Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Haven't Forgotten You

Nor have I forgotten how to type. It's just been a busy week, complicated by a not-so-lovely reaction to my antibiotics. I will spare you the details, mostly because I can't make an intestinal track at war sound as funny as Dan does.

And to tell you the truth, I'm kinda laying low at the moment. No, not felled by illness. Sort of overcome by the joy which comes when you free yourself from a commitment you really didn't chose to make. No, I haven't found another job. Yet in an odd way, my current job took an interesting turn this week and gave me an opportunity to jump ship on something I never wanted in the first place: being the Chairman of a Committee which I didn't volunteer for which was working me to death with excess work I had to do at home. After work.

Bringing home extra work is not nice for Hubby and DaBoys. It is a killer to one's Blog and creativity to boot.

So this week, even though we got the speech currently so popular in the American workplace, "Our budget has been cut...again. And we'll have to tighten our belts and work weirder hours", things may be looking up. I talked to another agency yesterday and after a few minutes, we realized we could pool our talents and resources to benefit both of our groups of senior citizens. Then I made the decision, after much thought and mental hand wringing, to jettison the one thing sucking the life out of me: the Chairmanship.

Oh, most of you men are rolling your eyes and wondering how hard can it be to say, "Sorry. Too much work of my own to do. Can't do yours too." Women are wired differently. And then add what I lovingly call my Mom's "curse", which has been used, quite effectively, on me since my brain, which never forgot:

If a job is once begun
Never leave it 'til it's done.
Be the labor great or small
Do it well or not at all.

It took doing my job, half of a co-worker's job, a new appointment to a State committee by my Boss and the Chairmanship of a Committee I never wanted to be on to finally make me stand up and scream, "NO MORE!"

Okay, so it was a mental stand and scream moment. Still, it felt good.

So I politely, which Mom also taught us, explained to the group in an e-mail that my plate was beyond full, my workload for my PAYING job had increased and I wasn't someone who did things half way, so I was stepping down.

Interestingly, the area Representative, the guy who hasn't answered my e-mails for guidance in 3 weeks, was the first one to answer with, "You really should reconsider. You're the only one who can lead this team."

Yeah. The team which didn't volunteer either. A team which has dropped from 20 to 8 in five months because they ran out of patience before I ran out of time.

And yet, I feel no guilt. Oh, they'll try but you, my blogger friends, will urge me to remain strong. Mom will even absolve me of guilt because she knows exactly what kind of working conditions I've been experiencing lately. My conscious will allow me an "exception to the rule" moment on "If a job is first begun....". And I will be happy.

Ironically I just got another e-mail, from my poor, stunned Vice Chair, who will have to assume my responsibilities. "Speechless! Are you sure we can't just share the workload?"

I'm sure. Because I've found my voice. And it felt wonderful to say, "Sorry, not this time. But YOU are doing an excellent job!"


steven said...

hope - i used to be voluntold, or compelled through connection to accept all sorts of "opportunities" that were really excellent on one level but really damaging on many others. happily i have been quiet enough to not draw attention to myself and so the offers have faded away and i am left with very few. i know i am a boy but i will tell you i very get your need to take these things and see them through. the question i ask myself and i'll ask you is . . . if you leave then so what? someone else will step in. or it will die a natural death. you have chosen the healthiest and wisest path for yourself - to me that's a job well-done!!! steven

Anonymous said...

Bravo my friend. I'm glad you decided to do something for yourself that makes YOU happy. Everyone should do that. Saying No is sometimes the best response. There is so much more to life than always being and doing things for others and one of the best things is doing things for yourself. I salute you my friend :)

Titus said...

Oh hope, so may bells are ringing, and I am immensely proud of you.
"No" is so much harder to say than "Yes", but you did it, with dignity and even better, with no guilt.

I, too, salute you!

Anonymous said...

You have to keep back a little of what you offer, that much is sure. Good to see you have some reserves in stock now. :)

Susan at Stony River said...

Congratulations -- I wondered if you gearing up for one heck of a Superbowl party (trying not to worry about your flu/cold/sickies!)

For over two years I was a secretary to a support group of caregivers, OMG the work in that, grantwriting, newsletters, meetings, everything. I kept doing it because so many people told me how much it meant to them and I *knew* nobody would step in after me. Finally I couldn't carry it anymore, and I was right, the next person didn't do close to half what I did. Whooooooa...the world did NOT end, it was great! My world got a whole lot easier anyhow.

I hope you enjoy your extra time, and that more good things come your way soon!

savannah said...

bless your heart, sugar! i sooooo know what y'all are talkin about! xoxoxo

Mama Zen said...

Good for you! I know exactly the type of guilt you're describing, and it's a killer!

mapstew said...

Annette did the (almost) very same thing yesterday. She was involved with an addictions group and it was really bringing her down, physically and emotionally. And even though she hate quitting, she realised that her other (paid) work was suffering.

We all have to say 'NO' at times, and not feel bad about it.

Good for you Missus!


Monkey Man said...

Volunteer posts can be hard to let go of when they give us that feeling of "giving something back to the community". But once the become a burden or an obligation, we are best to jetison them as you have done. Family First.

jinksy said...

That little word 'NO' is one of the hardest, but best, to learn and USE!

hope said...

steven, isn't it a sad comment on society that if you're dedicated and can complete a task, all the world [at work] thinks it's suddenly your JOB to do so? Sigh. But thanks for the makes me feel like I made the right decision.

Wow Thom, a "Bravo" and a "salute". :) Now I know I'm on the right path.

Titus, I swear I almost did a dance when I hit "SEND" if the jailer had left the keys in the door and I figured out how to turn them. ;)

Matthew, I definitely needed to hit "recharge" on the ME button.

Susan, now perhaps I'll finally have time to do what I WRITE!

Peggy said...


Finding that inner voice that keeps talking to you whether your listening or not is so wonderful, but actually standing up and putting yourself and your family fisrt i a milestone!
I was also told to finish what I started! So my ears are ringing after reading your post!

hope said...

savannah, I swear us southern gals have an even MORE difficult time with not helping folks out..until we see it as abuse. :)

MamaZen, you're right and the world won't stop spinning because I yelled "Enough!" ;)

Map, tell Annette I find it inspiring that we revolted simultaneously. :) That actually helps somehow.

Monkey Man, I agree! It probably would've been easier to say NO if we had children but my "guys" [one 2 legged, 2 four legged] deserve more attention.

jinsky I'm practicing NO so I can still do good. :)

Peggy, I wasn't the only one CURSED with that saying? :) Still a family joke.

Okay y'all say a prayer or whatever tomorrow so that I don't laugh hysterically when the woman who thought she was in charge of me tries to change my mind and I refuse. Graciously of course.

Peggy said...


I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, Monday, more then I usually do.
Try and keep your composure, but if a little grin makes it past your lips, what the harm!

Radge said...

Well done, life is too short.

hope said...

Thanks Radge! And it feels great to be free from it.

Nishant said...

you have chosen the healthiest and wisest path for yourself - to me that's a job well-done!!!

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