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Complex Guilt

3 Jun


As my friend Colin always likes to say, I suffer from a serious case of balloon-hand: Need someone to volunteer for something? Up goes my hand! Nothing can keep it down, not previously made obligations, lack of sleep, expense (time or monetary) or even exhaustion.

My eyes are bigger than my proverbial stomach when it comes to the amount of stuff I think I’m capable of doing without collapsing into a sobbing heap of overwhelmed Sarah. As such, I am constantly overbooked and occassionally volunteer to do two or more things — be they favors, social engagements or boring assignments — at the same time on the same day. Such was the case this Sunday, when I was simultaneously expected to attend a wedding with my Mom, celebrate a first birthday, study for an important test, make complicated and expensive vacation plans, and drive a friend to the airport.

All this basically caused me to a) freak out; b) reschedule said test, c) miss out on the cake-and-punch fun, and d) flatly and mostly unapologetically refuse to drive said friend to the airport.

The last two I felt terribly guilty about and thought about a great deal afterward. The airport thing wasn’t so bad since it was a last-minute request that was asked without much finesse or politeness, and was solved with the help of said friend’s roommate. I’ve become much better at refusing to give rides lately. Years of being used for my wheels have really jaded me to helping out my pedestrian acquaintances. (It’s one thing to rail against the evils of automobiles; it’s quite another entirely to do so while mooching off your be-wheeled pals. Particulary if an unwelcome critique of my driving ability is going to be involved. (ahem).).

The birthday party was something I’d rather not have skipped, but it was simply a matter of being physically unable to be in two places at once. This doesn’t, however, stop me from feeling terrible about it. I’d feel just as terrible if I’d gone to the party and skipped the wedding. It’s my nature, and I suspect it’s more prevalent in the female variety of human. Ridiculous, yes, but we’ve been bred to feel excessive guilt since birth.

But it’s when things like this come up that I find myself really having to do battle with my overactive sense of obligation to other people. I have this rather inefficient tendency to put everyone elses’ needs ahead of my own — delaying that test will set me back a great deal and probably cause some stress in the future I’ll have to deal with then. But I wasn’t ready to take it because I’ve been busy caring for everyone around me instead of taking time out from life to study and take care of myself.

The solution seems so simple — take some time for me, relax, study, get organized, and voila! Everything’s better. But what that attitude overlooks is that every time I take space for me, some other obligation suffers. When I take a weekend off to devote to myself, that’s one more weekend I’m not spending with the people I care about; or one other obligation I’m putting off until tomorrow.

It’s not just hard due to my overactive sense of obligation and guilt, either. I genuinely LIKE baking cakes for friends, I really enjoy spending time with my family and my friends, but there simply isn’t enough time to do everything, every day.

The only solution? Sleep less.

What do you guys do when you feel overwhelmed?

Heartbreaker, listmaker

22 Apr

Imported from MySpace blog

Things of which I am irrationally afraid:

- Zombies. I hate ‘em, they freak me out.
- Malls: creepy temples of capitalism. They also have no windows, what’s up with that?
- Escalators: they’re in malls, and almost unavoidable. Beastly machines, probably partially responsible for the epidemic of heart disease among fat, smelly U.S. citizens
- Dying horribly on the freeway. Although, I may not so much be irrationally afraid of this as I am fascinated by how it would work.

Foods I really don’t like:

-Marshmallows
-Barbecue sauce
-Coconut
-Spicy things, like pepperoncinis
-Borscht

Foods that are yummy:

-Cheese. Cheese may be my favorite food. Cheese should not go with crackers. Cheese can go with almost anything else, including but not limited to vanilla ice cream. That’s right, ice cream. Dairy products are so very good, despite their inherent evilness. Perhaps it is the evil that makes them good. Hmm…

You know what else comes from cheese?

Cheesecake. Cheesecake is also quite tasty. That weird goopy crap they put on the top that pretends to be berries, though, is not. That stuff may be more evil than cheese, and in a way that just makes my cheesecake feel violated, not garnished. I know because I asked my cheesecake once. My cheesecake has to go to therapy now because of that stuff. My cheesecake has trouble having normal, loving relationships with other cheesecakes now. And who is punishing the goop? No one, I tell you, no one. It’s a sorry state of affairs when desserts can get away with such shenanigans.

Also I really like bananas. They’re portable, yellow, and go well with cottage cheese. A banana is a self-contained unit, much like a grenade but tastier.

Things that annoy me:

- People that ask me if I’m cold. Why? Because if I were cold, I’d put on a jacket. I’m not homeless and own many jackets, so I don’t know why people feel like they need to ask me this. Most likely they’re trying to make me feel bad for inflicting my cleavage upon them. Unfortunately for them, it just makes me grouchy.

-Long sleeves. Unless they’re part of a jacket or sweater, where they belong. Long sleeves have no place on shirts or dresses. Ridiculous, if you ask me.

- People who think they know everything. They don’t. This should be apparent to them, but it isn’t (apparently).

- Evangelists

- People who are easily offended

- People who tell me to watch my mouth. These people need to grow up.

Things that make me smile:

- Old people holding hands. Regular people holding hands.
- Genuinely nice people
- Kittens. I don’t care what anyone says, kittens are cute and fuzzy and I like them.
- Dead baby jokes
- Andrea
- Summer
- Sunrises
- Looking down on stuff from somewhere up high, like mountains or a bridge
- Really good coffee really early in the morning right before I go somewhere really cool
- Road trips
- Colorful wigs

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