Friday, January 15, 2010

Everyone just needs to put on their Big Girl or Big Boy pants!

I just took the high dive off the deep end. I'm talking uncontrollable crying, psycho screaming, boo boo face, hitched breathe -- the works. This was the day after my Book Club's "self help" night and my proclamation (after reading Live Oprah for my book) that I'm going to be more positive and not let work, husband's unemployment, my illness get me down. I was going to be the optimistic, cup-is-half-full kind of gal.

I jinxed myself.

After a record breaking 12 days into 2010, I was ready to throw in the towel at work, get a divorce and go live in a cave. So i had my emotional hissy fits and tried to come to grips with what was going on (CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING CONTENT MAY SURPRISE AND/OR SUBJECT PEOPLE TO COLD SWEATS, DISILLUSIONMENT AND TEMPORARY LOSS OF HOPE).

1) I do not have super powers, a marvy utility belt or even an underwear-on-the-outside super hero outfit (ok I do have a cape and keep it ready just in case).
2) I ask for help but for some reason both at work and at home the words coming out of my mouth must not be spoken in a language understood by all.
3) Life circumstances are continuously changing so nothing is ever written in stone.

At work, there seems to be a secret language of words and actions. No one does what they say they will do and at the end of the day it is your job to get things done but don't be an enabler but give clear direction and guidance but let people figure out how to do their job but don't do it for them when you are dangerously close to not making a deadline but maybe you can do it just this one time but don't make that a practice but allow enough time to get the work done but be reactive to impossible deadlines but don't tell anyone you can't do because you may then become someone not considered a valuable resource but this one time work 13 hours but don't make that a practice. These are the million little voices pounding my brain -- ALL THE TIME. It's like Elvis and Costello's "Who's on First" routine. By the time I get up from my desk and move away from the computer at the end of the day, and go home (downstairs), I'm faced with nothing that I need done around the house completed. And suddenly, I'm in the pits of despair and feel like the world is ganging up on me and no one is paying attention to my daily pleas, my daily begging for help.
To understand this phenomenon, you must examine how one asks for help --
1) direct request from one person to the next, "Could you do the section of the presentation on blind mice" or "Could you empty the dishwasher?"
2) A communal plan of what needs to be done to accomplish the task like a project plan or a "Honey Do" list on the refrigerator
3) An overall assignment of tasks in a specific area to one owner like all areas of this project pertaining to blind mice will be done teammate X or "Honey you are responsible to get the garbage to the curb on Thursday Nights."
These seem like reasonable and viable paths to asking for help, partnering with your team or you spouse. Possibly they are as straight-forward as they seem and methods that are very successful for other people. Just not me.
I need people to put on their big girl and big boy panties and take ownership of areas without me having to spell out each and every specific task. Right now, my husband has two areas of responsibility: a) searching for a job and b) being an adult, homeowner who partners with me to do stuff around the house like put away our tools, put on a new toilet paper roll when he uses the last of it, take on some of the tasks on the Honey Do list that have already been assigned to him.
Am I doomed to the status of Enabler? Try them on for size and help a girl out!


  1. Did you have a cave in mind? Can I join you? i know how to clear a dishwasher, but... I don't pick up my clothes very often. no one else does it either, tho, so...

  2. Are you reading my mind?
    How had the direct and specific asking been working?
    I try lists with my gang. I don't know if it helps, though. But it is easier for me to chant "look at your list" than to keep renaming each thing I would like to have completed.
    Now, how to get my own motivation to complete tasks...