I have been uncommonly involved in soul-sucking meetings over the past several weeks. In fact, the part of my soul that cares about the fate of the rainforest is gone. I got nothing in me for the rainforests. If things don’t change soon, I’m not going to give a rip for the starving children in China. This can’t go on.
I drew a new picture to express how I have felt in some recent meetings.
I feel like Alice in Wonderland some days, but Wonderland is filled with reports and white boards and lots of coffee. And I think that I would feel somewhat better about these meetings if we were actually discussing world-changing topics, like the rainforest or starving children in China. But we’re not.
It’s been one of those weeks where you ask yourself “What am I doing with my life?” I mean, it’s not like I’m curing cancer. (Short digression — why is “curing cancer” always used as the example for “doing something with my life”? Do you think that’s what scares people the most? That’s not my biggest fear. Ok, back to program.) I’m performing honest work, but how is it changing lives?
I went through a period of asking myself “what am I doing?”, “how do I matter?”, “what is my purpose?” during my mid-30s and I’ve watched many of my younger friends go through the same introspection at about the same age or a little later in their lives. I guess the mid-life crisis cliché is a cliché for a reason. I believe that most people need to feel like they matter, like they have done some good in the world, like they are doing more than just taking up space.
And with the exception of times like this past week, I have made peace with my purpose. I am not going to cure cancer. Or become the next Steve Jobs. Or become a missionary to some isolated place in the South American jungle. But I can impact my little, itty-bitty section of time and space by being kind, telling the truth, offering my help, giving a smile, laughing freely, thinking of others….. I know that these small things, when offered to me, have often changed the course of my day, the outcome of the week, the tone of a relationship. I can do these.
And attend meetings.
Thank goodness someone is attending those meetings. Imagine if all the things you listed that you can do, everyone else did them, too? The world would be a pretty rockin’ place, except for the whole cancer thing….
That cancer thing is a real bitch. In a seriousness, I wish someone would cure it.
I’m optimistic – there is a lot of good news in that field right now, from improving detection to treatment. I just can’t imagine we’re that far off from a cure.
In my 30 year career I am confident that I spent at least 20 of them in meetings. In spite of that, 30 years go fast in the course of a lifetime. So I beg you to remember that these meetings will not scar you for life. Someday you will retire and you won’t have to attend meetings nor will you care that this is how you spent your career. You will remember the coworkers that you helped and who helped you. You will remember a deadline that you finished by the hair of your chinny,chinny chin. You will remember a challenge that you put forth a great effort and it was ably accomplished due to hard work and needless meetings. Keep in mind that being kind, caring, kelpful are the characteristics that make attending meetings bearable for yourself and others. You really matter to me. You are the sunshine of my life. I love your crazy laugh, your great stories and your attention to detail. Most others are setting there thinking, “this neeting would be boring if Cristy were not here to keep it all in perspective”. So I say hurrah for Christy for attending important meetings
I can’t believe you spelled my name wrong. You gave birth to me but can’t spell my name right. *sigh*
Thanks for pep talk. I need it before my next meeting?