I grabbed a few minutes to read Joy’s post and the comments from Brandi and Sarah and it got the old brain cells agitated. I started thinking about my own philosophy about things and realized I’m a member of the “Do it Right” group. I can’t do things halfway. It’s all or nothing.
My father is largely responsible for my attitude. I can still hear him saying, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” And he’d be angry. Or disappointed. That statement could really burn when it came from my Dad because it left me feeling inadequate and worthless. He didn’t lavish praise on any of us kids. It was difficult to get his admiration. Not that he was mean and nasty. He wasn’t. He was just very gruff and self-contained. And he’d usually shoo me away and do whatever task I was supposed to be doing himself. It would be done to his specifications because he wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Me? I think I brought some of that baggage with me. I want everything done to my specifications. I didn’t bring the gruff part along. I make it a point to let my family know that I love them but my praise comes too easily. I tell them I appreciate what they do even when it’s only done half-ass. The result is that I’ve come to rely on myself to “Do It Right.”
Where am I going with all this? I’m trying (while getting the boys through breakfast and showers and rushing around here getting ready for work) to think about why I have so much going on all the time and why I can’t seem to just take those small steps that help keep us healthy and happy. Is it because I really feel like it’s not worth doing at all if I can’t go charging ahead at full speed? And why do I always have to do so much? Is it because people know I’ll do it right? They know I’m going to make sure everything is taken care of and no one else has to worry about anything. Give it to Pat and it’ll get done.
I have to think about this today. It’s really striking a chord. I’m thinking about how little my husband and family will be doing today and how much I’m going to be doing and the scales are waaayyy out of balance.
Gotta run. More later.
8:47 – It’s like the calm before the storm. Today is a relatively stress free day. I have to get ready for Saturday School this week but that’s about all that’s hanging over my head for today.
Back to what I was thinking about earlier…I got to school and tracked down the custodian to let me in the old Home Ec room that’s equipped with stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers. I have three big tablecloths that belong to the school that I need to wash because I used them for the NHS Induction Ceremony Tuesday night. I walked in and it was like looking at my laundry room at home. There was a huge pile of tablecloths on a table. The dryer was packed with cold, crumpled up tablecloths. The washer was full of tablecloths that had run the cycle and been abandoned. Since it’s early morning and school just started 15 minutes ago, they obviously have been there for a while. I emptied the dryer and added to the pile on the table. Then I took the tablecloths in the washer and put them in the dryer. Finally, I was able to start washing the ones I used Tuesday evening.
Now…get this….ROTC has fifty tablecloths that are used for the Annual Banquet dinner that’s being held next Friday. Last year, one of the parents and I shared in the overwhelming task of getting the tablecloths washed and ironed for the banquet. I told Sarge and Major I WOULD NOT do it again this year. I told them they needed to get the cadets to take care of it. They have 150 students and they should be able to get 50 tablecloths washed and ironed.
So I’m staring at all these tablecloths and I find myself wanting to fold them, for cryin out loud. It’s like “Why can’t anyone do anything like they’re supposed to????” Why bother to wash them at all if you’re just going to pile them up in a heap and let them get all wrinkled?
I went down to the ROTC classroom and Sarge and Major are sitting on their butts chatting. It’s their planning period and they don’t have any students. I needed to pick up a list of items they need for the banquet and I brought the tablecloths to their attention.
Major: “Can you believe these kids??? They’re so lazy it’s pitiful! I told them to take care of the tablecloths. If they want to have them all wrinkled up, that’s the way it’s going to be. I’m not their mama. I’m not going to run along behind them making sure they do things the way they’re supposed to. If the general shows up and speakers from all over the state and the tablecloths look like sh&t, maybe they’ll learn a lesson. If they’re humiliated with the way the place looks, that’s on them.”
Me: “That’s all fine and good but it’s our school and it’s our reputation. We can’t provide a banquet for 200 people and have the tables all looking like crap. You’re going to have to make sure they take care of the tablecloths. I don’t want to explain to the principal that everything looked like sh*t because the kids didn’t take care of it. I need you to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.”
Sarge: “I’m with major. If they can’t do it right, they deserve whatever happens. If they’re embarassed, that’s just too bad.”
Me: “I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about our school, our principal, ME. I don’t want to be embarassed. I don’t want to be associated with something that comes across as a disaster. And I really believe they’ll do a good job if you just make sure they understand what they have to do.”
At this point, I started looking over the list they gave me:
30 pats of butter
30 packets of salt and pepper
“What’s with this list? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would we need butter? David will take care of all of that and I don’t know why we’d need 30 pats even if we did have to buy it? 30 packets of salt and pepper? What’s that about? We have 50 shaker sets. Why would we need packets? Why do we need 100 forks but just 50 knives? This entire list doesn’t make any sense.”
Major: “Sh&t!!! You see what I mean? These kids can’t do anything right! They were supposed to go through the storage room and look at what we have and what we need to pick up. I don’t have any idea where they came up with this crap!”
And then I…..like I always do……found myself shaking my head in disgust and saying the same damn thing that I always say:
“Forget it. I’ll just do it myself. I’ll get David to come out here tomorrow and do an inventory and he and I will figure out what we need. It’s got to be done and I need that list.”
So what’s it all about? Why do I do these things? Why do I let myself get so involved with so many different things that there’s no time left for the things that really matter? My health is important. Exercise is important. Cooking healthy meals is important but I don’t have time for all that because I’m too busy doing all the stuff everyone else isn’t doing.
I really need to see a shrink….