What happens when you can’t say no.

Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees.  I get so wrapped up in what is going on in my own life I don’ always see what is going on with others. After all, I work two part time jobs, I go to school full time, I blog, and I have 4 kids, three of whom still live at home.  And of those three kids, two are in Boy Scouts, one is on the high school swim team, one is trying to get his learner’s permit and one has a part time job he needs rides to and from. Oh, and don’t forget the weekly allergy shots, random medical appointments, and trying to have a social life…..  All of these activities require a certain amount of time and attention…..and brain energy.  And that is what seems to spread around the least….the brain energy.
It is as if my brain becomes a sponge that can only absorb so much and then starts leaking…….sometimes a little, sometimes a lot….it varies. I have to say, just the mere fact that everything gets done, (even if it is late) is a small miracle….. I have lists….lots and lots of lists……sometimes more than one each day, although I try to consolidate regularly.  I carry a day planner everywhere I go.  I have little notebooks in my purse…..   And the worst part of this shit???  I do it to myself……

I hate to tell anyone “no”.  I have some amazing friends.  I love them all.  I would do anything for them.  Recently Bluebell and I were at a party and I realize that some of our friends are taking their family to Disney World for a week.  They have a dog and a cat.  I ask what they are doing with the animals while they are gone.  They tell me they are boarding the dog, but they are leaving the cat at home.  At that moment it is as if I have a mental seizure.  For a brief instant I have a huge case of amnesia and forget the 5 million things I have going on in my life.  Picture a person mentally displaced from their body.  Floating above their body watching it do things they have no control over.  That is how I feel as I hear myself say, “Oh, we will be happy to check in on the cat while you are gone.”  Bluebell gives me a look like, “Woman, have you lost your mind?”  and all I can do is  smile like the village idiot and make a feeble gesture.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my friends, and I am happy to help them out.  That is not the problem.  You see the problem is that I am so busy that Bluebell ends up keeping the promise I have made, and God love her, she loves me enough to do that.

AND just so I don’t appear too much like a loser who leaves her partner to take care of the commitments I overbooked myself for, I did go over and hang out with the cat a couple of times so Bluebell wouldn’t have to do my job completely.  The cat really is sweet and I enjoyed hanging out with him.  I was also very happy to help my friends, so it was a win-win.  🙂

That is my problem.  I always want to help people.  I work for a dermatologist doing skin care procedures.  I LOVE my clients!!  I would do almost anything for them.  I have worked on a Sunday afternoon, I have worked at 8:15 in the morning, I have worked at 5:30 in the evening!  I have done free procedures, I have given away products I have purchased for myself.  (Thank goodness my boss doesn’t read my blog…..)  I do this because I TRULY TRULY believe in paying it forward.  I know that good will come to me if I do good for others.  However, I don’t do good for others to get back for myself.  I do it for a completely different selfish reason.

I do for others because it makes me feel good.  Simple as that.  I could be having a super crappy day.  Maybe I had a horrible ride in to work.  Maybe Bluebell and I were fighting.  Maybe yet again I had to yell at my kid about his grades.  Anything and everything could have gone wrong, yet when I walk into a room with my client, I am happy to be there with them and it is all about them.  I know that what I do makes them feel better about how they look, which intrinsically helps them feel better about themselves, which in turn fuels how they see themselves and how they relate to the world.  WOW!! That is heavy stuff for a 30 minute chemical peel or microdermabrasion appointment, but that is how I see it.

So I guess even though I am my own worst enemy and constantly get myself or Bluebell into trouble by always overbooking us and working when I could be with my family, in the big picture being my own worst enemy is a pretty darn good thing!

My random brain

If you are anything like me, you have lots of random thoughts going on in your brain at any given time.  Sometimes my brain is a scary place, I know it scares Bluebell, I am pretty sure it scares the NewYorRican, and I know it sure as hell scares me!!  I sometimes wonder if everyone else’s brain is as random as mine, so sometimes I share my thoughts with others so I can see if they think the way I do.

Just the other day I walked over to the NewYorRican’s house, and was  thinking on the way there – I mean really, what else could I do…well, I could talk to myself out loud, but then I am just solidifying my less than stellar grip on normalcy to anyone walking or driving by.  This is my neighborhood after all, so that is not the best idea.  If I want to talk to myself out loud I need to go to someone else’s neighborhood, so people who see me will think, “That chick is crazy as shit, I sure am glad she doesn’t live in my neighborhood”- anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, I was walking over to the NewYorRican’s house and thinking.  So to my mind my thought processes makes sense, but I am sometimes unsure so when I get to her house, I’m all, “Hey I am going to tell you what I was thinking on the walk over here.  Tell me if it seems normal to you.”  She’s all, “Sure girl”, giving me confidence that as my bestie she will be nonjudgmental……..

So I start telling her my thoughts and how one thought worked it’s way to the next.  It seemed like a perfectly plausible chain of thoughts to me, but I watched her face change from open and listening, to confused, to just plain horrified….(so much for besties who hide the truth for the benefit of their friend……sigh…..)

When I was done telling her my thoughts, her face looked something like the picture above.

Just imagine the face in the picture with with long dark brown hair, a beautiful caramel Latina skin tone, and voila…Janet Leigh becomes The NewYorRican.
So here are the thoughts I had exactly as I thought them:

“It is a pretty day outside, I really like how the leaves look.  It wasn’t this pretty last year, it was too warm.  Oh my gosh, the office at work today was so warm.  I was hot and sweaty, gross. I wonder if I was hot and sweaty because I haven’t taken my Mensosense in a few days?  Oh gosh, I think I am almost out of Mensosense, I better get the Vitamin Shoppe to get some more. Oh, maybe I can go there tomorrow when I see that patient at the Virginia Beach Office.  Oh and I really need to stop at BJ’s.  The boys don’t have any snacks and I should get them some.  You know, that reminds me that I need to ask the boys if that necklace I found on the floor in the hall belongs to any of them.  Gosh, you know, I haven’t called the jewelry store to check to see if my jewelry has come back from the repair shop yet. Maybe I can stop there on my way back from Virginia Beach tomorrow when I see that patient and get the boys some snacks.  You know the boys really need to clean their rooms tonight when they get home from school. Oh yeah tonight is Monday, Bluebell won’t be home tonight, she has class.  What am I going to make for dinner?  I better check that when I get back from having coffee with The NewYorRican.  I wonder what she is making for dinner.  Did I remember to tell her about that thing that happened last week? Gosh it sure is a pretty day out today.”

And then boom, I have arrived at her front door.  Please tell me I am not the only one whose brain works like that.

Unexcused school absence

Do you have kids who go to school?  Don’t you hate when they have unexcused absences?  I do!!  Especially when they were given a note by me to give to the Office to excuse them.  Actually only one of my children does not turn in excuse notes…..my 15 year old, Joe Cool!  I check as he is walking out the door to go to school in the morning:

Me:  “Do you have the note to give to the lady in the office?”

Joe:  “Yes, mom.”

Me:  “Are you SURE you have the note?”

Eye roll, sigh, then “Yes, mom I am sure I have the note.”

Three hours later I get an email alert that the kid has an unexcused absence from school the previous day….

The conversation continues when he gets home from school:

Me:  “I got an email that you had an unexcused absence.”

Joe:  “It’s ok mom”

Me:  “Did you take the note to the office?”

Joe:  “No, I forgot.”

Me:  “Yeah, I figured that when I saw the note I wrote for you laying on your bed.”  Then I roll my eyes and sigh.

Hey, two can play that game…..

The next morning we have more of the same.

Me:  “Do you have the note today, son?”

Joe:  “Yes mom”

Me:  “Really????  Show it to me.”

Joe: As he is hugging me goodbye….(suckup)…. “Can’t mom, no time. I will miss the bus.  I know you don’t want to drive me to school.  Bye.”

I just can’t figure out why the kid won’t take the note to the office.  I have my theories, but I suppose I will never know for sure….

I am just really glad that he didn’t get so many that he had a Saturday detention. Because then I would have had to drive him and pick him up!!