"I don't know how you do it all!" and similar comments is something I hear at least weekly from everyone. From strangers, from friends, from loved ones, from EVERYONE. And while I know it is well intentioned, it really wears on me sometimes. Hearing it so much, it starts to make me feel like maybe they mean I am doing TOO much, in which case I am feeling judged. But I know that's just my own insecurities talking...no one really means that, right? Well maybe some of the strangers, but certainly not my loved ones and friends. I know y'all mean well. Its just tiring to hear all the time.
Because honestly, most of the time its not really a big deal to me. I mean, all that I do. This is just who I am, and always have been. I have always tended to do things big. It just exploded in me when I became a mom.
Really, when I think back I can remember the beginnings of this in me. I remember the puppet skit I created to explain the existance of Santa Claus in conjunction to the Christian idea of Christmas when I was like....what?....12? And we did perform that in front of an audience several times, as I recall. And got great reviews! Also became the puppet troupe organizer as I decided what skits to do, in what order, with what puppets in what costumes. I was maybe 11 or 12.
Our family were professional puppeteers from the time I was about 10 or 11 until late teens...we performed Christian skits at church services all over. Complete with a full stage and sound system, head set mikes, script holders, the works. "You're catching flies!" was a frequent phrase we would whisper in each other's ears when we would forget to close our puppet's mouth during a skit. My dad still has all the gear, though it never gets used anymore.
When I was about 13, I wrote a Christmas play and organized the kids (only a handful of us) at the church we were at in practices and acted in it as the narrator (a doll telling a story to other toys) on Christmas eve, guiding the little ones to their spots around me and reminding them what to do.
I also taught Sunday School to preschoolers when I was 13/14, and again in my early 20s, when I also took on Junior Choir and a full-on musical producation of a Christmas play that I found and took 8 weeks to get the kids and everything needed for the production including choreography and found people to build the stage and the sound system and the works.
I guess it started small and just built and built as I got older...now, thinking back, I always was sort of a leader of sorts...Ok, bossy is probably a more appropriate word, as my younger brother (by 2 years) can attest to. (Incidentally, Maeven is the spitten image of me not only physically but personality-wise...guess what's probably in her future? Yup, another leader in the family, you betcha...she's already organizing parties and clubs with her friends.) I seem to recall always insisting in being the one that guided our pretend play from a very young age. *sigh* Maeven's doomed. LOL!
By the time I became a mom I had already all the above under my belt, as well as organizing lots of other things that I'm just forgetting right now...oh yes, I remember organizing a whole school sing at Harmony Day School for the talent show one year...Not that everything always turned out really great, but I was the brain power and drive behind so many of these ideas that just drove me to move mountains to make things happen. It was fun. Still is.
And SCICON was probably the thing that finally got me the training I needed to do these sorts of things well, finally. Not that anything before SCICON was bad, per se, just not as good as after SCICON. SCICON gave me the training to do it better. Having to get over your fear of standing up in front of over 200 people (mostly 6th graders, but high schoolers and teachers too) and teach them and lead them to sing songs and dance dances every week will do that to ya.
But my dad understands. We discussed it just the other day. My dad is a United Methodist pastor. Was my whole life, except for the chunk of time that he was a Navy Chaplain, but really that's the same thing but with a military twist. So I grew up watching my dad lead. And create and organize. And lead some more. Always leading...songs, activities, charity projects, church services, performances,dinners/lunches/brunches/breakfasts, fundraisers, groups, etc etc etc...the list goes on and on and on. Preachers/Chaplains do a LOT, lemme tell ya.
"You get that from me," he told me just the other day. I do. And I'm damn proud of it. My dad is the most amazing man I know (next to my husband, of course...but in very different ways) and I'm very proud to be just like him in this regard.
But I don't do any of this stuff for anything other than my strong desire for something to happen and knowing that it won't happen unless someone makes it happen...So why not me?
I can't always even really say why I do what I do, but its not hard for me. I am driven like a maniac when I have a fire lit under me about something. A passion that can only be dealt with by going full tilt to accomplish something that makes me happy to be a part of it.
And sure it feels nice to hear others say they appreciate what I've done. Everyone loves compliments and pats on the back. That's not why I do what I do, but I won't deny that's a nice side benefit.
So whether its the Fresno BabyFest or The Learning Village or the Fresno AP Mommies or www.fresnofamily.com or www.mommychats.com or whatever my next project will be...Please don't think that this is a big deal to me, because its really not.
Its just who I am. Ask my dad. He understands. :)