I have so many words in my head right now. They are a jumbled mass keeping me awake at night jostling around in brownian motion. There are snippets of conversations, emails I have received or written in my head but never sent, information that I form together to make conclusions that may be completely wrong. I wrangle with these thoughts and eventually come out the other side with a clear head and some decisions.
For the past ten years, no longer than that, I have been a volunteer. Giving freely of my time to young people in my area who are part of the Scout Association. I have watched children grow from young children through to adulthood and when I bump into them as adults it always gives me great pleasure to hear what they are doing with themselves. The time I have given has changed over time, stopping completely when my children were babies. Lately it has increased, I have not been pushed into this, it has been my choice and I have been happy with this for the most part. Until I start getting emails from a parent which are frankly, rude.
I worked for ten years with volunteers, I managed them and paid staff. I had a team of over eight hundred of them (and three paid staff). Almost all the contact was by letter, phone calls or emails with the odd occasion face to face. It was so important to use the correct language, as it is in contact with anyone, but with volunteers it doesn't mater how irritating or rude they are you must ensure that they always feel valued and included. The data protection act meant that anything your wrote about them they could ask to look at we had to keep our opinions to ourself and never write them down! The emails I have recently received would have been totally unacceptable in that organisation, I would not have lost my job but, there would have been serious repercussions.
So I need to make a decision, as added to this I am feeling somewhat taken advantage of. I had been asked to organise something by one of the Leaders who it now transpires will not be present and has known for weeks they wouldn't be. I am happy to organise stuff but I am not happy with the fact they have waited until this week to inform me, they had led me to believe they would be there and the rude email is as a direct result of their interfering with incorrect information with something I had already sorted out. I have now made my decision and I know it will be unexpected, it is to me too, but I am happy with it and feeling very relieved.
It's easy to not notice small changes. Children change every month, sometimes every week or even by day. If we look away we miss them. There are so many distractions to keep our attention elsewhere but when these distractions increase slowly they can become so absorbed into our lives that we don't notice. It is as if it has always been so. I am too distracted at the moment and my precious time with my children feels like it is shoehorned in between organising things for others. I have decided no more. My children and my family come first. Saying no is hard, it can make us feel bad about it, we are letting people down. But if I continue to say yes I know that I am letting my children down and that is not what I want.
Now I just need to sort out some of the words that have been said to me by friends and make sense of the pictures they have given me and stop the dancing going on in my head......