No, this is not a list of my three life goals. Thank you for thinking that filing is one of my life goals. This is a list of the top three most exhausting and dangerous things I've ever done. While climbing Mt. Washington certainly came with its own risks (i.e. freezing to death and bears), and childbirth by C-section was no picnic (yes doctor, please do put my uterus back in), filing (particularly shifting files in order to make room for more) has the potential for some serious injuries all its own. First of all, we're not talking about a few manila folders here. We're talking folders that are a foot wide and weighing in at 25 lbs. That's heavier than my fattest cat, and four of them pretty much equal a dusty cardboard version of myself. Plus they are packed in tighter than sardines in a Space Bag.
So, in order to remove just one file from the cabinet, just one file out of the fifty others that I also need to remove, I take my dainty little fingers and I grab a folder by about an inch of cardboard on both sides. I inch it up until my fingers are turned into shaky overcooked pieces of ziti, and then I jam one hand down in between the files, all the way down to the elbow, and propel the beast up and out. It is at this point that the tender underside of arm, the part that looks to be home to some important arteries, gets sliced by the metal rail on the side of the drawer. This rail exists to hold up your hanging file dividers, but it also exists to fall out and then not fit back into the slots that it was in loosely enough to have fallen out of. As a result, it also exists to smash things. Meanwhile, with the sudden loss of 25 lbs of weight, I am also in danger of having a filing cabinet just outright fall on me.
So this is how I see it: When I gave birth I was in a hospital surrounded by professional medical staff. When I hiked Mt. Washington I was surrounded by other hikers, the Cog Railway, and probably a few mountain hermits who'd be willing to lend me a helping hand and a bowl of squirrel stew. At the office it would probably be 2-6 hours before anybody even noticed that I wasn't around.