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Me And Don Quixote

December 2, 2019

Don Quixote was crazy. Okay, I’ve never actually read Don Quixote. Not in translated English and certainly not in the original Spanish. But, I do know all the words to the musical “The Man of La Mancha.”

We know Don Quixote was crazy because at one point he decides to attack a windmill. Or maybe he attacks multiple windmills. I’m not sure. That part wasn’t in the “Man of La Mancha.”

Anyway, attacking a windmill because you think it’s a giant is so crazy that we’ve even incorporated it into our lexicon:

Tilting at Windmills – To attempt to accomplish an impossible goal.

I realized today that I’m just as crazy as Don Quixote. Why? Because I too tilt at windmills. (Tilt is olde english for jousting. . .I think.)

You might tilt at the saem windmill I do. It’s my email inbox.

I’ve been on vacation for the past week and a half. My inbox had 373 unopened items when I returned to work today. One of my goals was to get that number below 50 by the end of the day.

I even tracked it throughout the day.

8:00 373
8:30 355
9:00 278
10:00 200
10:30 177
11:00 152
12:30 111
1:00 97
1:30 74
2:00 53
3:00 33
4:00 29

Yes, I met my goal. But, the crazy part, the Don Quixote and his windmills part is that I felt like I had actually accomplished something.

But, tomorrow, my mailbox will start to fill up again. And when I take a couple weeks vacation at the end of the month (gotta use those use-it-or-lose-it vacation days)I’ll come back to another huge number of unread messages in my inbox.

There’s an old proverb. It was described to me as Chinese, but who really knows? It was a test of insanity. The person is shown a pond and handed a bucket. The test is to empty the pond. If a person starts to immediately bail out the pond, they are deemed insane. If they first divert the stream feeding the pond, they are deemed sane.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the pond is starting to fill back up and I need to find my bucket.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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