Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I almost bought the sauce

Really. Not hit the sauce but bought the sauce. There's a difference.

Is it just the end of the school year that leaves me so mentally and physically tired? And crabby? And bitter?

To help with this diagnosis, wrap your mind around this.

Tomorrow night is Open House and the Science Fair. Our PTAish group, of which I am (for a few more weeks!!!) president, is hosting a spaghetti dinner beforehand. We give families a chance to sit down and enjoy a home-cooked dinner together without having to cook (or clean up, for that matter); families who commute fairly sizable distances (there are lots, including the Figs) can meet their kids out at school for dinner without having to pick them up, drive home or out to a restaurant, and then hoof it back to school in time; and we make a little money for the school (heard about California's budget problems???).

We've done this a couple of times a year for the past three years. It's not brain surgery. I go into my usual do-it mode and send out an email announcement; print up signs; make a crap-load of meat sauce; and pre-cook pasta. I have a volunteer on board to make pesto and another to make garlic bread. Tomorrow on my way out to school in the afternoon (it's also my carpool drive in the morning) I will pick up frozen lemonade and half-and-half. When I arrive at school, I will make coffee; put on the water for tea; mix up the lemonade; locate and set up dishes, mugs, cups, napkins; warm up the sauce; put on water for the pasta; and set up chairs and tables. I will most likely be there there by myself. If I'm lucky, the principal will give me a hand. I do have a parent (who helps with everything) to help serve. People will no doubt step in to lend a hand collecting money, washing dishes, etc., but no one else has answered my call for set up, serving, or clean up. OR MARINARA SAUCE, goddamn it, until just this afternoon. The woman who offered to pick up a jar of bottled sauce from CostCo has no idea of the lifeline she threw me.

Of course it's the end of the year, and everyone is busy. But like I'm not??? My 3/4-time job is bleeding over to full-time as we scramble for strategies to cover work that will be left by coworkers whose contracts will not be renewed in a few months. My sister and her family of five will be here for dinner on Friday. Early Saturday morning we are leaving for the mountains. I am not sitting around on my ass.

I should delegate more, I'm told. Really? How? I don't know what else to say than "We need help in these areas. Please let us know if you can lend a hand."

But I'm drawing boundaries, if only for myself. My instinct when I checked my email this morning to find that no one was stepping forward on the marinara was (I'm embarrassed to admit) to whip up a homemade batch myself tonight. But I came to my senses and decided to buy some. And came then the volunteer who offered to buy it.

I'm looking forward putting energy where it is more needed and deserved: my work and, of course, my own family. Things are changing so quickly at my job, in ways that while sometimes painful are exciting and long overdue as well. I want to step off the mom track and back in. I have ideas and energy that I'm looking forward to putting back into the job that has given me so much but at which I've been mostly coasting since becoming a mother. I will continue to make spaghetti sauce but for my family and friends only.

Coming up next: Electrical appliances in the Fig kitchen conspire to crap out at the same time. Can a stick blender take the place of all of them? Tune in to see.


Purple Flowers said...

I'm glad someone came forward to buy a jar of sauce. Whew! Why should you do all the sweating alone? Have a great time in the mountains w/your family!

Trish said...

I hear you. This time of year makes me crazy.

Have a great time this weekend!

Cid said...

Do you think there is a connection between bloggers and volunteers? As if we don't already have enough on our plates we have committed to ourselves, at least, to post about how crazy, busy we already are.

carolyn said...

Here's my NEW mantra as I too have been PTA president etc...SIT ON YOUR HANDS!!! no more saying OK, I'll do it until you go home for 24 hours and think about it. If then you still want to do it and no one else have stepped up then you can raise your hands. And as I too think of how good it would be to have homemade whatever I remember that there are time to accept (jar, bottle, bow or canned ) help every now and again! :)

Ned said...

I saw a bumper sticker...SUV puzzled I read closely it wasn't a SUV vehicle, under it stated Stop Unnecessary Volunteering!