Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Learning to Say "No"

We all have people in our life for whom we will drop everything. We'll do anything for them, whether it's staying up until 2:00 am painting their bedroom, rocking them to back sleep when they have a bad dream, or staying up doing laundry, so the basketball uniform is ready for the early morning game.

My family tops my list. I hope my husband and kids know that. I would do anything for them. Really. I may complain and give them a bad time about the four dozen cupcakes they forgot to tell me they needed, but I will always do it. It's a mom thing.

I would do the same for my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, and my extended family. The same goes for a very special group of friends. You know who you are. You are the ones who can make my day a whole lot better with an unexpected cup of coffee or a random text. I would do anything for these people.

But any combination of these people is not a good thing.

Let me explain.

I would do anything for my kids, that's why I am in my second year as PTO secretary. I feel it's my responsiblity as their mom to be involved, and to make our school a better place. And since I have time, and because a friend recruited me, here I am.

Now the problem comes when a dear friend is also on that same PTO. In the past few days I have found myself staying up way too late putting the finishing touches on a power point presentation, giving said power point presentation to the entire school, designing and decorating 22 collection boxes, talking Brad into building a bean bag toss game, painting stars on that game, and writing dozens of emails and flyers to send home with the kids.

And that's just a few of the PTO duties I've been doing lately.

Yet, as I prepare to put a second coat of paint on my pathetic looking stars, I can't help but smile.

I am smiling because I am happy to help. I am happy that I am able to help. I have the time and the talent to be useful. That's such a big part of being in a community.

While I keep telling myself, I will say "no" more often, I know I'm only kidding myself. It will never happen. Because there are just too many people and causes that I love enough to drop everything for.

So, if nothing else, I hope my constant volunteering and my steady stream of "projects" can at least teach my children an important lesson. I want them to understand the value of helping others, and how helping others can actually make you feel pretty good about yourself.

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