long as it took to clear my plate and not have anything to worry about, but now I'm going to have to come in Tuesday and fix the two that this other guy is doing, as well as create the one I lied about having done already. My supervisor told me not to worry and said that if I ever feel overwhelmed I could ask him to give some of my work away, but it was humiliating. This was stuff I should have had done already, and I fear it being reflected in my upcoming yearly review. I pride myself on being able to complete my assignments, and though my boss said, “Hey, sometimes ya can't get to everything!” it still felt like a major failure on my part. It's tough sometimes to swallow one's pride and admit we're not superhuman, that we need other people's help. But my workload was no greater than it ever is this time around, and I simply had a week of distractions, lack of focus, and badly timed vacations and holidays. It's hard to let go. My priest had some wise words to say last week, talking about flying lessons. Apparently if your plane stalls and begins to drop, your natural inclination would be to pull back on the stick, but that would be the worst thing you could do. The only way to recover is to push the stick forward to increase speed and catch an updraft. Paradoxically, sometimes you need to go down, in order to go back up again.

I'll be relaxing here on the ground for the next five days but come Tuesday, it's going to be time to fly again....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is canoli?

- CoRn

11/26/2004 1:06 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

I should have spelled it correctly. I also should have made the word a link. I've now remedied that.

A Canoli is an Italian cream filled pastry made from riccotta cheese. There are many variations depending on the bakery, restaurant, or home versions. Sometimes they have chocolate sauce on them. Sometimes there are chocolate chips in the filling. Whatever the variation, it's basically the best dessert ever. Next time you're in an italian restaurant, see if they have it on the dessert menu--usually you get a good-sized cannoli that you can share with your date. Or if you get an assortment of pastries in a bakery for some family occasion, ask them to include cannoli.

11/26/2004 5:49 PM  

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