My Mistake(s)

If you know me, you know that I am a perfectionist, at least in the realm of doing the things I am supposed to do on time and without prompting.  I consider myself to be ultra-responsible.  I expect to remember correctly the things I am required to do, and then to do them.   Well, I think it must be the stress, but this month has been my month of mess-ups.  They’re not drastic mess-ups, but for me, it’s a lot, and the list keeps growing.

The first was this: Sometimes my catering boss has me stop at a quantity food/restaurant supply store closer to where I live on the way in to work, because her house is completely out of the way from it.  It’s a time-saver for me to just stop on my way in.  Last Monday was one of those days…she e-mailed me the shopping list as usual.  So, Monday morning, I happily show up at her house at 9AM on the dot as usual with absolutely NO cargo, because I completely forgot I was supposed to go.  Strike 1.

The second:  I had been scheduled to work a catering event this past Thursday night for at least two weeks.  Well, Wednesday I get a phone call from a lady I babysit for frequently, and she says, “I was just letting you know that we won’t need you to come tomorrow night because my grandmother passed away, and we will be going out of town.”  Ummm, OK.  I did not comment on the fact that I had absolutely no record or memory of the fact I was supposed to babysit for her on Thursday night, or on the fact that I most definitely would have left her in the lurch because I was scheduled to cater!  So, I’m thinking, “I’m sorry about your grandmother, but how convenient for me.”  (That’s a joke, OK?  I really am sad for her.)  I would say that God was covering for me since it all ended up being fine, but then that would be like saying that God killed her grandmother so that I wouldn’t have a schedule complication.  🙂  Anyway, I have never once double-booked myself with jobs before.  Strike 2.

Then today, I am balancing my checkbook with my online banking.  I go through everything and see that the payment I wrote down in my checkbook for my cell phone bill has not gone through, and I paid it on the 5th…at least, according to my checkbook.  So, I go log on to my online cell phone account, and sure enough, “Past Due” is stamped all over everything in red once I log in.  Oops.  So, I pretended to pay it, I guess?  Just wrote it down in my checkbook, and thought the money would magically float to the proper place.  I have also never once thought I paid a bill that I did not.  Strike 3. 

And then yesterday, I went to pick up the key to my new place.  My landlord has a mailbox at a privately owned mail center here in Nashville.  He had arranged it that I was supposed to go there and give them my rent check, and they would give me the key whenever I was ready to get it, so that we would not have to coordinate our schedules.  So, I went after working at the farm.  First of all, I have been there before, and thought I would be able to find it no problem.  This turned out NOT to be the case, and I drove around in circles for like 20 minutes, of course, getting more and more frustrated as I go.  I was in a time crunch, also, because, having just worked at the farm, I was quite dirty, and had just about enough time to go take a shower before I had to babysit.  Need I mention that the mail center is closed on the weekends, so this is my only opportunity to pick up the key before I am supposed to move on Sunday, with scheduled help and all.  Not getting the key is not an option.  Well, about the time I was getting REALLY frustrated, I vocalized out-loud, “OK, God, where is this place?”  I turned down a turn-around street I had not “turned around” on yet, and there was a massive sign with the address spelled out.  Yes, I knew the address and still could not find it.  It’s this little place down an alley (not on the main street of the address!).  But there it was, staring me down, seconds after I asked God for help.  Thanks, God!!  I go in, give the lady my check, she brings the key out, and I leave, at which point, I realize that I also MUST get gas before going to babysit or I will not get there.  I go get gas, and am almost to my house when I think, “Where did I put that key?”  Let me say that at this point, I was getting to my house at what I considered the last possible moment for showering and making it to babysit on time.  I’m still in my car now, but I check my pockets, check my purse, check my key-ring.  Guess what?  No key.  I totally gave the people my check and left the key laying on the counter.  Brilliant me!  Strike 4?!  As stated before, not getting the key is not an option, so I must turn around and go back to the mail center.  At least, now I knew where it was.  I miraculously made it to get the key and still got to my babysitting gig on time, with a big sigh of relief once I arrived at my destination. 

Clearly, I need to relax.  Breathe, Connie, breathe!  I think the problem is that I have already moved and done everything I need to do in my head, but my body has not yet completed the tasks.  I think my brain has stopped sending the messages!  I am actually really excited about my move, and once I get out of my old place, I think I will calm down, because all of the things I need to do there are enjoyable to me…setting stuff up and arranging it, getting everything just how I like it. 

It’s my month for mistakes, but I think that’s good for me, because it curbs my intolerance for other people’s.  And I have an abundance of that.  I am ever derisive to those who make continued oversights.  A little dose of humility is just what I need!

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Yes, thirty. Yes, really.

This is a play off of my “Thirty?  Really?” post if you missed that one.  That was only August, but for some reason now I am actually feeling like I am in my thirties instead of my twenties.  I think this is for a couple of reasons.  This post could be taken to mean I am thinking of all of this negatively, but read on, and you will see my summation. 

First of all, I don’t, as a general rule, look like I am 30.  Most people assume I am in college, and I have even had a couple think I was in high school, as recently as a year ago.  I think this contributed to my feeling like I am not “thirty” in that sense of being stereotypically thirty.  I am aware that part of this assumption of age is based on the fact that all of my jobs are “glorified teenager jobs,” to quote a guy I met one time.  I work for a nanny service and a caterer and a vegetable farm.  People see what I am doing and assume my place in life, which probably contributes to the age bracket they give me.  But moving on, my point is that for the past week or so, I have been looking in the mirror and thinking, “Hmmm…why do I all of the sudden look thirty?”  I have begun to notice the infamous lines around and bags under the eyes, etc.  I think this has been exacerbated by the fact that I have had a cold, and have also been burning the candle at both ends non-stop for over a month.  I guess I need to stop, huh?  Stress really does age you!!  🙂

My second moment is great, though, because of what it symbolizes to me.  It is more like an emotional marker that I didn’t even recognize until after I had done it.  This guy I went to high school with found me on myspace.  He was a few years younger than me (it was a small school), so we weren’t best buddies or anything, but we had a good repoire.  Anyway, he was always one of those kids (I say kids because in high school, he was enough younger than me that I thought of him as a kid, although, of course, the age difference is small enough to be inconsequential now) that was just good-looking…no, good-looking doesn’t get it…hot.  OK, he was hot.  So, now he’s a grown-up.  And guess what?  He’s still hot.  And he’s also in med school.  So, he “friended” me, and I wrote him a message.  And in the message, I told him (along with the fact that I am VERY happily dating the best guy in the world) that I thought he was trying, successfully, to set the bar for the stereotypical “handsome doctor.”  And I did this competely un-self-consciously.  I just said it because I thought it.

“What does this have to do with your age?” you may ask.  The point is that, a few years ago, I would never ***I repeat NEVER*** have told a guy that.  And if I had, by some chance, said that to someone, I would have been kicking myself afterwards…stressed out that they would think I was hitting on them or desperate, etc.  Somehow, now, though, I have gained a different kind of security with who I am and where I am, and a different perspective in my thoughts on what other people might be thinking about me.  I have a good friend who is about 15 years older than me.  She told me once that she felt that as she got older, she got “more comfortable in her own skin.”  She said that if, when she had been 20, she had been as secure in who she was as she was now, at 45, she would have lived life differently – happier, more serenely.  I tried to make it a point right then not to wait until I got to be 45 to feel that…to stop judging myself by how I guessed others might be viewing me, and just be myself, say what I wanted to say, or at least, say what I wanted to say after checking in with God to make sure I was not just spouting off, which I also do.  My point is that I guess I have, to some extent, gotten there.

So, today’s lesson is this: for a minute, I started worrying about the wrinkles around my eyes.  And then I remembered that when I look at people, I do not see wrinkles, I see people.  I do not count their wrinkles or creases or age spots.  What I love in people has nothing to do with that.  And if I want to worry about that and spend a lot of time figuring out how to look younger, then I am going to be taking away from becoming a person that others love because of who they are, and giving them a pretty shell instead.  But even that would be temporary, because, time does not care where you go or what you do…it will find you.  I chose, when listening to my wise friend, to learn to be “more comfortable in my own skin.”  And I’m not going to stop now. 

Long Time No Post and God as a Thing to Do

I know I’ve been MIA for a while here.  I have seriously been on overload for a while.  I’m moving this month, and everyone knows how much trouble that is!  For me, it’s not the tasks associated with moving that stress me out.  I’m pretty good at planning ahead, working around stuff, etc.  Sometimes TOO good at planning ahead…when I have a lot going on, my brain is on constant overdrive trying to make sure that I have not left anything out, that there is nothing else I could do to make it easier and so on and so forth.  So, the past few weeks that is how I have been.  I apologized to a friend of mine because I feel like everything that has come out of my mouth for the past 3 weeks has been about moving, where I’m going to move, if my current place is rented, how I’m going to move or how I’m going to decorate once I move.  I really sort of obsess over the details. 

And then I decided to have a yard sale before I moved.  That was this past Saturday.  So, for a week, I commanded my brain not to think about moving at all, and only to think about yard sales.   That only sort of worked.  I realized I needed to chill out after my boyfriend came over (on one of only two nights I could see him because of his band’s show schedule this week) and I basically completely ignored him because I was getting stuff ready for the sale.  Since then I’ve been doing better, because, of course, later, I was annoyed with myself for not spending time with him when I could. 

Sunday I took another day of rest, and the only useful thing I did was laundry.  Last night I did nothing after I got home from work and went to bed around 8:30.  Last week when I was in overdrive, I literally woke up by 4:30 every morning except for the one morning I woke up at 6:30.  Only two of those days did I HAVE to get up at 4:30.  The other days, my brain woke up and couldn’t shut back off.  And I am NOT a morning person!  Needless to say, I have also been a little tired. 

I see scheduling things or getting things done like a puzzle in my head…fitting the appropriate chore into the spot where I have the appropriate length of time for it…it’s sort of like a game for me.  I feel gratified when I get everything done exactly as I foresaw. 

Well, lately, I’ve been realizing that I view God the same way, and I don’t like it at all.  Especially when I have a lot of extra things to do in my schedule that it is a challenge to get done, God just becomes one of those things I must find a slot for, and that’s if I’m lucky.  Sometimes, He just gets booted.  Sorry, God.  I am trying to remember to incorporate Him in all things, in all moments, and not shove Him into a corner until I am ready for Him.  Instead of treating Him like the comfort and shelter that He is, I have been treating Him like another thing to plan around.  But as I said, when I have so much going on, I have a lot of noise going on in my head.  So, I have found it severely difficult to concentrate, even to pray.  Because of that, I have been trying to incorporate the praying into whatever activity I am doing at that moment.  Last week, I was working at the farm, transplanting strawberry plants that had vined out from the rows and grown roots in the walkways.  That also meant I had to dig a lot of holes to put them in.  When I figured out I could not concentrate, I decided that every hole would represent a different person or thing to pray for.  When I dug this hole, I prayed for so & so, when I dug this hole, I prayed for X.  You get the picture.  It’s cheesy, I know, but trust me, I needed some method for keeping my mind on track. 

So, if you want to pray for me to remember that God is there for all things in all situations, I would take it.  After all, He is the master orchestrator of all events.