March 06, 2013

Limits are Not Just for Integrals

Blogging is light because I overextended myself.

I always do seating for a Fashion Show benefit that goes towards certain projects like Veterans and some schools for disadvantaged children. It's a big event with anywhere from 130-250 people coming and I have done seating for 15 years.

People say, "How in the world do you do it and not stress?" and I reply simply, "EXCEL". It's a piece of cake, although I did send an email to a girlfriend today telling her that I have realized that I do seating to amuse myself (if I find you amusing, I might just sit you at my table to entertain myself) and because I'm mildly sadistic. If you've pissed me off, I'm going to find the most annoying people I know and sit them at your table. And sit back and watch. And amuse myself.

It's probably all tied into my personal amusement.

Somehow I got suckered into doing the centerpieces. My Mom and sister are reading this probably in horror. I'm the black hole of creativity. I will spend tomorrow working on a sample. I have materials and an idea, but what I envision and results can be mutually exclusive.

And once again, I think I said yes for my amusement and to see if I really was capable of doing it...

The band trip is coming up. I've just about finished the logistics for 84 people to go to Charleston, stopping in St. Augustine on the way up, and Savannah on the way home. I've done hotel rooms, bus lists, three dinners including one that is during Lent (pain in the neck), three lunches plus one with a caterer and worked with Tour companies and Museums.

I've had last minute additions where I nearly got in a fight with a teacher and last minute cancellations, leaving me scrambling to call all the places we've put deposits on to change numbers.

I have a spreadsheet with 10 workbooks that feed off each other so that with a press of a button, I can change costs and get an analysis of how much money is spent and where. I actually have two of them, one itinerary related and one cost related.

In the real world, I am what they call a Logistician. I don't put it out there as most people don't really understand what I do and since my title is engineer, it's just easier that way. But in reality, I make things happen... efficiently and effectively.

I've already told them I won't plan the trip next year.

I know I have a lot going on in my life. I have a huge State Conference next week where I have to do a lot of speaking (doesn't stress me out, I speak well in public, I'm very animated), but there are things going on at the Conference that can be interpreted by some as stressful.

Plus I had Ringo's push for Eagle, his project, travel, birthdays, family is in town, the band trip following after this Conference...

... and for the first time, I realize I'm over extended and it's been too much.

I've spent time analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what exactly has pushed me over the edge, and I really think it's the trip.

The perpetual unquantifiables, the constant change when there should not be, the inability for people in the academic industry to meet deadlines, people signing up for things and then not following through... it is more than I can handle.

So I've told them I won't do it next year. I find some of the personalities too difficult to work with. The absolute lack of linear thought astounds me and I live with Bones, so that says a lot.

So it's touch and go here. We did have another birthday party tonight and we had a blast. My niece turned 25 and being as she just moved back in town, I told her we were going to have an old fashioned big family birthday party and my husband made meatballs, I made ziti, and a big chocolate cake. I bought her huge balloons and we laughed and carried on as families do.

My nephew, her youngest brother, asked to spend his spring break with us, rather than travel back home to NJ. I couldn't figure out why in the world he'd want to spend his college spring break here, but his Mom said it was the only place he wanted to be.

He sleeps late, studies during the day (he carries a tough load) and then he goes out and plays basketball with my boys when they get home. They play video games and monopoly and just totally act like broccoli.

Which is probably what he needed.

He's a good kid and I'm happy he picked wanting to spend it with us.

I think the stress levels will come down considerably after the band trip. As I said, it's my last.

I found a limit.

Posted by Boudicca at March 6, 2013 11:25 PM

Amazing. Glad you found the limit and are sticking to it. Life is to short not to enjoy it.

Posted by: vwbug at March 7, 2013 05:51 AM

I am a big fan of "Say yes when you mean yes, say no when you mean no" a certain point, one's saturation level becomes full. My husband and I volunteer with an organization that hosts a large bowling tournament in a couple weeks. We set up and run a raffle with 300 prizes. I told him that I need help climbing in bleachers and setting up the prizes.....we shall see if I get that help because if I don't, the line has been drawn....momma will not be climbing bleachers next year....we shall see.

Posted by: Trudy at March 7, 2013 06:58 AM

I'm so sorry about your encounters with the academic industry. As a maths teacher (and type A planner/perfectionist), I'd like to report that there is a tiny minority of us that DO meet deadlines and DO think in a linear fashion. (Of course, the fact that I'm calling it a tiny minority speaks volumes, doesn't it!)

I've figured out a general rule of thumb: When encountering this sort of idiocy and suggesting alternate ideas to make things better, the response is basically, "But that would make sense, which is why we won't do it here!"

Posted by: rae at March 7, 2013 07:44 AM

Rae- The key here is that you work in the MATH department. I'm doing this for an art department. We just won't even expand on that...

Posted by: Bou at March 7, 2013 09:19 AM

Heh ... Our youngest (Stickman) is turning 25 on Friday while his next older sister (Merry) is turning 28 the same day.

Yeah, THAT was interesting 25 years ago.

Posted by: The Thomas at March 7, 2013 03:28 PM

I have more respect for those that know their limits and set boundaries for what they will and will not do than for those who can't say no to anything and then end up so overextended that nothing gets done the way it should. I have a SIL that fits very well in the second category.

Posted by: diamond dave at March 7, 2013 05:52 PM

I need you to do the seating chart at my next faculty meeting. Just leave my grade level alone...we sit in the back, behind the potted plants, and make comments about everyone else. So, I guess, never mind...we've done our own seating chart!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at March 9, 2013 11:05 AM