Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In which I doubt myself

It is slightly after midnight, and I have just finished updating patrons in my circ system. Before this (after getting off duty at 10:00) I was doing some copy cataloging. And though it is late, and I am tired, I still feel like I should go back and do more cataloging and book processing. These are book donations from last spring, and they have sitting on my work table, taunting me--and, somehow, increasing in numbers--since last spring, and it is getting overwhelming, and I don't know how to get on top of it. I know there must be a better system than the one I have, but I don't have the time to figure it out. And once all the books are cataloged, there's the matter of making them shelf-ready. All of my hardcovers' dust jackets have a plastic cover, but that takes time I don't have. So what do I do? I feel like that's the sort of thing I need to do to preserve the book, but if I wait till I have time to do all that the books will never make it to the shelf. And what will become of incoming new books? There is only so much time.

I feel like I do so much halfway. I never seem to have the time to devote enough attention to any one task, so I give half my attention to tasks, and feel guilty, and know I could be doing things better if there were just, somehow, more time. And then I doubt myself, and feel guilty, and am paralyzed by how massive the tasks ahead of me are.

I got an e-mail today asking me to send any documents for the presentation I'm giving at a conference in less than a month. And I haven't even started creating the presentation. And I don't know where I find the time. I need uniterrupted time to focus and think and read and write, but my job is a series of interruptions, interrupted by interruptions. And every day I seem to fall farther and farther behind.

I want to take this program to where I really think it needs to be. But how do I do that when I can't even manage the day-to-day tasks of my job?

Higher-ups tell me how impressed they are with how together I am and how much I get done, and don't believe me when I tell them it's all a clever facade. And I wonder if I'm actually undermining myself by making it seem like I can do it all. 'Cause I can't.

It is late. And I am so, so tired. And even thinking of my 'To Do' list makes me want to cry. I don't know how to do everything I need to do.

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