Day 20: A Letter To Someone Who Is Working Too Hard

Dear Overextended,

I have been watching you lately – not in a creepy voyeuristic way or anything, just in the way a person watches out for someone they care about. I have to say, I’m a little concerned. Some people bite off more than they can chew, you seem to jump right to the chewing and don’t even look at the size of your portion! Believe me I’m the last person to lecture anybody about portion control, so it’s just as well I’m not pursuing the food analogy any further, but seriously I am worried that you’ll make yourself sick one way or another if you keep going the way you are.

The thing about gifted people is, they often have infinite possibilities available to them at any given moment. There are so many things that are within the realm of their ‘Possible’,  that they often mistake their opportunities for obligation.

For example: I have a car – therefore it is within the scope of my ‘Possible’ to offer a lift to every single person I see walking along the side of the road.  Being the kind hearted and good willed person I am, I know that my offer of transport could have a positive and uplifting effect upon the recipient. I could mean the difference between them arriving at their destination late or on time, wet or dry, even dead or alive (although if they were dead they probably wouldn’t actually arrive, but you get what I mean).

So, knowing all of the above, acknowledging that my assistance could have such a huge impact upon someone else’s life, knowing the fact that I have a car when they do not; am I therefore obligated to offer them assistance? Don’t look at me like I’m being stupid, I’m making a point!

Just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean that you should.

That’s why God invented busses, trains, taxis, horses and bikes, heck he even invented feet! That’s what I’m saying, while yes, you are a possible answer to a need, there are also many other answers available as well – even if you aren’t aware of them.

You know when they give the safety announcement on a plane? One of the things that always makes me uncomfortable is the part when they talk about the oxygen masks. They calmly tell parents to fit their own mask before they attend to their children. The mother inside of me is screaming “Are you insane!?” because in everything, my kids lives will always come before mine. But the fact is, the pretty lady with the yellow life jacket over her perfectly made up head is right – unless I have enough oxygen to keep my brain functioning, the chance of me being any kind of help to my kids is greatly reduced. You have to take the time to make sure that you’re okay, before you can be confident that you can help someone else.

I’m not saying that you need to stop everything that you’re doing, I’m not even saying that what you have been doing is too much. I’m just saying take a breath, check your oxygen levels, check those around you. If you need a break, take one. There are other hands, feet, taxis and busses all around you who will do whatever you need them to, all you need to do is ask.

Waiting for you to exhale.

Amelia x

Advertisements

Day 16: A Letter To My Afflictions

** Before I begin, I should take a moment to clarify just what I mean when addressing my  ‘afflictions’. I’m not referring to any chronic illness or devastating disability (for which I am truly grateful), I am simply referring to those parts of my make-up for which I am constantly making, apology, allowance or restitution.

Dear Afflictions,

You really outdo yourself at times. Honestly, I have no idea how it is I have managed to live as long and fruitful a life as I have. I am astounded (and reluctantly impressed) by the tactics you employ to hijack my body and hurl me into all manner of awkward and usually embarrassing situations. Thank you for your excellent tutelage in the subtle arts of the delicate backpedal, the nonchalant recovery and the barefaced confession. Whilst my education continues, I really feel those of you who work hardest in my life deserve some attention of your own.

I’ll begin with my old friend ‘Inappropriate Curiosity’. I honestly can’t remember when you first came into my life, I do know that the older I get, the more aware of you I become.
I love the way you blindside me with your arrival, you bypass every filter between my brain and mouth in your quest to suck details straight from the source. The concepts of boundaries, manners or even good taste earn little more from you than a scorn filled scoff. So far you have had me:

    • Ask strangers “So, why did you have to go to the doctor today?”
    • Interrupt friends who are clearly in the midst of a deep and meaningful conversations with “Oooh, what are you guys talking about?”
    • Ask off duty policemen to recount their horror stories
    • Exclaim over a newly coiffed male friend, “Oh, look! You got new hair, was it through Ashley and Martin?”
    • Upon noticing a couple who looked especially in love “Did you get lucky last night?”

Every one of these cases has been followed by a moment of awkward silence in which neither party can quite believe what has just occurred. It is solely because of your tireless persistence that I have the slap-hand-over-mouth-eyes-wide-in-horror move down to perfection. I am also great with the follow up, “I’msosorrythatwassowrongpleasejustignoreeverythingIjustsaid”.
I wonder if anyone else is as familiar with you as I am?

Another great teacher over the years has been ‘Spatial Dysfunction’.
When you came stumbling into my world is anyone’s guess, perhaps I was dropped one too many times as a child. Perhaps it was because I never learned how to do the monkey bars properly as a child. Perhaps it’s because I’m really a size 8, but I’m stuck in a size 22 body….
Regardless of your origins, due to your constant and untiring attentions I can lay the following achievements at your feet:

      • 16,784 items knocked from shelves, racks, tables and displays.
      • 9,827 feet stood upon.
      • 22,456 tripping incidents, of which 11,001 were in public and 8722 involved me landing on another person.
      • 4,366 missed steps.
      • 1,283 children knocked over 1,008 of whom ended up crying.

There are so many more credits I could give you, I haven’t even mentioned the instances involving food. Suffice it to say I am well schooled in the ‘find-a-corner-and-stay-there‘ method of dealing with crowded rooms. I am also good at the ‘bump-and-freeze‘ move, this is especially useful in avoiding the ‘domino-disaster‘. That cataclysm of clumsiness, where one bump leads to a trip, followed by several spilled drinks and crescendoing with a squashed child and underwear on public display. After the ‘Wedding-gate’ incident of 2007 I have never been able to look at a dance floor without breaking into a cold sweat.

Indeed, as far as afflictions go, you guys have been my constant companions ever present reminders of my propensity for disaster. I do want to thank you for (so far) avoiding all video recording devices, for the record, I would like to make it clear that I have no desire to become part of the next ‘overweight-woman-should-know-better’ montage on Australia’s Funny Home Videos.

So cheers for the memories, and here’s to the future!

Thanks for teaching me to laugh at myself.

Amelia

xo

The Elevator of Friendship.

I want to share my most recent epiphany with you! I am a little bit excited by it, simply because it was one of those “hah!” moments you know will change your life forever.

I love having friends. Seriously, it’s in my DNA I am hardwired to meet as many people as possible from EVERYWHERE! Regardless of language, socio-economic position, religion or colour, if you have a face and opposable thumbs I want to hear your story, you could be my newest BFF!!

The problem with this driving need for connection and friendship, was my assumption that everyone else craved it and valued it as much as I did. Time and time again I would put my whole heart out there, only to have it trampled, laughed at, manipulated, used and abused. Were I a student in the School of Hard Knocks, I would have been in the remedial class! Instead of realising that some people just weren’t worthy of the gift I was offering; I concluded instead, that it was my gift that was unworthy…

Skip forward about 15 years and I finally, completely ‘get’ the beauty of relationships and my responsibility in their creation and maintenance. Get ready! This. Is. Awesome!

THE ELEVATOR.

Imagine you are a skyscraper, and within you there is an elevator which runs from the lobby all the way up to the penthouse.

My mistake was granting FAR too much access to people who simply did not deserve it or had not proven themselves trustworthy! You see, the higher I allowed them to go,  the deeper they were able to wound me.  There are some people who should never be allowed off the ground floor!

When I looked at my life and the people in it through this senario; I really did laugh out loud! I have never felt so empowered! Suddenly I was issuing virtual security passes and turfing interlopers out on their ear! I had visions of several people being escorted from the premises by big burly security guards and metaphorically washing my hands of them. For all the rest; I decided how much access they would have from that point on, I decided how much their opinions and advice mattered to me. It was so freeing! Some people will permanently remain in the lobby, I have ordered some nice couches and installed a coffee machine for them but they ain’t going any higher! My heart = my responsibility.  You can only hurt me to the depth that your opinion matters to me.

So if you – like me, struggle with enforcing boundaries when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships I hope this helps you. I hope that you will also remember to view those around you in the same way; from the smallest child to the oldest crone. They too have a heart to protect, and the heart of a person deserves our utmost respect and care.

You have arrived at your floor, you may now exit the elevator. Thank you for visiting. Please call again!