So I called and backed out. I'm not a quitter. I do a good job and stick it out to the end. No matter what. I'm actually frustrated by those who don't. But this time... I said "yes" and the job was more than I had understood or anticipated. And this time... I quit.
In Lake Powell we had a wonderful week of Vacation -- no cell phones, no computers. No e-mail or home phones. Just our families, new friends and lots and lots of fun. At the end of each night the families gathered and we took time for a short devotional -- a spiritual thought, prayer and song. The week was filled with lots of laughs, brand new friends becoming like family, trying new things, working together, more laughs, sharing and caring, natural beauty and fun.
At the end of the week we boated out to an area where we could get reception. I was able to download my messages, but just the subject, not the content. There were multiple messages from the group I'd committed to and suddenly the pit in my stomach that had been there ever since I'd said "yes," came back. It was going to take too much time.
I didn't want to let anyone down. I don't do that. But I realized that if I continued spending my time helping this organization, especially when I wasn't even enjoying it, I was going to be letting people down -- my family and myself because I wouldn't have the time for special things for them and me.
After the year of chaos we just had with the remodel, I had inadvertently signed us up for another year of chaos. Obviously not to the same degree, but my free time was being spent pounding the pavement, e-mailing and organizing. And by free time, I mean not time away from reading a book. But time I had to fold laundry, cook dinner, shop for groceries. Mom time. Homemaking time. And I actually like being a homemaker.
On our way to Powell I took a Martha Stewart magazine to read. She's got a calendar in the front that's a little ridiculous... "cut fresh tomatoes to dry," "remove back garden and hang herbs for drying," "learn to hand blow glass to create personal gift for neighbor's best friend's Uncle's goddaughter's wedding." But I realized, I kind of wanted time to do stuff like that. I want to try some new recipes. To have time to make healthy snacks for my kids after school. To try the formulas on Pinterest to get whites whiter.
And why shouldn't I? It's my life. I don't want to put off these little pleasures to volunteer for one too many things (because besides the thing that I wished I wasn't doing, I'm already volunteering at Church and with a Foundation at the high school and at Nick's school, not to mention a new house to build -- all things I enjoy working on) -- especially not to fundraise, another year.
And then I had another realization. Maybe they want someone different than me. I remember in PTA and Primary kind of wishing a person or two would decide they couldn't do it after all. Yes, it's a pain to go hunting down a new person. But often, you have just the right person in mind.
So back at Lake Powell as I lay under the stars surrounded by sleeping bags and 8 friends and our 22 children between us, I whispered my thoughts to Dan and came to the conclusion I was going to back out. And I felt really relieved. It wasn't how I wanted to spend my time.
And time is precious.
So I quit. I called and apologized and even offered a monetary donation. As an olive branch I offered to stick with the current fundraising project and see it through to the end. I even went several extra miles and spent several days trying extra hard to make it work. But it didn't. I would have liked to finish with a bang -- a successful fundraising opportunity after all. But I won't.