Friday, February 17, 2006

Comencing My Climb from the Volunteer Abyss

That's right, WTM's. I have been in a huge BLACK HOLE - that of the VOLUNTEER ABYSS - that which I have sworn off for the rest of eternity. Why, you might ask, did I overcommit to such a ridiculous level? I have been asking myself that very question for the last 6 weeks. As I wallowed in the depths of volunteer hell, feeling a mixture of self-pity, stupidity, guilt (for all of the drive-thru meals and the disheveled looking state of my household), pride (yes, pride - I DID at least do a good job with my volunteer nightmare!), envy (toward all of the women who KNOW HOW TO SAY NOOOOOO!) and regret, I told myself repeatedly that I would never get myself into this situation again. Ever, ever, ever. Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Oh, I know women like Tacky Princess. They always overcommit, complain about it, swear they'll never do it again, but then they do it all again anyway." That truly does not describe me. I do volunteer - perhaps even a bit more than I should. However, never to the extent that I have just recently. I had two monumental projects come to a head at exactly the same time (long story). Of course, I had to go and get deathly ill on top of it all. After all, where's the fun in just being overwhelmed while still perfectly healthy?! Far better to have a hacking cough, the chills and incessant vomiting. You've got to keep things interesting, right? Add to that a traveling husband and crazy busy children! So, I now raise my right WTM hand to you and do solemnly take the following oath: The next time someone asks me to volunteer for anything that I feel would require more than a couple of hours of my precious time, I will sweetly reply, "No, I'm sorry. That won't work for me and my family right now." And I will leave it at that. I will offer no further explanation because that is unnecessary. I will then proceed to change the subject to something like, "Have you been following college basketball this season?" Or, "How about that Sean White - the Flying Tomato? They say he's the Dan Jennings of Olympic snowboarding!" You get the idea. It doesn't get much safer than that. For now, though, I am basking in the glory of reasonably full nights of sleep and the thought that I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and by golly, people like me (at least a few...)! Stuart Smalley's got nothin' on me! My hand is finished being raised up in volunteerism for a while, and that feels AWESOME! Sorry about never getting to the meat of Organization 101. Volunteer Hell tends to preclude one from having any modicum of organization of one's own, let alone advising others of how to get there themselves. Perhaps down the road a bit. Right now, I'm just not doing anything I don't feel like doing. Does that sound selfish? Tough toenails, sisters! A girl's got to save her sanity now and then, right?! Talk soon!


Anonymous Jane said...

Hey--you ARE a good person for doing all this volunteer work. And it's certainly not a crime to say your family and your health need to come first for a while.

I had a volunteer commitment that had lasted 8 years--for a local organization that I dearly love--and I "went on hiatus" a couple of years ago, not too long after our kids moved in with us. I told them "goodbye, but not forever...I'll be back when the kids are older." And I will.

2/18/2006 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think u should just tell them ur husband gave u a tiem out n u have 2 sit in the basement awhile :o)

2/18/2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger LLA said...

Yay for you! Keep practicing that line though, don't let your resolve weaken!

We're proud of you....

2/18/2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I stopped volunteering for things a loooong time ago. I made the mistake of founding a group at my university last year and it's been a lot of work. I had to give it up this past semester. Once in a while I'll volunteer for things at my daughters' school but only if I don't have to organize anything!

Remember that you have to take care of yourself first!

2/18/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous LaDonna said...

I have always maintained for myself that 2 years at one volunteer position is enough regardless of how well it is going. Fresh ideas and faces are needed. Next year I am done with organizing blood drives at the high school and running the store at the middle school. This year I am not organizing the tennis round robin fund raiser or the concession stand at swim meets.
Keep up your resolve. Others can and will step up!

2/19/2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Good for you.

2/19/2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

I always say that my biggest contribution to society is to raise my children. Once that is done I'll THINK about volunteering.

2/20/2006 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m somewhat split about people doing volunteer work, sure it seems to be good for the community. But at the same time people doing it always seem slightly confused, morally dented, like they are on a guilt trip.

It’s like women who can’t afford to wear Prada, but buys it anyway. They wear the stuff like a shield to cover up their lack of character, or small breasts.

Not to mention the result of the actual work, often they work upon people with low status. Try to better them and change their ways, or to give them trinkets. Every man has an inbuilt ability to take care of himself, and to substitute that mans own abilities with automatic dispensing of finished goods is what children needs. And unless they are corrupted by little miss goodie-good, they will grow out of it. To carry on beyond childhood seems to me to be a corruption of that mans very soul.

Well that’s my two cents worth, I’m sure some people appreciate your work

3/16/2007 6:42 PM  

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