Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guilt and Productivity

I ran across this "inspirational quote" on a friend's facebook page today, and it inspired me to rant :-)

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
 – Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Quotes like this are only inspirational on the surface to me ... and then they make me feel guilty ... and then they make me mad at myself for feeling guilty.  So I asked myself why.

Look first at the author - a guy's name. Now look at the other names - all guys except Helen Keller and Mother Teresa. 

Mother Teresa was a celibate nun - she didn't have a husband and children and a house to run and dinner to get on the table, in addition to a full-time job - God and the poor got to have all of her time. The last time I got to have "all" of my own time, I was on the couch with a virus.

Helen Keller - well okay it's tough to say anything bad about Helen Keller without sounding like a jerk, but the reality is that once she did all that catching up after the scene at the pump, she had help every step of the way. I'd be happy if I had help just doing the vacuuming.

Thomas Jefferson was a rich guy with servants (okay slaves) to get his dinner and wash his underwear while he was designing Monticello and creating a country. I could probably write the Great American Novel if I had somebody to feed me. If somebody washed my underwear too, think of all the gun-cleaning and scope zeroing I could get done.

That leaves Pasteur, Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and Einstein. These are all guys with wives or housekeepers to run things and feed them while they were off making a name for themselves.

Wasn't Michaelangelo the guy who didn't bathe, and whose boots removed skin when he finally took them off? Well sorry, but I shower daily (at least). That takes 30 minutes out of my day, and how many years out of my life? I may not be as productive as Mikey, but at least my aroma doesn't peel paint.

And speaking of personal hygiene - let's talk about Einstein's hair. I take the time to groom myself and get regular haircuts and pedicures. If Albert's hair looked liked that in public, I don't want to know what his toenails looked like. Sure, he was a genius, but at what cost? 

Da Vinci was gay. Everybody knows that he was fabulous, so I can't take anything away from the guy. He gets all his own credit - except for having help running the house.

And Pasteur - microbiology and a vaccine for rabies.  Well, I can't cure rabies, but I worked in hospital micro labs for 15 years before heading to med school as a 38 year old divorced mother of three. Surely that's got to count for something.

So there you have it - my rebuttal to the productivity pissing match. I refuse to feel guilty about not "accomplishing" any more than I already am.  I get done what I can, I'm enjoying my life, and the dust bunnies in the corners can just go pound sand.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it :-)
See you at SHOT!

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