Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh my...

What a week.

Oh my...

A real "blammo" treatment at the acupuncturists. A new formula from the herbalist. Neither of them have fully settled yet—that's normal, to be expected even, but still... Oh my.

Said goodbye to all of my this-year students; the last classes of the year. I'll see them around the school, many of them in various extracurriculars, and many of them will always be friends, but in all probability, they'll never be "officially" my students, in a class, again.

On the last day of school, I used the walker rather than the wheelchair. Mostly for symbolic purposes, frankly, but dang it, I wanted to see the last day of the year from my actual height. Looks completely different than from the chair... And discovered that walking is challenging for many reasons; walking does something to my trick bladder... and I can only walk so fast to the restroom anyway, and if I did walk faster, it would exacerbate what walking it was doing to my trick bladder, and make matters worse. The intrusion of an too-easily-excitable bladder into the events of the day was (fortunately) only on the emotional level, but my it was ... enthusiastic, shall we say? Far too many close calls. They never came too close, if you get my meaning, but... Oh my.

Had a fascinating conversation with some friends at lunch. One of them was talking about some workplace-management decisions, which had allegedly alleviated such-and-such-group's work load, but had actually caused his team, and others, to do a lot of extra work; and that the "net work lost" to the organization was probably higher in the current way of things, than if such-and-such-group had actually bitten the bullet and did the small amount of additional work.

And it dawned on me how people can think that things can exist completely without cost. That somehow things "just happen" or "someone will take care of it" or whatever. But we in the M.S. community... we know. Everything has a cost. Everything. This has nothing to do with value, moral, intellectual, economical, or otherwise. Whether the cost is worth paying, regardless of the reward, is immaterial. The fact is... everything costs. Getting ready to do something costs. Relocating one's self to do something costs. Simply being at the event costs. And it was so nice to be ignorant of that, to think that whatever would simply come into being via the very act of asking, and could be had in any quantity.

But it's not. And it can't be.

And the root cause of these managerial mis-calls is ignorance of the costs. It's one thing to hear that there's a known cost but that it is worth paying—you may not like it, but you can respect it, even support it—but it's another thing to know that the choice was made not only in ignorance of the cost, but the chooser is ignorant of his own ignorance, and (all too often) enthusiastically perpetuate it.

And proclaiming "there is no cost" actually devalues the effort being expended. And the time that is being quite literally being wasted, futilely squandered by trying to do too much at once, getting a very poor return on "moments of a life" expended to achieve the incompletely- or not-properly-achievable.

I know that I must have seen symptoms of this in many a workplace, but never has my understanding of the situation been so clear.

And I never would have seen it this clearly unless I wasn't on the M.S. roller coaster; every day I am challenged to face what it truly means to have a "limited budget" of energy, enthusiasm, joie de vivre even; and what the meaning of "cost" truly is.

What a gift of M.S.

Oh my...

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