Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Case of the Afters

I realized last night as I was struggling to put a bunkbed together while taking part in a telephone conference call that I might be considered a busy person - something, temperamentally, I'm not used to being. I may be suffering from a case of the afters -- contantly thinking that after this, or after that, my life will get a little less complicated. The two biggest afters I'm working on right now include getting the house pulled back together after a major remodeling project and thriving -- not just surviving -- in an online class I'm taking on building online classes. This is the last class I need to pass to earn a masters degree, so the pressure is on to perform well, as we think after tuition payemtns are over (hey! There's another after!) we'll be able to channel that money elsewhere.

Of course, anyone who has ever suffered a case of the Afters knows that after the afters are over, new afters arrive like buffalo trampling over the horizon, demanding your immediate attention and promising greener pastures once they're gone and have pooped all over the landscape.

Add to the excitement of a case of the Afters the concept of the Peter Principle, in which I wholeheartedly believe, and you see how some afters may never be reached. The Peter Principle states, of course, that in a heirarchy, individuals rise until their own incompetence eliminates the chance of further advancement. I met my own level of incompetence in jouranlism in 2000 and managed to live with it for five years. Now I'm in a job that pays better and has not yet advanced me to the point my incompetencies show. I aim to keep it that way. Not that I shouldn't be learning, that's why I'm working on a masters degree, but after five eyars spent at a level of incompetency, I figure it's time I had a little less stress on the job front. That's good, since other activities (more afters) have come in and are presenting additional stresses and are close to pushing me to my aforementioned incompetence level.

I permit myself this navel-gazing in a public forum, by the way, because it's catharcic. Or however you spell that.

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