Saturday, September 10, 2011

Keeping Perspective To Keep Your Sanity

"Down. Everything slopes down. The Enemy's craft is down. What we need is down."
-Rox in Pilgrim by Sara Douglass

"The enemy's gate is down."
-Andrew Wiggin in Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Like I felt on my first day in commercial parts, it's too easy to lose track of where we are and what we're suppose to be doing. To keep ourselves aligned, we must find ourselves something to line ourselves up with. Especially when it feels like we're getting attack from all sides.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin fought battles in a weightless environment, with an army too used to the tug of gravity. Without gravity, there is no "up" and "down," so in order to inspire direction to those around him, he used "The enemy's gate is down." This not only gave them direction and perspective, it also gave their gravity-adapted minds reassurance. Instead of fighting their way across a battlefield, as the opponent viewed it, they fought "downhill", which is the easiest way to go.

With no gravity, downhill is an illusion, but even if we recognize it as such, we still find comfort in it.

Working in Parts and Tech Support, I feel questions coming at me from all sides, especially with coworkers walking up behind me, or sending me emails to the computer in front of me, and customers reaching out to me over the phone. (If you remember where my center of being is, any sound coming in through my ears is also behind me, but also on both sides of me.)

I've managed to focus myself by compiling all requests into a work list, and that work list is indeed vertical. My "enemy's gate," or my goal, is to reach the bottom of my work list. Instead of being overwhelmed, I have a visible and definable end that's in sight. As long as I can pinpoint it, I can achieve it, and I don't feel like I'm lost, or fighting uphill.

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