To say that I am stressed is an understatement. I work a secular job Monday - Friday and off the weekends. However, I am an assistant pastor/choir director also, so that means my weekends are pretty full on top of the calls that I get through the week from congregants. I hold the position of secretary for the Conference Midwest WIM (Women in Ministry), I created and maintained TWO web pages and I maintain my blog and am a self-proclaimed FACEBOOK junkie! Did I mention the grand-bandit, um I mean, the granddaughter? The one that I had the pleasure of witnessing her arrival into this world? The one that I held in my arms and delighted because she slept peacefully and without murmur? The one who took her first plane ride at 3 months and the passengers marveled at such a "cryless" (Is cryless a word?) baby? The one that when she smiled at me for the first time, captured my heart? The one that is now two years old and enough to drive Jesus off the cross???!! The one that I babysit every weekend so that her parents can work. I am busy and a bit stressed out. I have nothing else to give. So in order for me to have a bit of a shred of sanity, I have compiled a list of that I need for people to help me with in order to destress my life:
- Most preachers take Mondays off as a day of rest. I don't have that luxury as I have to work at my secular job. So do me a favor, don't call me any time of the day on Mondays. I may still have to work on Monday for the "man" but I want a break from the ministry on Mondays too.
- I have learned a WONDERFUL new word this year. If you would like to hear it when you ask me to finish a project for the church that YOU started, just ask me and I will utter to you the one word to end all words: NO!
- I need to put this one whole rule in bold print! I need to have fun sometimes too! So when you see me out enjoying a jazz brunch, art exhibit or anything that I happen to enjoy, please do not back me into a corner and start telling me about your problems. That's my time to be just regular old Bridget and I want to enjoy me. If you insist, however, I will charge you time and a half for services rendered.
- Sometimes I do not answer my phone on purpose. So sue me! If it is an emergency, call and let it ring once. Hang up and call right back and then I will pick it up. What constitutes an emergency? Here is my list: Death, Eminent Death, Impending Death, Prayer for Surgery (major and minor do qualify), Child Missing, Depression and Suicidal Thoughts. What does NOT constitute an emergency? Here is my list: Goldfish, dog, cat or any other animal dying, asking me about the announcements that were read on Sunday, your baby's first tooth, what new piece of clothing you bought, asking me for numbers of other church members (that's why we print up a church directory every year), and anything else that is non-life threatening. Not saying that they are not important, just not an emergency.
- Please do not guilt trip me into taking on another program, tasks or whatever. I will not only tell you the word in item #2, but I will turn around and guilt trip you about your spotty attendance record at church services.
If you have noticed, I haven't said anything about the grand-bandit, um granddaughter. That is because she is my biggest stress reliever. We play and play until we are both exhausted. Every Friday night she curls up next to me and we watch movies. On Saturdays, we eat a big breakfast and sleep in late. Then, we go to the park or watch more movies (Sponge Bob has a permanent place in my DVD player). When my nerves get shot, she looks at me with those big brown eyes full of concern and says. "What's wrong Gran Gran?" and I immediately smile. She has a way of calming the stress and that is why she is not mentioned in the rules, BUT, after she's gone, I go to the bathtub fill it with hot water and bubbles and say, "Calgon, take me away!"