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Friday, February 29, 2008

Like a train rolling through a deserted station, the thought occurred to me today that the only thing keeping me from finishing the Big Project is time. (Okay, maybe itís more like a handcar than a train.) I donít think Iíve ever considered it in quite those terms before. Now that I have a system, thinking is no longer necessary. Itís just a matter of doing it, and all I need is enough time.

Well, okay. Maybe I also need the will and desire and focus to get it all done. Maybe time isnít the only factor, but if I could keep at it, Iíd power through it like butter. I said all that to myself today as I tried to ignore the distractions, but it seems Iím not good enough at staying on task to make use of all the time I do have. There are 24 hours in a day, so even if I can only work in fits and spurts, that still should be enough.

The work Iím trying to do is easy and hard at the same time. Itís so easy itís hard to keep my concentration. Itís hard enough that I canít expect to do it without blocking out the distractions. Itís not like art, where the process is as important as the product. The only satisfaction I get out of it is having it completed and behind me, but thatís too far off right now to use as an incentive to keep at it until itís done. Itís like reading a boring thriller, where you might as well skip to the last chapter, because plodding through the rest of the book isnít worth it anyway.

28 February 2008

Kylie in action.

And now the State of California has thrown a spanner into the works. I got a letter from the Employment Development Department today, telling me that the tax withholding tables Iíve been using since January 1 are incorrect. They told me where on their web site to find the new tables, and instructed me to start using them on my next payroll. Because I donít have a payroll program, that means entering all of the information into my spreadsheets by hand.

If I thought I was going to work on the Big Project all weekend, or even have some free time, this totally screws that up. I was livid when I opened that letter and saw how much work is ahead of me, and all because some eejit in Sacramento didnít take the time to check his work before mailing out the tax guide. I didnít open this letter until the end of the day, when I thought my Friday was done and my weekend was beginning. I came very close to losing it, because I knew immediately what it meant.

And then I got to work on redoing the tables in Excel, and I kept at it until my neck and back wouldnít let me go on. I got a lot done, but thereís a lot left to do, and Iím still in a state of shock over this. How can they let this happen? Why did they do this to me? And why is their letter so matter-of-fact about it? Couldnít they at least have included an apology for the waste of my time? That might have made it a little easier to take.

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