Monday, June 16, 2008

My Purpose

Lately I've been thinking about getting a purpose.

I was inspired to do this by an Avenue Q song that I listened to on my way home from a weekend of debauchery in North Carolina.

For an anal retentive librarian-type like myself, there is one obvious choice: I can organize things. I found my calling as an organizer when I was in library school and suddenly realized one day that I was coordinating four different groups at one time: I was captain of my bowling team, in charge of a weekly German table, scheduling a group of drinking library students, and something else that I can't remember right now (probably due to the drinking I did with the librarians.)

With all due modesty, I'm a kick-ass organizer. I was a groomzilla for my wedding, doing most of the planning and making sure everything went off without a hitch (except the hitching between bride and groom.) I had guest spreadsheets, catering binders, a wedding website with a weather prediction table, and a computer mock-up of the wedding site to figure out the arrangement of tables and chairs. I remember telling other people about all the stuff I was doing in preparation for my own wedding, and they asked if they could hire me for theirs. When we moved last summer, many of my helpers commented on how smoothly everything went; how organized we were. I was on top of it.

But with great organizing power comes great organizing responsibility. I think my purpose is to use this power for good, to organize something great. But what? I need a cause-- something to organize.

One such cause fell into my lap a few weeks ago: My mixed doubles tennis team needed a captain. Okay, so it's not exactly starting up a soup kitchen or mentoring disadvantaged youth, but it's a start. I saw an organizational need and I stepped up.

This particular job has been the most challenging of my organizational endeavors. Mostly this is due to the league coordinator, who does not share my passion for organizing, but whom I must depend on to get certain things done. Last week I created a spreadsheet with my team members on it, with each date we play, their availability, and when they are scheduled. It is a work of organizational beauty, with X's and S's and a counter letting me know how many times each person is scheduled. I'm dying to show it to the world, or at least my team, but I cannot do that until the league coordinator takes care of complications with the roster. (Some of the people on my team may get moved to another team.)

I currently have 81 messages in my personal email inbox, most of them league-related. And that doesn't count the dozens of messages that I've already saved to my "tennis" folder. One lady, who appears to have been pushed to the edge by league infractions and our late-responding league coordinator, sent ten (10) messages over the weekend.

But I will prevail. I must hone my skills for my next great organizational challenge, whatever it may be. Perhaps leading an army of cats...

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