Friday, July 01, 2005

Digital Guilt

I just sent off the revised version of an article to an anthology on digital gaming and social life (yay me, I am done!). The process of writing this article was rather frustrating. It has nothing to do with the editors, who have been paragons of patience, but with a little disagreement between the email used by one of the editors and the school spam filter. I don't know what is worse: spam that drowns your important email or spamfilters that just remove them. I did ask the IT department to add the address to the safe ones, but by the next update to the list of contributors, the department had changed spam filters (they have been working really, really hard to find a good solution, and I think they have by now - touch wood!) and off the email went into the big bin.

I tried to supply the editors with a different email address with no such thing, but this only worked for communication directly to me, the email address on the mailing list was never updated. So the last year has been like this: I submit something, hear nothing and assume it's not interesting - they send me an email asking where my contribution is. I send the contribution and hear nothing - they send me an email and ask why I have not submitted my peer review. I get a second copy of that and start working on the peer review - and start to think: hmmm, should I have had a response from somebody else? and ask for it - and there it arrives, in the non-filtered mailbox. Only at this point, somewhat amputated, which I don't discover until it's really late, because before I start working on my own stuff, I have to do the peer review, and, well, there are ten million things I should have done this spring, including taking at least a month sick leave.

Anyway: I have done my best with the time and energy I have available. I can't do more than that. The perfectionist lurking at the back of my brain wants to keep this article around for another 14 days and rewrite it. But no, I can't, there are other tasks lined up which refuse to wait any longer.

So here I am. I should have left for the summer house 90 minutes ago, stopping on the way to shop and cook for my mother. She will just have to eat a late dinner tonight, I hope to make it to the summer house in time to make my daughter an evening meal after her day as a farm labourer, and I am feeling sick with guilt for the neglected family.

And that's basically it: Guilt, lack of time, despair. I just have to learn to use the word "no" without feeling like I have just killed a baby or spit on a coloured person.

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