Sunday, May 6, 2012

Climb Every Mountain? Are You Kidding?

Everyone, everywhere, knows about Mount Everest.   There is no higher place to be and still have your feet on this planet.  When you are standing on the top of Everest, you can wave at the passengers on  a 747 as the plane flies by, because that is how high you are. You would also be oxygen deprived and probably freezing to death, but that part doesn't really look good on the brochures.  While up there, you are supposed to feel as though you have conquered the world in a metaphysical as well as real game of King of the Mountain.  You are supposed to feel a sense of achievement that will last for the rest of your life, assuming that you are able to make it back down the mountain. People die trying to have that feeling.  Not only do they die, but they pay good money for a license and a guide to get them there. 

Source: via Tina on Pinterest

I've felt as though I've had a lot of mountains to climb lately.  They aren't so intimidating as Everest, but they still exist.  For instance, there is paperwork.  Have I mentioned that I hate paperwork?  Maybe it is the time of the year, but it has been even more difficult to get out of bed the past couple of weeks just because I don't want to face the mountain of paperwork.  As soon as the alarm goes off, I have a sudden horrendous picture of my desk, with the 40,000 folders on it, which MUST be completed by a specific deadline or else.  I'm pretty sure that the "or else" involves shackles and a bull whip.   In that brief moment, that stack of paper looks like Everest.

Why do I have to climb that particular mountain?  Where is the purpose, the sense of achievement, that should come from completing all this paperwork?  I've calculated that I spend more than 50% of my job doing paperwork. Boring, ridiculous, repetitive paperwork that nobody ever reads unless there is a lawsuit.  I was raised to believe that when you overcome an obstacle, no matter what it is, it is an achievement, but when it comes to paperwork, that sense of achievement doesn't exist.   It never will.

Nobody finishes a pile of paperwork and does a victory dance.  Nobody gets a bonus check for dotting all the is and crossing the ts. Nobody whispers on their deathbed that their greatest achievement was that they cleared their desk off.  Your coworkers don't high-five you when you turn in that last folder at the end of the workday.  Those victory celebrations are for real achievements like getting an important account or winning a legal argument, not for completing paperwork.  Sometimes the toughest obstacles to complete are the ones that seem to have no regal or heroic aspect. We are expected to do them, so we do them.  They are just part of the humdrum of daily life, and you aren't going to get accolades for completing them. 

Unless you give them to yourself.  I plan on treating myself to a cupcake or two just as soon as I manage to reach the summit of this particular mountain.  And that is something that the people who reach the top of Everest can't do!


  1. Haha! That's why I swapped pointless paperwork for ACTUAL mountain climbing ... although my latest feat of reaching 1723 metres (~1700 yards) is pretty lame compared to Everest ...

  2. I would mountain climb in a heartbeat!!! I detest paperwork and attempt to avoid at all costs! AND I also have a weakness for cupcakes but they cheer me up so I indulge. Go get one! You'll feel great afterwards.


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