No Room To Breathe

One thing I am learning about myself as I get older is that I really need to have a big project going on at all times, otherwise I get twitchy. I have a real tendency to overcommit myself to events and happenings around town because, I suppose, I’m afraid of being bored. Or maybe just looking for something adult-ish to challenge me. Or maybe I need to feel like I’m useful to more than just three little people who like it when I laugh at their jokes about butts.

Last year I joined the PTA, and went way, way into overachiever mode. I was supposed to do this one specific job — run their art program. I did much more work than was required in the role — I rewrote all the materials and created a library and added new prints and burned CDs of art and blah blah blah. Then, once the program was up and running, I filled the lull in work by taking on THREE MORE JOBS on the PTA — I ran a fundraiser, I designed their website from scratch and got it up and running, and I rewrote the PTA’s Constitution.

Because I guess I’m just not BUSY ENOUGH.

When summer vacation came around, I actually wrote a sad little post that never saw the light of day about how I was going to miss the PTA work and how I doing that work was exciting and engaging for me — apparently I need to be making spreadsheets or writing documents or creating schedules to feel complete. Maybe I should become an event planner when I get around to going back to work. I seem to have enough interest and enthusiasm for the job to make up for my lack of experience.

Anyway, this year I’m back on the PTA. And of course, I’m already spread pretty thin.

This year I’m porting the website to a new platform, introducing a password-protected area for private stuff, and continuing to update the text on the site almost every day.

But that wasn’t enough for me, oh no!

I’m also running our school’s annual craft fair in November, an event that is comprised of no less than six different fundraising components, plus advertising, volunteer recruitment, and a crazy amount of scheduling. I’ve basically thought of nothing else for the past four weeks — every morning and every evening is almost entirely devoted to craft show. I’ll be pretty happy when November is over, let me tell you.

And I’m still running that other fundraiser. And I’m going to apply for a grant from the Board to set up a resource library.

AND, this year’s art program coordinator’s daughter had to have surgery, so I’m doing the initial stuff to set up the program for her, including giving a little presentation to the staff at the school at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.


It’s not really about learning to say no, though. It’s more like I need to learn not to go overboard with everything I do. What is this compulsion I have to do everything all the time to the absolute maximum?

Anyway, between the craft fair and the art program and the fundraiser and the website, I’ve been busy.

So it’s hardly surprising that I woke up on the weekend, shocked, ASTONISHED, that Thanksgiving is only one week away.

My mother and older sister and her kids are coming for dinner this year, which is actually really nice and I’m looking forward to seeing them. Also, we very rarely host parties at our house, so I like being able to haul out all the serving dishes and pull out my favourite fancy recipes and wear a nice apron. And oh, wine! Yay!

But still. It’s one more thing on the plate, so to speak.

I may be a wee bit quiet on the blogging front this week.

4 thoughts on “No Room To Breathe

  1. If it wasn’t for people like you the schools wouldn’t have alot of extra GREAT stuff! Thank you for your time, committment, and blood/sweat/tears!!! I hope your school appreciates what you’ve done.

    Have a great thanksgiving. I’m not sure whether you read my 10% post (of course it’s no longer up) but this weekend try to only do 10% of what you feel you should do and I can almost guarantee it will be plenty!

  2. You do take on a lot. But I am sure the PTA appreciates it (I know I will when my boy goes to your school in 4 years 🙂 ). I have small roles on my PTA but I really enjoy helping out. I do need to talk to you about school web sites some day soon. I think you and I need a starbucks visit ( in the evening, sans kids) soon.

  3. Reminds me of a guy I knew in university whose motto was “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” 🙂

    The thing is, smart people feel good when their brain is challenged (well, smart people other than me. I’m lazy.). It’s okay to want a challenge, and it’s okay to want to do a great job. There’s way more satisfaction in doing a great job than a mediocre job.

    I think the key is learning how long stuff takes so you can take on fewer things but still have time to do a great job. I think you’d rather do that than have more things but be able to do only a mediocre job, right?

    Learning how much time things take takes experience. Each time you’ve taken on something new this year, it’s been exactly that: new. It’s hard to estimate the size of a new thing.

    But if you stick to the PTA, you’ll start to do similar things, which will allow you to better estimate your time. I think!

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