I am no Asimov

,

It is Friday evening and I am struggling to set up the Windows Azure lab environment that I need for a SIOS SANless clustering demo. It's for a SQL Saturday event next weekend and is the first and most pressing item on a to-do list as long as Isaac Asimov's bibliography.

However, between Azure Virtual Networks, Cloud Services, Storage Accounts and PowerShell cmdlets to test IP availability, I find myself scurrying through Bing results and coming up short of success. How did my glory days of setting up AD and DNS in the blink of an eye get so far behind me? So…screw the lab for now, I think, it is taking too long. I am an idiot. What's next on the list?

  • 15 chapters ready for technical review, most of them 60+ pages
  • Two PowerPoint presentations to prepare for SQL Saturday, next weekend
  • Beginning SQL Server demo to build
  • Certification exam to prepare for that is scheduled for next week
  • Guest editorial for SQL Server Central
  • Two blog posts: one about a recent trip to Norway for a SQL Saturday and one on a VMWare SQL Workshop

I look to my wife, show her my list, hoping she will say something to ease my anxiety. She merely raises her eyebrow and indicates her own list, against which mine is but a mote in God's eye. There will be no comfort. I have gotten myself into this. I have overcommitted. Back to work.

It's 10PM. The deadlines loom. I sigh wearily and scan back over my list, feeling that if I don't complete at least one item tonight, all will be lost. Suddenly my wife, perhaps sensing my rising panic, says to me, calmly, "How long would it take to write the editorial?"

In a flash, I recall an account, published in Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, of how Isaac Asimov, prolific writer though he was, had once got into a panic, fearing that he would not be able both to attend a prestigious science award at Harvard University that evening, and meet a looming deadline for an editorial. His wife had very calmly asked him the same question mine had just asked me. His answer was "15 minutes", at which point he sat down, knocked out the editorial, got dressed and made it to the party with time to spare.

It is a surreal moment. Determination replaces the fear in my eyes, and I give my wife the same answer as Asimov gave his. And with that…and with these, the final lines of my editorial, I scratch one item off my list. I leave you with the thought that at times when you push yourself beyond your own boundaries and limitations, you can and will, somehow and from somewhere, find the inspiration you need to complete one more item on your list, and keep moving forward. Each time you do, spare a few moments to take pleasure in accomplishing yet another task you set for yourself.

It's 10.25PM. I am no Asimov. Perhaps just a Houdini.

Rodney Landrum (Guest Editor).

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