Well that didn’t go as I planned

I am sometimes accused of only posting fun and exciting adventures on Facebook and Instagram and it can (I suppose) give people the impression that I lead a charmed life, which I don’t. It’s just that when I do post things it’s usually about my comedy adventures or stuff with my church. I leave out the stuff that really should go to my therapist because I don’t want to traumatize anyone.

Well, let me tell you about the day I fell on my butt in front of a woman I admire greatly and just met.

Spoiler alert: We aren’t going to be friends. Ever. Nope. Not gonna happen. I’m pretty sure of that one. I’m not going to be friends with anyone on her team either.

I had this really exciting weekend planned where I was going to hostess a speaking team from California for a woman’s conference for the whole weekend and I was excited. I love her work. I’ve taken women to places just to see her. I guess I’m a bit of a fan girl, without wanting to seem like one perhaps. I’m not sure.

And besides, I rock at this, really I do. I’ve been taking care of speakers since the 90s. Now granted, this is the first time I’ve done that since Mom passed, but no biggie, right? I mean what would be the harm. Going to a woman’s conference the same week that I put Mom’s house on the market and did my final walk through. Oh did I mention we just found out that Dad has leukemia?

 Surely, I’ll be fine.

We found out last minute that there would be four people arriving instead of the normal two, so our director put two of us together to work with the team. That seemed fair. I arrived at the airport early to pick up “Pepper” and when a tall male walked up and introduced himself, I almost didn’t believe him.

Being me, I said out loud, “Oh wow! I was expecting a woman.” I tried to save it with “well, it’s a woman’s conference and all.. I am so sorry.”

He just smiled.

I insulted her director, right out of the gate. Isn’t that awesome?

 

It just went downhill from there. Really it did. A comedy of errors. Everything I tried to put my hands on fell apart. I wish I was exaggerating. Fortunately for them, there were two hostesses assigned to this team and my counterpart rocked. She’s wonderwoman on steroids. She’s also about 15 years younger than me and can fly around that arena like she’s on roller skates. (I tend to hobble)

When I sat in the stadium waiting to hear my speaker get up and do her thing, I was feeling a little shaky. This first few speakers really get your heart. But I told myself “I got this. It’s going to be okay.” Big deep, calming breaths.

My speaker is a dramatist and she did this sketch that I’ve seen half a dozen times before and I thought nothing of it, until she takes this left turn at the end and her character confronts her alcoholic mother with all the things she wishes she could have said.

I never saw the sucker punch coming. One minute I’m enjoying the sketch, the next I am on the floor sobbing and cannot pull it together.

Thus ending my awesome chance at hostessing one of my favorite speakers.

I turned over the reigns to my counterpart and hid for the rest of the day until it was time to take them back to the hotel. They hid from me as well, so it was a mutual avoidance thing.

I mean really, she’s in a new town, starting a new tour with an event she’s never performed at before. This was the first stop, and she gets the sniveling-grief-stricken-hostess who’s phone texting system isn’t even working correctly and who chose to take offense at something a pastor said to her (he compared me to a rich white party girl from his college) which caused another crying jag (only that one outside).

Can you blame her?

I would have done the same thing.

And I don’t know if they thought I bailed because I was lazy or what, but I didn’t care. 

Grief is a rude child and demands attention when it demands attention.  It’s just a weekend. It’s just grief and not the end of the world. And if this speaker and her team thinks I’m a train wreck, then they think I’m a train wreck. Most likely though — they haven’t given me another thought since they left for the next gig.

I’m much better now. I no longer want to crawl under a rock. But there it is.. I blew that gasket every way possible. And I didn’t die.

And if you are grieving or know someone who is, be compassionate with yourself and with others. It takes time and it’s not a race.

Have a great week peeps.

535290_10153410062346860_8924252739122586740_nGrief

 

Let’s Talk About it: Priorities

perfectionist 2
Image by Katiya (Singhing again) via Flickr

 

 I don’t know about you, but I tend to spend a good portion of my day focusing on what I do well and neglecting what I think I don’t do well. I love to study, teach Bible Studies, write, work with artists, and promote events for charity. All of those are great things it’s just that, I hate housework. I don’t mean dislike, I mean really really HATE it. My excuse is, I’m just not good at it, which is code for I can’t do it to my standards and therefore I tend to avoid it.   

 Then I let things build up to such a point that I nearly kill myself putting it back in order again.  When I really think about it, that’s how I approach my health, my weight, my spiritual life, my work. I let things slide if I don’t think I can do them well enough and then kill myself putting my house back in order again.        

Yep, I’m a perfectionist.         

I did argue that with someone once. I told her that a perfectionist is someone who does things perfectly all the time, I don’t even come close to well enough in my opinion, much less perfect so there is no way ……         

 I’ve learned something though. Eating disorders and perfection are very closely tied. Both are about control. If my world feels out of control than I find something external to focus on like my body or a project or a person or whatever. And I’ll use that to numb the fear. I’m afraid of what I can’t control. If I can’t control it, I might be disappointed, and I don’t like pain.         

Control is why I         

  • Work out for hours a day when practicing Tai Chi or train for other events. I don’t want to practice an art, I want to WIN. It’s never about playing the game, it’s really about winning.
  • If I think I can’t win, I quit.
  • Starve myself when I want to achieve a certain weight goal.
  • Avoid uncomfortable conversations when I’m feeling hurt or rejected.
  • Stuff my “out of control” feelings with food, or work, or religion.
  • Hyper focus on what I’m good at and ignore everything else, thinking I can control my world.

I need balance and better priorities.         

I did discover FLYLADY a few years back and her programs and schedules do help me stay prioritized. It’s just a tool though, and it only works, when I work it. Through Marla’s web site and encouragement, I am learning how to be less of a perfectionist and more of a person.       

Another thing I do is remember what King David writes in the psalms, Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.     

God helps me with my perfection, my fears, my eating and hyper focusing and everything else. I can’t get there by myself. The more I reach out through prayer and through listening the better able I am to make better choices and find peace.    

What about you?         

Are you a perfectionist?         

How do you prioritize your day?         

This post written by Deana O’Hara, for Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. All rights reserved. September 10, 2010.