...Having a bad day.
I overslept today. Well, had it been a normal Saturday, I got up at the very reasonable hour of 9 a.m. However, I was supposed to be in a meeting in Mandeville, about an hour and 15 minutes away, that started at...9 a.m. I could have rushed and been only an hour and a half late, I suppose, but instead, I took my time and lazed. By the time I got to Mandeville, it was 12:30, and the meeting ended at 2. Oh, well.
I'm not broken up about not making it, as you can maybe tell...though I do feel a little bit guilty. It was a planning meeting for a junior high event for the Louisiana side of our synod. I wasn't terribly invested in the thing to begin with because the Baton Rouge congregations have literally no junior high students. I also wasn't terribly excited about the fundamentalist bent the thing seemed to be taking - the congregation that is hosting is probably the most conservative on our side of the synod when it comes to both theology, spirituality, and morality. And honestly, I was just tired of church stuff.
I wish someone had taught me to say no to clergy when I was a kid. I feel like I'm incapable of it now as a result. And that makes me sad and stressed. I end up with more on my plate than I can handle with a more-than-full-time job, and when that happens my brain and my body just want to shut down and give up on it all. And that isn't healthy, either.
And somehow or another, people have decided that I am the only person capable of doing anything with or even talking to our youth. That really ticks me off. If I were a paid staff person, things might be different (though I am doing the work of a paid, part time staffer now - I'm just paying for the privledge, instead of the other way around...more on that in a minute). But I'm not. I work a full-time job outside of church. I am not retired. I do not own my own business where I can make my own schedule. I can't be at the beck and call of whoever needs me whenever they need me. I just can't do it.
What prompted this reaction right now? The pastor sent me newsletter stuff on Wednesday of this week. I should have gotten it on the previous Monday. And when she sent it, she said, "I want the completed newsletter back this evening." I was ticked. I'm not an employee - I'm a volunteer doing the secretary's job out of the goodness of my heart because the secretary is a temp, and they don't want to pay for her to learn Publisher, or pay the agency extra to get someone who knows publisher. The pastor says I can give up on the newsletter "if" I give up a whole day of work to come in to teach the secretary Publisher. I don't have the time or the desire to waste one of my vacation days on that.
I still haven't done the newsletter, by the way. That is ostesibly one of the reasons I'm at CC's right now. It is going to be very, very simple this month, and I don't care.
Oh, and the other thing that ticks me off is that I got a little bit of a lecture because I am on council and I am behind on my pledge for this year. You know why I am behind on my pledge? Because I spent about $500 of my own money on the youth gathering this summer. Oh, and I spent about $30 to replace the sports equipment that got lost during daycamp. Plus about $75 to replenish the activity bags we have for the little ones. And $100 for the desserts for the first faith formation meeting (that the pastor invited another committee to, too). Not to mention $13 every week to buy donuts for the high school students and about $20 a week in craft supplies for my own class. That is why I am behind on my pledge.
I've decided that I'm not filling out a pledge card this year. Whatever I give will just be a bonus, I guess.
Am I being passive-agressive? Yeah, a little. And I hate that about myself (hence my, "I am a bad, bad person" status update on Facebook earlier this week, prompted by ignoring two phone calls from the church).
But you know what I really think? I think churches have to stop doing things like this.
I think sometimes pastors and staff people and committee chairs see people who are generally enthusiastic and spiritual and compliant, and they paint an invisible target on their foreheads. They go to those folks because they know that they are genetically incapable of saying "no." And they burn them out and frustrate them and make them never want to do anything ever again. Which is how I feel right now. Tomorrow, I want to just sleep in, skip teaching Sunday school, skip worship, and watch "Meet the Press" followed by a Doctor Who marathon or something.
But I won't. I'll let this resentment I'm feeling fester until the next time I dump it all on the internet for all the world to see. I don't think this is what God had in mind somehow.
Tune in tomorrow when I share with you the...fascinating insights...I heard on Jimmy Swaggart's radio station last night. Don't ask why I was listening, because I have no idea.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
...Having a bad day.