Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat

You might have noticed there was no blog yesterday... our internet gave up late Sunday night and I spent much of Monday trying to get it back online.  No luck, the technician from Rogers will be in on Wednesday.  In the meantime, I'm "borrowing" the neighbours' wireless when possible, and using the internet stick when I have to.

Once again, life is forcing me to slow down.  Or at least stop wasting too much time online.  :-)

In the spirit of slowing down, I did not give in to the pressure to give out Halloween candy last night.  Figured I had a good excuse...  Put a sign on the door saying "recovering from surgery, please don't knock," so I didn't even have to subject myself to the guilt of not opening the door.

I was laughing with Ali about that later -- I've been quite good at saying "no" with the whole cancer surgery scenario providing a good excuse.  Why do I need a good excuse to simply say "no"?  She's doing the same thing -- has written an e-mail a dozen times to say she can't do a presentation next week, but she keeps deleting what she's written, because it goes into the long list of reasons why she can't.  We really should just be able to say "no" and not have to fan out our reasons, we should just say "no".  Why does a room full of total strangers need to know the intimate details of all that's been going on in her life, just so she can say no?  They don't, it's none of their business.

Why I didn't feel the need to invite dozens of strange children into my house and give them free food is really nobody's business, either.  "Recovering from surgery" was the simplified note on the door.  Imagine what I would have written if given a chance?

Dear ghosts and goblins,

I'm so very sorry that I can not answer the door and give away tons of expensive candy that will make your teeth rot and drive your parents insane from the sugar buzz.  But I'm dealing with a diabetic cat and a husband who just got out of surgery and several handfuls of people who are holding out their proverbial pillow bags and expecting me to just give and give and give more and more and more.  And I'm exhausted, I'm really bloody exhausted.  So having dozens of you little people come to my door with real pillow bags and similarly demand what's left of my resources makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb -- or at least a bottle of tequila.

There is no candy on the premises, and if there were, I would defend it to the death right now.  Because I'd really like a few minutes out of the day where I could be selfish, but there are several days before that's going to be possible.

Furthermore, even if there hadn't been all these deaths and strokes and illnesses and family chaos and all the other stuff life likes to dump in your lap all at once, I can't say I'd really feel like it anyhow.  Maybe I won't do it next year, either, let's see how you feel about that?  If I'm going to give away my resources, it should be to a good cause, rather than sugar-poisoning small children.

Even that's a sorry excuse, I'm grasping at straws.  The truth is, dear kidlets, I'm an introvert and an emotional sponge, both of which make shopping malls and sporting events and strangers coming to my door to demand things of me kind of a hellish experience.  It was actually a relief to have a really good excuse this year.  Nothing personal.

And then there's the decorations -- oh lord, the decorations!  Every holiday has its own set, and it's a constant reminder that I am an utter failure in the decorations department.  Either they don't get put up on time, or they don't get taken down on time.  Hell, our wedding cards are still on prominent display in the living room, and we were married a year and a half ago.  They're growing their own dust bunnies to keep themselves company, because I haven't been paying them any attention.  You don't even want to look at the basement...

Trick or treat?  Between the basement, the cat, computer frustrations, the number of people who want a piece of me, my own personal stress level, and my husband's catheter and open wound, you kids really don't want to push me in the trick or treat department, trust me.

In fact, you know what?  Drop the bag of candy on the front porch, tell your dad to hand over the flask as well, and you guys make a quick get-away, before mama blows...

10... 9... 8...

Happy Halloween
Zelda, princess of fury

So, what d'y'all think?  Yup, probably a good thing I didn't answer the door!  ;-)

And probably a good thing to just learn how to say "no", without becoming Zelda.

It's been kind of enlightening, being able to wave the "cancer card": I'm much more easily able to see what I don't really want to do.  I can more easily recognize the people I feel I need to give an excuse to -- something to explore and deal with when I don't have the excuse.  It's also much more easy to see the people who just don't give a modicum of a crap about my well-being, provided I continue to drop everything and do what they want.  Guess which people are going to be gently (or not-so-gently) nudged out of my life?

Between "Big Ethyl" for me in January, and now Don's cancer (he never named his tumour, I guess they weren't too close...), and the myriad other things going on in our lives, this year has been showing me, bit by bit, subtly and with a big honkin' hammer, that I don't have time for all the things I've been trying to cram into my life.  I don't have time for the people who take and take and take and never consider giving.  I'm weeding... slowly, but I'm weeding.  Separating the wheat from the chaff.  Whatever natural metaphor you prefer.

I'm done scrambling to get things done that don't really matter, or that someone else could easily do if it was that important in the first place.  I'm done babysitting and rescuing people who don't lift a finger for themselves, let alone anyone else.

I'm done filling up everyone else's pillow bags with my stuff, and having nothing left in mine.

Tarot card yesterday -- Six of Pentacles.  No surprise.  A card of generosity.  You have many gifts and are in a position to share them with others.  But beware of all the outstretched hands, and make sure you're sharing yourself in a balanced manner.  Don't give people what they don't need, and don't give it all away, leaving yourself with nothing.  Give where it will make a difference, don't give more than you have.  Sometimes what people say they want is not really what they need.  Share your gifts, but share wisely.

Trick or treat.  :-)


  1. On a scale of 1 - 10, 10 being brilliant, this was absolutely wayyy over the top of 100.

    Brilliant post. You are so incredibly gifted -- and learning to discern when and where and to whom to share those gifts. Good skill to have.

    As to saying no, repeat after me. No. And again. No. Again. No. Now smile pretty and say it with a smile, No.

    See, there's no trick to saying no, and it's a real treat when you do it with a smile.


  2. LOL - thanks, lovely!

    Here I go... nnn... nn... nnnnnn... Oh well, I've got the smile down, at least! :-)