The Chinese character for the word busy is 忙. It is “kill” and “heart,” which makes sense because when you’re busy, you’re basically crowding your soul. Smart, them Chinese. There have been times in my life that I looked at my plate and realized I went crazy at the buffet. It seemed there was no way I was going to get everything done without disappointing somebody. And that’s the thing about being busy – somebody winds up disappointed. Somebody gets their heart broken – or killed, as in the Chinese character, which shows they have a flare for dramatics, too.

So I’m not busy – busy is a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I’m swamped. My volunteering hours have cut deep into my family time, blogging time, reading time and let’s not mention house cleaning. As for dinner? Hah! I shamefully admit to having served yogurt one night as an entree.

Bridget said it best in her post about volunteering and school fundraising. It is degrading and self-defeating – even more so, when I’m helping the candy company dangle prizes in our kids’ faces to get them motivated to sell. It would be worth it if I could promise the funds were going to something meaningful like musical instruments or to refurbish the library or purchase new gym equipment. But the sad truth is, most students in public school have a better chance of throwing up with Justin Bieber on stage than having music in their curriculum. The amount of chocolate we’d have to sell to replace worn books would finally drown Augustus Gloop and forget gym equipment – we don’t even have a gym teacher!

I can’t complain really – on a positive note, I watched the season premier episode of “The Walking Dead” without waking up in a cold-sweat nightmare because it was overridden by fundraising chocolate dilemmas. I doubt any of the parents we represent would appreciate that until they take a bite of the “Nutty Pleasures” and realize they named it – literally.

At times, I wonder – had I skipped the last meeting where I was suckered into becoming one of the Graeae Witches, I’d have time to do things for myself – cut my curling toenails, trim my Mr. Snuffleupagus eyebrows, take a five-minute shower – instead of hanging myself out to dry.

But my husband and the boys try to convince me we’re doing a good thing – making a difference, making changes. And sometimes, like when the security guard gets a crowd going with “We’re Going To Kentucky,” or “Punchinello”, I can feel a shimmer of hope. Then there’s Samu who put his search for rhyming words to use after learning a new word – dental hygienist. Apparently, that rhymes with penis – enough said.

In the search for the right words, I’ve knocked off “busy” and decided that in it’s place, I’ll just say I’m – involved. It’s a minor adjustment that keeps me sane while I wonder if any of my sleepless nights is helping anything at all. At the end of the day, I see this drawing that tells me that I’ve been going about it all wrong. All I needed – was a marker.

My comutiy HeLper is A Techer. She uses a marker.

Author: Namzola_Goodness

A Japanese-American who grew up in the streets of New York during the racially volatile 70's, Nami blogs with guts, heart and humor. Dysfunctional parenting, cynical citizenship of beer to wash it all down.

10 thoughts on “Involved”

  1. A bloggy (and real life) friend of mine wrote an interesting post about it being okay not to be charitable or generous:

    She actually wrote it to promote a Charity Fun Run she was participating in but her point was that she wanted to do it as opposed to the times she’s felt cornered or obliged to donate her money or time.

    Just remember to take care of yourself (easier said than done, I know). Even if it’s just to trim those Snuffy eyebrows 🙂 x

  2. I’ve been “involved” too, only you’re out there being all cool and trying to make a difference (so proud of you, Nami), and I’ve just got a baby who REFUSES TO SLEEP. I’m so out-of-it that I had no idea there was a Bieber pukefest, so thanks for keeping me informed of important happenings. 🙂

  3. I feel your pain, Namzola. Next time you pay state taxes; attach a note to the front demanding your tax dollars be used exclusively for the purchase of good, quality books for your child’s school.

  4. Apparently, I’m a community helper and a teacher too! I use a marker all the time. Yellow is a personal favorite.

    Hang in there friend! 🙂 Seriously, I am proud of you for trudging along.

  5. It makes me sad to hear about schools having to raise funds to buy books. That’s not ok, not even a little.

    Selling chocolate when there is not gym class? There’s a lesson in there somewhere isn’t there?

    Thanks for the shout out. Stay strong sister.

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