Saturday, August 07, 2010

Writer's (Un)Block

I've been writing a lot lately. Pages upon pages, really. The sporadic posting here is no evidence of that, of course. Why? Because the writing all centers around either (a) information about my mother's health, or (b) software system requirements for work. Both of which are written in the same (fairly) dispassionate style...

...Mom's due for her next round of chemo, and depending on blood cell counts, will start her third just after her 67th birthday...

...The system shall provide counts of students' achievement as relates to the school's adequate yearly progress goals, broken out by grading period...

There's no parallel in these topics, so I won't try to fit a thematic square peg into a round hole. I just... I'm project managing my mother's health care, and it skeeves me out.

For the better part of my working life I've been assigned to tasks/problems/projects because I'm willing to ferret out solutions. Most of the time, when you tell people that you manage projects, there's no archetype that they can wrap their heads around. Teacher? Sure. Doctor? Absolutely. Police officer? No problem. Everyone knows people like that in their own lives, so they understand what you do and the kind of person you must be in signing up to do that kind of work. But project manager? If anything, that title calls to mind an ineffectual weenie who doesn't actually produce anything but anxiety among the people who actually get the work done.

It's been a secret desire of mine to have a job that makes sense to other people, and on a related note, a skill set that I can employ in service of others. It's the Jesuits' influence, I s'pose.

It might sound stupid, but I'm jealous of the brother who's a handy-man and can re-wire a house and get it up to code, of the brother who's a mechanic and can get your rust bucket fixed no matter what ails it, of the other two brothers who can rip your computer apart and put it back together so that it runs better than ever. Me? I'm handy with a power tool, but am wise enough to recognize that professionals should be called in for the really heavy lifting. Otherwise, I am just one of those goobers who tells herself that her shiny personality and wit will help people through tough times.

Right now? I'd rather be an oncologist than Oscar Wilde.