Tuesday, May 6, 2008

another reality check...

Yesterday was a stupidly productive day for me - both work and personal business wise. By the end of the day I was feeling pretty good about myself and what I had accomplished. I was getting a little overwhelmed by having so many things going on, so many balls in the air, so to speak but it wasn't that, that bad.

I think I've mentioned that I'm starting a business. I won't go a lot into detail about it until it happens but needless to say there's a lot to do and only me to do it. Yesterday I made an appt. with a potential supplier for tomorrow. I have an appt. with my lawyer on Thursday and an appt. with a not-for-profit small business consulting firm after that. I put a call into my accountant and am waiting to hear back from him. I have many lists now too - lists of products, materials, suppliers, appointments, questions, and last but not least, a To Do list. I've hired a graphic designer to come up with a logo and branding. I've narrowed down the list of web options. Displays and shipping options are coming along. Lots of things going on and lots more to do but at least it's a start.

While thinking about all the things left to do and tooling around the web checking mail while talking to Susan, I got yet another reality check. Another "Hey look, there's a really big picture here and your piddly problems really aren't center stage in said picture."

According to CNN, the death count in Myanmar (formally known as Burma) is now at 22,000 with another estimated 41,000 people missing due to Cyclone Nargis. How can your heart not go out to this country?

While still talking to Susan, I mentioned that I felt really bad and that I wished I could go help them rebuild or something (regardless of the fact that I don't actually have rebuilding skills.) She mentioned that I would not come back the same person since devastation on that level severely impacts people's psyche. She then mentioned that it might be detrimental to me because I'm a balanced person - that it might toss me over the edge I think.

My response was that it was absolutely disgusting that I'm selfish enough to not go help just so I don't change that dramatically. It's disgusting. It was disgusting when I had the same thoughts about Louisiana and it's still just as disgusting now. I'm actually a little ashamed of myself for even thinking it.

That said, I do understand that I can't fix everything. I do understand that I really don't have many skills that would be beneficial to Myanmar short of picking stuff up and moving it. I logically know that I can't drop my life here and go halfway across the world to remove debris from streets. I know all that. I do understand that I need to worry about myself, my life, before I can worry about another countries.

It doesn't make it any less sobering or less surreal. It also doesn't negate my selfishness, which is really what it's called when you boil it down. You may disagree and that's ok but that's still what it is - selfish.

Instead of worrying about all the things I have left to do for the business, I'm going to focus on work. Toss myself into something that I can do, while thinking about the people of Myanmar, hoping they accept our aid, and being pissed off at the First Lady for even *thinking* of laying blame at a time like this. What the hell was she thinking? Seriously.



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