Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Raining and Pouring

Sometimes life seems to hand us themed groupings of situations. Right now mine is that there seems to be an invisible sign around me telling people that I can solve their problems and make their life better. Although I learned long ago that just because I would be good at something doesn't mean I *should*.....I find myself in a conflict between the realities of my time and energy and how I feel I can best spend those, and people who need my help that I care about.

First, an old friend contacted me. She is an artist, and I have been encouraging her to market her art and her teaching skills since 1998. Today she has a new studio space rented and is ready to begin. She has asked for my help, and offered a potentially generous compensation plan for my help. I have the skills to help her. I honestly don't know anybody else anywhere around here that does. It will be fun and rewarding to help her achieve her dreams and see her share her many talents with others.

Another friend is sick with cancer. Doctors have given him no hope, so he is now working with a holistic doctor to see what can be done. A large part of the treatment hinges on a radical diet change. For whatever reason, the information the doctor and his team have given this guy is extremely non-user-friendly. He and his wife are overwhelmed and do not know how to make this food or eat this way. And who does? Me, that's who. And truly, I don't know anyone else to recommend. (if I could, I would like to hire them to come make healthy food at my house!!). So, now I'm going to be helping them learn how to shop, cook, and otherwise prepare healthy foods that will hopefully nourish his body and help him beat cancer, and live long and prosper.

I mean....how could I say no to that?

(meanwhile, I am also thinking that I should re-write their diet plan to make it user-friendly and include recipes and sample menus. Yes! A great idea, to do in the spare time that does not exist. I wonder how much money they might pay me to get it done.)

As my outside-the-home responsibilities have increased, I have wondered more and more about hiring help to compensate for some of the things in-house that we need help with. I am actually interviewing someone tomorrow that might come and help me with homeschooling. It could (let the record show that I said *could*....because it is also possible that it could be a big pain in the rear and make me decide to go back to trying to do everything myself) be lovely to have help. At the rate I'm going, I may need a whole army of help to compensate for all the things I cannot do myself while I work part time and try to save the world, or at least help out a few people around me.

I'm conflicted. When life starts handing me projects that I've always (or for a long time, anyhow) wanted to do, on topics that are of great interest to me, and to help people that I care deeply about....it seems like I should sit up and take notice, and at least be open to what's trying to happen here. Right?

The part that scares me is the part I cannot see. How will I fit it all in? What things do I need to let go of? (I have already decided to quit the food pantry work in August) How will I do the very important work of tending to and nurturing my own family and home if more of my time is diverted to other projects?

It is possible that for a time I might find these projects energizing and be more efficient than I have been in a year. So far that is part of what I'm experiencing. The other part wonders how long I can maintain a faster pace.

Part of me would enjoy meetings and brainstorming and watching projects launch and come to completion, and encouraging and teaching and making a tangible difference in the life of an otherwise dying friend. Zoom! zoom!

And part of me would like to stay home in pajama pants and read Sir Fartsalot to my kids, and be the poolside lifeguard for them every morning and evening all summer long, and take naps with my husband on the days when he is home from work, and other warm, cozy, domestic, familial things.

I am under no illusions that the time spent and effort invested in my children is less valuable than anything else I could do. There's just some stuff that is bigger than the average possibility, and right now I've got two of 'em hot-n-fresh on my plate.

The one thing I have going for me in this is that my husband feels like it was right for me to say yes to both of these things, and he's normally very helpful with his perspective about how much is too much and helping me see when I may be getting in over my head. These two new things are important to us both, so somehow we are going to fold them into life and see what happens. It gives me comfort that I'm probably not crazy if he is also feeling like moving ahead, and I always like to share half the blame with my husband if later we decide we made a mistake. ;)

As is so often true with blogging, though readers often forget: there are more details to all of this than I am taking the time to write. There are ways that these new things may be leading to answer other questions and open other doors. I don't have the time or energy to get into all of that tonite. For now, I'm excited, I had a fun business meeting today, and I am looking toward tomorrow that is filled-to-the-brim with interviews, teaching, and my part-time job as a caregiver to a mentally handicapped gal. I won't be getting very much time with my children tomorrow, which I am not happy about, but they may end up with a fun day with grandparents, so that is a positive in the midst of busy-ness.

Clearly, I'm a bit mixed up in my feelings about all of this, and should proceed on to bed. It will be interesting to see where all of this leads, and how things resolve. I am trusting that as I walk along things will become more clear.

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