Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Volunteer Temptations, and an argument with my common sense...

So Cadence says that it will give a paid leave to people joining the Cadence disaster relief team to be deployed with the Red Cross. Training next week, then sent to the field to help down along the Gulf Coast.

I was about to send off the "Sign me up!" email when some little demon called "common sense" tapped on my shoulder. Quite politely. "Excuse me, said the demon, "but just a few items. Before you rush off to play "Survivor: Hurricane Relief," might I point out a few things? Like other responsibilities? Like three other events upcoming in the next few weeks, for which you have volunteered your services, one of which requires your cannon? And then there is the matter of who is going to take care of your cats, water your plants, etc. And then there's the issue that caused you to finally be convinced to drop volunteering with the Red Cross, back in the '90's. Let's call it "empathic breakdown," where you were getting a little weird at the edges from internalizing everything the people you were dealing with were experiencing."

"I got better..." I tell the demon. "And I started doing first aid duty again at Civil War, and security and..."

"Uh huh," says my demon. "Like when you grabbed that punk who was threatening your commanding officer by his shirtfront and gave him two minutes to get out of camp or you were not responsible for the consequences?"

"He needed some personal mayhem for attitude adjustment. Really, I was in control. I was dead calm when I told him that."

"Yeah, but you're scary when you get like that. I really don't want you doing something like that to some FEMA asshat who's being obstructionist."

"I'll be good. Well, I'll try."

"Frankly, dear, your history argues otherwise. You have a history of doing things that make you into a minor folk hero, but get you onto lists. And that's doubly so when you're a little spacey because you're overheating because your body can't thermoregulate like it used to. What's the weather like down there?"

"It will be cool. It's getting later in the year."

"Uh huh. You're justifying. What's that phrase: 'Stop me before I volunteer again!'? I'm just asking you to look at this with some common sense and practicality. You do a lot already. Way more than most people. You're not twentysomething any more, and your plate is already full. Oh, and might I point out that you're not exactly replacable at work, either, and there's a big release coming up?"

"But it's sponsored by my work," I whine at the little demon. I get a sinking feeling, because he has a point there. "Get thee behind me, you little satan! I need to feel useful in a meaningful way!"

"Go volunteer at the food bank, sometime. It's local. Remember "Think globally, act locally?" Isn't it similar to you giving even more money, currently, to some of the charities that aren't about hurricane relief, like the Lakota and Southwest Indian groups, because they need relief *all* the time, and you're afraid it might dry up some of their donations? You have to do what you can do. Stop trying to be Superwoman and do it all..."

"But someone has to. There are so many people that do nothing, somebody has to..."

"You just countered your own argument. This time around, there are a lot of people who ARE volunteering. You don't have to take up the slack. Give it a pass and do something else locally. Or, dare I say it? Do something where you take time for yourself, sometime. Remember, you need to take R&R sometimes, so that you *can* keep being this person who's always stepping in to fill a need."

I hate common sense. But I have to admit, the arguments are enough I'm struggling. I'm really pulled both ways, and that little devil of common sense would sound reasonable if it weren't applied to ME...

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