Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Take Time For Yourself

At what point does volunteer work become bad for you? When does it become septic and the good you feel from giving your time cost you in terms of mental and physical health? What do you do about the guilt you feel when you need to pull back and others say, "No, we need you! No one does that position better than you!"

I learned first hand this spring about the negative effects of volunteer work and helping others. For the last couple months, I loaded up on bartending shifts at the Fire House when others went on vacation, agreed to help at three major events for the Lodge (not to mention on top of my normal bartending and managing duties), collected boxes upon boxes of magazines to donate for the hospital waiting rooms, watched my neighbor's cat, watered her plants, and took care of her house while she has been away for two weeks, and tried to take care of my household. WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I can tell you I wasn't thinking NO! LOL. You want to be nice, you want to help out, but enough is enough! And it came at a particularly stressful time at work for one reason and another .... and another. :)

Don't get me wrong, I fully admit I chose all of this to do. I like volunteering for these groups and like helping others. Sometimes, it just gets a bit crazy and you realize, hey I have a little bit to much on my tray!

Volunteering to do things gives you a sense of self worth. It means helping others. It makes you feels good and gives a sense of satisfaction that you have made a difference in someone's life.

There is a point though, when you load more on than you can handle. You reach that breaking point where you want to explode, or in my case, crawl under the nearest rock and quietly implode. Volunteer work becomes bad for your health. You become resentful, stubborn in your views, and dare I say, a little touchy and grouchy at others suggestions on how things should be done.

Healthwise, you develop headaches, become restless, and a good night's sleep is a thing of the past! Allergies get worse, your immune system goes down, ya get a damn head cold at the end of spring. Your thoughts race ... did I forget that? Why does it seem like I am the only one helping? Why can't we ALL JUST GET ALONG!!!

Hopefully you don't implode or explode. I almost did. Now as I step back and view these last couple months, I realize I need to take more time for myself. We aren't gettin' any younger folks! For future reference, I will be enjoying my summer and putting in as little time as possible in my volunteer work.

It doesn't mean that I don't care and don't wanna help. It just means that at the end of the day, I am the most important person in my life and if I don't take care of myself, I won't be able to help others. Sounds a bit narcissistic but you know we all need to spend more time on ourselves. A little self pampering can go a long way.

I need to better learn what my limits are. I need to learn that it's alright to say no. That it's not the end of the world.

By the way, if you think this is about you ... it's not. LOL. It's all about me. But if it applies to you, I hope I helped you recognize your own frustration and I wholly commiserate with you! :) Stay strong my friends and take some time for yourself!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Turning 42

I turned 42 this past week and have been reflective on my past year, looking back at what I have or have not accomplished. I seem to dwell more on what I have not accomplished. Others have said, “No you are crazy, look what you have done!” I don’t know, I think we will always be harder on ourselves.

I am very happy with the progress of this blog. I have had people come up to me or email me that I don’t even know and comment on posts which they have read. First, I am still shocked that anyone reads it! Second, it gives me pride, and then immense humility that people would take the time to read and comment on what I write about. I enjoy the comments and critiques and am an open to what has been said to me on how to improve my writing.

In January 2012, I took over as bar manager of the Lake Wynonah Lodge. It has been fun but moderately stressful. I don’t think I correctly estimated the amount of time involved in this volunteer position! I also bartend there for some extra cash. The extra money helps and allows me to be more hands on within the bar. I enjoy the community in the Lake so it is fun to see everyone during my shift.

I was bartending part time at the Summit Station Fire House social club … the Hosey as some call it … but I had to leave the regular shift. It's a smoking establishment and with my bad asthma, I just couldn’t take the smoke anymore. Over a period of 7 months, my asthma and overall allergies just got worse and worse. I still bartend there on occasion when they need a fill in. I joke about putting in my celebrity bartending appearance. I like the local community at Summit Station and I also see people from the Lake coming in as well. It was just the continuous smoke that I couldn’t take.

Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with the antique/flea market business. Too much time doing other things. I can’t tell you the last time I put something on Ebay to sell. I need to change this and become a more active seller again. Those extra hours are spent doing “Lodge” stuff now. It is frustrating because I really like the antiques business. I still collect but I am nervous about being labeled a hoarder by friends and family! LOL. Actually I am not that bad. Every time I bring in something new into the house (whether an antique, book, item of clothing, etc), I try and get rid of a comparable item by donating it, selling it, and passing it onto a friend.

Work has been very stressful for me these last couple months. I know with this being my blog, I am usually very candid on subjects, but I am just not ready to get into the circumstances surrounding the reasons why. Let’s just say I am taking steps to reduce the stress.

I have been working out more again. This has helped alleviate my stress somewhat. I also am eating better. Salads, veggies, and fresh meats are on the menu. Once a week pizza, wings, and Chinese food have been mostly cut out. I have noticed that I gain weight far too quickly as I get older. It is a never ending battle keeping my little gut at bay.

I still like my red wine so that is staying. I am trying to cut out beer but it's very hard as after a long hard day, I like unwinding with a beer and watching the news before dinner. Instead of beer, I am now making myself a vodka and DIET tonic. Watching those calories baby, watching those calories!

My eyesight has been the only real aggravating “age” thing which I have noticed. It was only a year and ½ ago that I got a new prescription and the eye doctor laughed to me that it would only be another 5 years before bifocals. He sat there laughing about it …that fucker. LOL. Well, time to get those eyes checked again already! Can’t wait to see ya Doc! The week before my birthday, I had to increase the font size on my computer to see better. Talk about adding insult to injury.

The mysterious aches and pains associated with aging have begun to crop up. I was sleeping the other night and was woken up by a sharp stabbing pain in my foot. I screamed and sat up in bed. It felt like someone stabbed me in the heel with a hot poker. Hasn’t happened since. WTF?

I ache in the morning. I hear creaks and noises emanating from my bones and joints. A morning shower helps get me moving. Not a big deal. It’s during the day though, when I step wrong and almost feel my knee or ankle twist that gets me worried. Even walking seems dangerous!

Well, those are my thoughts about turning 42. My last year was an average year overall, let’s say a C. Good on a couple fronts, not so good on others. Again, maybe that is just me being hard on myself! I shouldn’t complain so much, my relationships with family and close friends have never been stronger and I have a wonderful home. And I am still here, writing and churning out blog posts. OK, I’ll give myself a B+.