Monday, July 16, 2007

Cleaning House

Just as the cleaning of a home brings a sense of order and peace to the resident, so cleaning the inside of my head brings a sense of order and peace to, well, me.

I am inherently mistrustful of things that happen too quickly. If it's fast, it's probably not done well or thoroughly, and it's probably going to need fixing again. However, when a train goes off the tracks, putting it back immediately is usually a successful endeavor.

Last week, I went off the tracks. So totally off the tracks that I blocked out certain things I had agreed to do. I even forgot an appointment I apparently agreed to last week that I was supposed to go to my aunt's and uncle's yesterday. My aunt called me last night asking if I was coming - I hadn't even remembered agreeing to go.

I told her I was very sorry - that I hadn't written it down, and so when I was looking at my calendar yesterday and Saturday, I didn't realize I was supposed to be there. I told her that I would bring dinner next time since I was the one that had totally messed up.

On one hand, I think she was ticked because she'd gone to a lot of trouble to fix a nice dinner both weeks (I didn't go last week either because I had just gotten back, and I didn't realize that she expected me the day I returned from a 12-hour drive - she did).

On the other hand, I think she was a little relieved that even 40-something year olds forget things like that. Plus, she was going to call my mom anyway to confirm when my mom is coming for her visit, so that was probably just as well.

And on that, I have started working on what happened the last time I was at my parents' house, and as far as the boundary problem, I decided that one healthy boundary I can set is to tell my mom that I am not going to listen to her complain about being married to Dad. I love them both, and while I recognize they both have imperfections, I will not listen to either one of them criticize or tear down the other one. Either deal with it between the two of them, or seek outside assistance from a qualified and trusted person, but do not dump that crap on me. There. That’s one.

The other things I decided I could do were 1) get a quiet time diary from the bible institute I attended back in 1983 (which I ordered today); and, 2) get involved in something specific at the church that I can commit to doing for at least a year, other than the choir.

The church I belong to has a library of its own, and I've always loved libraries. They were places of refuge and places from which to explore the world without leaving the comfort of my own place.

The lady who has been in charge of the church library for what is apparently a very long time needs help, especially since the last donation Sunday yielded a contribution for a computer system for the library. She can only see out of one eye, and she can't do the computer work for long without a break, so I volunteered to help her - not just with the computer stuff but with the library as well.

I learned how the card system works, and I learned that I can help with the cross-referencing and indexing of subject matter when they get the computer, which will help people who want to research a particular subject but don't know what is out there on what they want.

Since that's how my brain works, I thought that would be a good idea. At least for a year or so - I don't want to just jump in and out of things, but I also want to try different things and see where my talents are best used. The church also has a website, and I'd like to do something there, too, but I need to go slowly. There is nothing like agreeing to do too much too quickly to get a really bad case of burnout.......


Refugee said...

Yes, friend, stress can addle the brain a little, but you know what? You are doing a great job in doing something about it. I like the bounadry you set. It will protect you from being treated unfairly. The church library is a very good idea, too. Good for you, my friend!

lawyerchik said...

Thanks! It's weird to do that with my family - "good" weird but still weird.

I remember having to do that with my Dad before, because he used to complain about my mom, and it dawned on me that if he was telling stuff to me, he probably wasn't telling my mom, and how would she know if he didn't tell her?

I'm hoping this works - AND that getting out and doing things that I enjoy will make me feel stronger about the stuff I have to do that I don't enjoy so much.... :)