Aug 17, 2007

I Stood On Sand Yesterday

I implemented my new 'just say no' concept, sort of. Yesterday. With the upcoming homeschool week beginning, I know I have to learn to say no to friends when they ask me to do something that will take away from my focus on my family. In the past, I've always gladly made sewing alterations, watched children, had that girls' lunch, whatever. Then I'd stress out and type all night long because I wasn't typing during the day. Be so fatigued the next day I couldn't even grab a nap. It's never good for me or for my family when I do this, but I'm a 'yes' person.

Yesterday one of the gals in my work carpool had scheduled appointments on her drive day. Then asked if I could have my work finished about an hour earlier for pickup and delivered late in the afternoon rather than right after pickup. I emailed her that I would try to complete my typing but wouldn't promise it (requiring me to stay up until 1 am and rise again at 7 to complete---was getting up early anyway to babysit for a friend, lol). On this particular night, I had just stood in a funeral visitation line for over two hours, my day had been stacked like sardines and I was getting a very late start to begin with.

Said driver has been routinely known to make trades, bring work back late, even deliver it late from time to time (missing deadline for all of us). And while irritating, it wasn't earth-shattering. But now scheduling is the only way I can do life and still keep my family a priority. I thought it would be a good time to email her. I replied yes, bring it back late but please in the future don't schedule anymore appointments when you know you're driving. She has a child with many medical issues, so I know this is hard to do, but I also know this is business and I need a boundary. And I felt better for it. Ahhh! I've finally said how I feel, how my week works and what I expect.

Mere minutes after the email, she phoned. I again stated where I was at with this and why I needed more notice. I began with 'can I be honest with you?'. She, being a very nice woman said 'sure' in a very very unsure voice. Darnnit! Much easier to hear 'what? what do you need to say, Stacey--spit it out!'. Now, I'm not a mean person, I am open to things coming up from time to time, just not all the time. I explained. She cried. She didn't mean to cry, she was just overwhelmed. She apologized profusely for her erradic scheduling. Crudd! Why is it when I decide to be honest I get a very amazingly kind person to be honest with? Still maintained that I needed more notice. She listened.

And she is more overwhelmed than I can possibly imagine with all the doctor visits, bills coming in from every direction and her own health issues.

So I found myself standing my ground but before I hung up, I was standing on sand.

Because maybe sometimes it's a good thing to stand on sand. Unlike pavement, I can change things around with sand. I can get it wet and turn it into an amazing creation or carve a different path with my toes. I can sift it through my fingers and let the sand fall wherever. Or I can just throw it into the wind. I can't do that with pavement. I didn't want to be the hard-nosed mean so-called Christian who will pray for you when you're down but not lend a hand; tell you I care, but hey, do not let your troubles get in my way. At the same time I don't want the problems I take on for others to become problems my family shoulders because I'm stressed.

I finished my work early, she can pick it up anytime she's ready. She knows she can go to her appointment and return my work just whenever, I'll tweak my day in those instances. And she knows now I just need a little more routine and a lot more notice if it's changing. I think compromise is good and a very good way to end my week. It's been a long one.

In honor of 30 years gone, Elvis, this song's for you! Yes, yes, I am an Elvis fan--sans the velvet pictures and commemorative bourbon flasks and stuff.


D... said...

What a beautiful post. And so true!

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

Wow Stacey... I love that post. Standing on sand. You're so right. I really understood this post and so know that it's absoutely 100% true! Thanks for writing this... love it. And I love the tribute to ELVIS!!
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues

Cat said...

Okay, whose funeral did you go to? was it for that Boy from Lee's Summit that used to go to Ray-pec? Derrick.

Greg didn't know him. But Corle did. that was sad.

girl, you need to slow down!!! LOL

I miss you!

Girl Gone Wild said...

Alright, Gidge! How did you know that I SO needed to hear that? Hello! I play the guilt thing all the time (especially with church people), but 'standing on sand' brought it into perspective. I LOVE that analogy.

You truly deserve your Thinking award!!

Mom gets her port in today and we're off looking for wigs, scarves, etc tomorrow.

Hope you have a great weekend!!! Tell the Cod-meister Happy Birthday from the Gi!

Cat said...

Oh thats right, you did mention your neighbor had died. Did Nikki know that boy?

Just got back from Grocery shopping, spend 230.00 and I know it won't get me through the weekend. LOL I will be back for more.

Misty Dawn said...

I am very like you in this aspect - I used to never ever say 'no' - in fact, I'm still trying very hard to learn how. Good for you, and I love the standing on sand - perfect!

Sharon said...

I like that - standing on sand. I'm going to remember that one. I think most of us struggle with when and how to say no. I could learn from your example as I struggle with the right time to say no.
I'm glad you were able to be firm and protect the needs of your family yet remain compassionate enough to understand where the other woman was coming from.
Glad to see you're an Elvis fan too...I had to dig out my photos from my Memphis weekend which, of course, included a trip to Graceland!

Funky Art Queen said...

Hang in there girl! You are so sweet. I guess it's a daily battle within to make sure we are doing what is right and what we can handle and still manage our own lives/families.

melody is slurping life said...

Wonderful analogy and one that is sure to stick in my mind. Thank you for it.

kelly said...


I stand on sand every day. It makes for strong calves!

I always joke that I need to make a sign that says NO! and hang it around my neck. I say yes way too much. I had lunch today with my "super" and she said, "I don't care how much you say no, you MUST be on the curriculum writing committee this year." I just smiled my NO! smile. Doesn't sound fun to me. Sounds like a lot of work, and yuk!

I'm on my way out for my date. Will email later and let you know how it went!

My friends Tina and Angie just left, said I looked amazingly beautiful. Hmm. I love my friends. :)


Bubba's Sis said...

You are a good person, Miss Stacey. I think sand is a good thing (unless it's in your bathing suit, and then it's notsogreat....)

Love Elvis! Long live The King!