Chucking Monkeys (the self-titled post)

30 Sep

… a satisfying metaphor for the obsessive tasker.

Today I chucked 38 monkeys.  One my one, I flung them off my back and onto the floor–monkey after monkey, thrown to its rightful demise.  And all before 10pm.

The most satisfying was the gorilla of a lunch event I hosted–that 150 pounder had been clinging on for four and a half weeks.  I am immensely pleased to be rid of him.  That is not to ignore, however, the string of pygmy monkeys that was wedged right between my shoulder blades.  One hour and forty-five minutes of responding to starred emails and those monkeys were toast.  Hucked.  Flung.

I’ll try to ignore the 17 additional monkeys that managed to scramble onto my back while I was distracted.  They are howling now, but give me a few days to plan my execution strategy, and they’ll never know what hit them.

Sometimes I think, “But what’ll I do when I’ve chucked all the monkeys?”  I am pretty well used to the constant creeching in my ears, and (dare I admit?), I have even grown fond of a few of them.  My running monkey, for example, is annoying loud but a very faithful companion.  Except sometimes I wish he were louder at 5:30am on cold mornings–or that he were quieter when I am trying to enjoy my chocolate panna cotta from WestBridge.  My eat-out-weekly monkey has all but reached permanent status; he’s been perched near my left kidney for three years and never even been nudged.  And the constant stream of pygmies sometimes afford a nice rhythm as the slam on the floor; besides, they give me something to do while I wait for the train.

But say, hypothecially, I chucked all of the monkeys.  Say I chucked all of the emails, events, interviews, catch-up lunches, dirty bathrooms, start-up ventures, book clubs, text messages, must-read-articles, weekly memos, conferences, and yoga practices. Then what would I do?  With no monkeys, what will I think about when I am walking home from campus?  With no monkeys, what will I do on Tuesday at 4:50pm?  With no monkeys, what will people know or say about me?  With no monkeys, what in world will I do with my life?


Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “Chucking Monkeys (the self-titled post)

  1. Bryna

    October 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I practice clearing my mind. If you will, sending the monkeys to the closet for a “time out.” When I do, I notice more of the beauty of nature. I’m more present for my friends. I sleep more soundly.

  2. Nathan Kellis

    October 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Love it.

  3. Aileen Wu

    December 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    love the analogy!


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