Monday, March 29, 2010

Butterflies and Column IV Row 65,356

Main Entry: 1but•ter•fly
Pronunciation: \-ˌflī\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Date: before 12th century
1 : any of numerous slender-bodied diurnal lepidopteran insects including one superfamily (Papilionoidea) with broad often brightly colored wings and usually another superfamily comprising the skippers
2 : something that resembles or suggests a butterfly; especially : a person chiefly occupied with the pursuit of pleasure
3 : a swimming stroke executed in a prone position by moving both arms in a circular motion while kicking both legs up and down
4 plural : a feeling of hollowness or queasiness caused especially by emotional or nervous tension or anxious anticipation
5 : a defensive move by a goalie in ice hockey executed by dropping to the knees while spreading the lower legs outward

     I have sat with this definition for almost fourteen hours now. Not my idea, but a butterfly’s suggestion to tame the corporate world. Before the tumbler completed its turn in the office door, the pre 6 a.m. voices said it was not going to be a good day nor month end. The red light for voice mail appeared to have melted the handset on my phone. The work cell phone had been trying to electrocute me with its pocket vibrations while driving to work.
     Snapping the laptop into its little space station I remained faithful to the butterfly image. I confess, the insect definition bothered me- it was not ethereal or particularly beautiful. Butterflies have a way of mutating reality. I thought of how annoying insects were in their insidious ways of always popping up when you least need them – dinner party, guests, when your realtor is hosting an open house. They are like the French Revolution – covert, sly and fly under the radar. Ha! Today, I shall be the insect soul of the butterfly and fly under the radar. I would, moving on to definition two, unabashedly seek my own pleasure, laughter and fly above their despair. It shall not, it would not be mine.
    Diving into one of five spreadsheets, totaling well over 50,000 rows that I had to merge, pivot, and collapse into a four line table, I began to swim (definition three). My legs were jumpy as my toes were tapping, faster Beth, faster! No God! Please no, not the hour glass of program not responding! Like the goalie, I dropped to my knees, and admit, it isn’t the typical position of prayer, but deflect, not genuflect was the scream in my head. Saved!
     Task one done. The corporate summary completed. As I prepared to send it off to the corporate world that sees profits not people, a simple Ctrl-End command sent me to the column IV and row 65,356 on the Excel spreadsheet. And, that cell shall forever remain a treasure in my heart, for there, I pasted an image of a butterfly. I hid the row to keep it safe in its little cocoon, knowing it would soar with me.
     With a push of the Send button, my butterfly flew away and off I went to the video conference. As I walked into the room, there, in full magnification on the screen was my spreadsheet. Granted, only the tables needed were visible, but never, never, have I smiled and giggled during a finance call or any business meeting as I did today. For I, and I alone, could see a beautiful blue butterfly calling me to play.

And so we did. Namastè to the butterfly who gave me this gift.

butterfly. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved March 29, 2010, from