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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Nobody here but me and my ego

I was amused by a Ron Judd quip in the Seattle Times this morning that the equipment truck for the Mariners Spring Training had to be rearranged in order to make room for a certain player's ego. Amidst laughing almost out loud, I had the sudden thought that I'm doing the same thing in my office.

At just under 10' x 10', my office is well below the space at which you are required to report it on B&O taxes. I can never seem to get everything in it arranged all at the same time. After last Sunday's ritual, for example, I brought everything I used home and stepped over it in my office for five days before I finally got it put back in its proper box and put on the shelf until next ritual. I did that so I could get out a box of books that I wanted available to sell should the occasion arise on Saturday. Then I realized that there is still a box of books sitting in front of my bookshelf that I took to a meeting to sell two weeks ago. I really need to get those put away, too.

But the real problem is with the "stuff" that I've accumulated. One shelf in my bookcase is devoted to photos and awards and other collectibles from my life. In front of every row of books on the shelves are additional service awards, design awards, patent cubes, a theatre award from my Junior year in college, etc.

In other words, the problem with my office is that there is not enough room for me and my ego.

The more I get rid of things, the more I realize how many things are here with no other purpose than to remind myself about how good I am. Perhaps, how valuable I am. Or even worthwhile. When I look at the accumulated "stuff" (as George Carlin would say), I realize that it is a poor substitute for the things that I would really like to have. I could care less, for example, about having three of my published books on my bookshelf if there were $100,000 in royalties on each in my bank account. If the company service award meant that I had a secure retirement in my future, I wouldn't care about having the towering prism of glass on my shelf.

These remind me, however, that I have soothed my massive ego with pretty awards rather than banking and living on the rewards. If that sounds mercenary, then you may not be facing a mortgage payment with no money in the bank. You may not be facing health insurance premiums that never seem to pay for anything. You may not be looking at college tuition.

I am no longer interested in leaving a legacy, or a monument to my ego, rather than a bank account that will provide for my family. Frankly, I'm not even interested in leaving. I want to be there to do the providing. So, move over, ego. We need to make room for a big fat check.
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