Saturday, May 16, 2009

Treading Water

This has been a rough week with my boss. The school finally made the announcement that I was leaving and for some reason that coincided with my boss giving me the silent treatment for 4 solid days. It's really hard to do my job as her assistant with her not speaking to me. But, I have been trying really hard to just accept that I have 5 more weeks and then I am moving on and this will just be a memory.

I have been really thinking hard about what I want out of life when we move. Right now I live in a city of about 130,000 people that swells to 250,000 in the summer from tourists. Traffic is so bad that we cannot walk or ride our bikes anywhere safely and our church is 8 miles away from our house. When we move, E's school will be two blocks away and the church will be .9 miles from the parsonage and the downtown area and NO busy roads. Our lifestyle is going to drastically change because of this, but also because Hubby is not getting a huge raise and money will be tight if I can't find a job. Realistically I only need to make $8,000 a year to live the same way we are now and still put a few hundred dollars a month away, so I am hoping I can find a part-time job that allows me to change the way my life has been. I'm looking forward to living simply.

So here is what I want out of my new life:

  • I want time to attend water aerobic or yoga classes at least 3 times a week.
  • I want time to learn to play my guitar.
  • I want time to really try to sell my children's stories. I sent them out to several publishers and actually got a personal ding letter giving me a few suggestions. (I know it was a ding, but the personal part gave me hope.)
  • I want to volunteer in E's school once a week.
  • I want a garden and to cook from scratch more.

All of these things don't seem like much to you, I am sure. But I am the woman who puts everyone else's needs before mine. Even when I don't want to, I do. It's a sickness. I have this disease called "Overly-Responsible-Enabilitis." It was driven home to me on Sunday when I was at church. The person who was supposed to take over church nursery duties for me (I watch nursery during Sunday School) never showed up. I kept telling people that I could not stay in the nursery because the choir needed me to sing, that someone else had to do it. Plus, I didn't want to do it because the church needs to stop relying on me to fill the gaps because in a few short weeks, all of those gaps are going to become damaging cracks. But no one would help out. And I ended up in nursery for the service because if I didn't do it, the person who was going to do children's church (which E attends) wouldn't have been able to do it because she would have taken her son hom. And the choir had to change songs 5 minutes before the service because they didn't have me. It was hell for someone with ORE.

Plus, part of me wonders why I should be allowed to have this life when so many other people don't. What makes me special? Damned low self-esteem. But then I circle back to "am I really asking for all that much?"

Does anyone know of a cure for ORE?


Erica said...

A mentor of mine from my congregation when I was growing up once told me that if I wanted something done right, I just had to do it myself. I repeated that philosophy to my now husband once, and he looked me straight in the eye and said "that's terrible advice."

My new philosophy is the best way to serve others is to first and foremost take care of yourself. This is working out much better for me :)

Anonymous said...

Well, you know you're unhappy dealing with things the way you do now.

You need to look at why you keep doing things that way. Are you afraid that you won't be liked or loved anymore?

You need to tell yourself that this is not rational, even though you feel it to your bones.

Every day, take one occasion where you would give in to appease someone and take the easy way out, and instead, push back. In a pleasant but firm way. And do not give in. The world will not end.

The more you do it, the easier and less uncomfortable it will be. Maybe keep a journal about it, write your feelings down so you can think about it.

They should have some kind of 12 step program. "Hi, I'm M, and I'm an enabler. It's been three months since I've been a doormat to someone." Or something like that. :)

I can't say that I ever totally got over the uneasiness I feel, but overall I feel much better about myself, and the sky has not fallen in.

C said...

I wait on tables for a living. Not that great of money nowadays, but it's helped me a ton with my ORE. For the first two months, I helped people out. I did all sorts of things for other people, bending over backwards to help with the littlest things.

And then one day I couldn't. I was busy, I was in pain from a slip, and I had my own demanding customers. You know what?

No one noticed. No one said "Hey, you didn't help me as much today, are you feeling okay? Is there anything that I can get for YOU?"

The world didn't fall apart. The day went on, and everybody did get what they needed. So I eventually stopped going out of my way to help people. I get what I can, and that's more than a lot of people do.

The world didn't fall apart because you didn't sing. They found another song, and the service went on. You picked what you could do, supervising the nursery, and took care of that. Because you could do that, another woman could do what she said would. And all those children had supervision.

All I'm saying is, do what you can. It's not necessary for you to obsess over things you can't change, because no one will know the difference.