Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why I "Do it all"

I've had an odd week.

Not really bad and not really good. Just... odd.

Stressful too. My Raynauds has been out of control nearly the entire week. By Wednesday I was getting really cranky about that. Having the pins and needles feeling in both hands makes it hard to do things, particularly when one of the main things you have to do involved playing the piano. Ugh. I know, whine, whine, whine. There are way worse problems to have. I just haven't had a stressful stretch like that in a really, REALLY long time so it was annoying. (It was really just one thing that was stressing me. My Thursday night, but, it is okay. It was a necessary and short term stress.)

Anyhow, let me walk you through some of it.

I spent several days in the week prior and then Monday in particular working on issues with my role in the library. A few problems had come to light some months prior and I had been working slowly on a plan, but then an opportunity arose that made it important to quickly prepare to go before the city council to discuss and rectify some issues with library law (I'll tell you more about it later). I spent a lot of time on the phone and emailing the state tax commission and the state library commission and I have to say I am grateful for my role on the board of directors with IDVA because it helped me know how to move through the right channels quickly and I think it has given me an edge on understanding legalese a bit better.

Then, I have been fussing over my region of the country for Bountiful Baskets. I love all the people I volunteer with, and wanted to do something nice for some of them who have been working so hard. So, with the boss ladies' blessing, I decided to take the entire states of Idaho and Oregon and cover all the areas for this month. I know that may sound insane, but really, I have covered so many different areas and I am so familiar with these areas so other than updating my cell phone again, it has been pretty doable and actually really fun. I like talking to all the volunteers site coordinators and I like to solve problems. It has been fun, lots of fun.

Monday and Tuesday Sam recruited me to help him put together the seed packets for his baby, the new seed library. We were also presenting it at the city council meeting and he wanted it to be put together and ready to go. He is doing such a great job with it and I am very happy that he put together a team to help him because I don't know jack about that stuff.

When I got to Wednesday, I had a meeting to attend. Our city is doing a Community Review and I had wanted to be a part of it, but then I felt like I was doing so many other things so I should not jump into that also. Well, several friends who were a part of it had asked me to come talk about the Jefferson County Arts Council. Sam had to work (or else he would have handled it), so I ended up going. I got another assignment while I was in city hall (I will tell you about that once I've finished it), but I managed to slip into the meeting a bit late. My friend Charlie, asked me to jump up right then and talk about the arts council. So, I did. Then, people started asking questions and talking and it got really exciting. It got really fun when former radio man "The Real Bob Ziel" said I had gotten him all excited about this. Half the group called me "Sam's wife" and half knew my actual name. I felt great about how it went and I was so happy to see people getting onboard with Sam and my dream to have an active arts community here.

Thursday was a big day. In the morning Sam and I were both on a call to Boise with the team from the Community Review. I was folding laundry, putting Henry down for a nap and running my 3 miles on the treadmill doing this hour and a half call. Bob Ziel said I was "the star" of the meeting the night before and had me talk a bit again. That felt funny since I was all gross and in my jammies with greasy hair right then and I doubt anyone would see a star in my messy bedroom. But, it was a great meeting and very exciting to talk to this team.

That night was the big event. I had to get up and first tell the city council about our awesome library week events. Then Sam introduced the seed library. That went great. Sam is such a wonderful speaker. Then came the hard part. I had to cite library law and make sure the council understood that our library will be following laws that had not been followed in the last few years. (Please note that I truly believe it wasn't an intentional law breaking, but lack of knowledge. No ill intent at all.) I was in the hot seat for about an hour. I made one city employee very, very angry and honestly, I feel bad about it. I didn't want to make him or anyone angry, but we have to do things the correct way. Our entire board was there showing our solidarity and poor Marilynn had to be in the hot seat too. I knew that was not fun for her. In the end, I kept my cool (and believe me, one gentleman was being rather aggressive and I wanted to jab back, but it just wasn't worth it so I decided not to play) and I felt that the overwhelming majority of the council, the mayor and the city attorney understood the law and the importance of following it. My hands felt almost normal after that! Whew. Sam said I did great, other than explaining one part poorly (thank goodness the city attorney bailed me out and explained it far better than I had, bless that man), but he is a bit biased.

Friday, I thought it was over, but the local paper called me about the city council meeting. I won't lie, the reporter complimented me on my composure during that meeting and I really appreciated that. I'll post the article (if there is one) for you to see. I hope it is fair and treats everyone involved respectfully. I got to celebrate the week ending with a date with Sam and that was just plain nice.

Oh, and of course I did piano, parent teacher conference and the mom thing all week. Funsies.

Well, then we get to today. I got up this morning around 6am and went outside and helped run my Bountiful Baskets site. A gal came to the site and asked if I was Kimber Tower. I said yes. She knew a lot about me. I guess she is applying for a position in a volunteer group I serve in and noticed I was involved. I am not on the team selecting people for that position, so I couldn't really be of use to her, but she still chatted with me a bit. She talked about my work at the library, Bountiful Baskets, IDVA, doing school with the kids, running and she kept saying, "I have thought about you a lot and I don't know how you do it all."

You know me. I just smiled and told her I'm crazy and that is why I do it all.

But, I have been thinking about it a lot this week. I have heard that comment so much lately. So, while I took calls for my states and ran 7 miles on the treadmill this morning, I really thought about it. (I have a 10k to run here in Rigby at the end of the month so I needed that 7 miles.) Running is my place where I am able to organize all my thoughts and really sort things out and 7 miles is plenty of time to really think it out.

Here is the thing.

I do a lot of stuff. That is true.

Sometimes I take on too much, but usually I don't. I have finally not just found, but embraced what I am good at. I am good at service. I like service. I like to organize, create and help things run. I like to work. I have a mind that is always thinking about a million things and for years I was plagued with insomnia. You can ask Sam. For years I would be up all night long, stressed, upset, worrying and unhappy.

Then, I started serving. I picked up more. Then a little more. Guess what happened? I became happy. My mind calmed down and had things to think about that I could actually do something about. I stopped worrying (as much) about what people think of me or of all the things that are lame about me and I started gravitating towards people who are interested in building others up and doing good and changing the world for the better. I became comfortable in my own skin and I realized I have a lot to contribute to my little pocket of the world.

I also sleep like a baby now. No, not like a baby, they never sleep. I sleep like a teenager who has school in the morning. It is awesome.

It is amazing how service makes me happy. It gives me extra hours in the day. It gives me a reason to get up, and go every day. It makes me feel like I am showing my kids by example how I hope they will live their lives. It keeps me from being afraid that something could happen to Sam at work or from being unhappy about not having a trendy outfit or having time to go on fancy vacations or whatever else I could wish I had. I still whine about things occasionally, but usually I have stuff to do instead.

Now, I am not saying everyone should be busy or that business is happiness. But, I am saying what I am doing right now is making me feel fulfilled and like I am part of something greater than just me. It inspires me. I wish everyone could find that thing, be it serving somewhere, creating something or finding that perfect hobby or job that makes them happy.

We are all so good at different things. There are lots of things I suck at. I know, because I have tried them. But, I can multi-task like nobody's business. Of course, I can't dust to save my life, I yell way too much and if you saw me at step aerobics Wednesday, you know I am so incredibly uncoordinated that it is a miracle that I stay upright as often as I do. So, I am pretty proud of that multi-tasking thing.

I guess what I am saying is that it has been a crazy week in so many ways, but I feel like I am finally seeing all the things I am capable of and it is awesome. I really hope all of you have realized what you are also capable of. You probably have and you are all just thrilled that I finally got on that happy train too. I know, thanks. But, if you haven't yet, can I offer you a hint? Don't try to be like someone else in order to be yourself. It creates headaches and messes with sleep.

This is going to be an exciting year. I am so glad I chose "Seize the Day" for my theme. It is perfect.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to take some more calls for BB and start some laundry. I feel like a "star" already.

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