I have been feeling a little thinner lately, and wondered if I was slimming down a bit without realizing. I started working it a little, even, feeling extra cute and doing a little more sashaying. I finally checked the scale yesterday morning, and I'm up five pounds. Now I feel plumper. I've had the opposite experience, too: feeling really dumpy, SURE I've gained at LEAST five pounds---and then I weigh, and I'm actually down five pounds, and then I feel like I can DEFINITELY tell I'm thinner.
We rearranged our kitchen a bit, and now we have a little more counter space but also my coffee maker is more difficult to get to. This morning I was wondering why I have felt SO tired and draggy and motivationless recently---and then I realized I haven't had coffee for three or four days, not since we rearranged things. That slight change in coffee pot location made me (1) stop drinking coffee and (2) not realize it.
I have made a mental note: if I am ever in charge of a group of volunteers, I am not going to spin the volunteer tasks as "FUN!!!" and "EXCITING!!" It gives me flashbacks to teachers in school instructing us to "Have FUN" with an assignment. "Just PLAY with it! Have FUN with it!" No. This is not fun. Let's add the word fun with our vocabulary list, since not all of us here seem to understand the definition. And yet I find myself tempted to say the same thing when helping one of the kids with an assignment: "Just PLAY with it a little! Make it more FUN! Don't make it into such a GRUELING TASK!" Nice. That'll work.
A more recent example is a volunteer "opportunity" I am participating in. I signed up for this on purpose; I am glad to help out for free with the work that needs to be done. But it is WORK. It is NOT FUN. It is CERTAINLY not "The Great [Type of Work] Adventure of 2012!!!" as the PTA officer is currently referring to it, in what I always assume is a voice that could be described as "chirpy." It's all email, so I don't know for sure. Maybe she's using more of a Daria voice. Maybe I could READ it in a Daria voice to improve it.
Acting as if the work is fun diminishes the contribution people are making. I am doing WORK, and I want CREDIT for doing work. I don't want anyone pretending that this is a PARTY and that we are ENJOYING ourselves. I find elements of it satisfying or else I wouldn't do it, but I would never, ever, ever do this for fun. I do this to be HELPFUL and to DO MY SHARE. I am not PLAYING, I am BEING A GOOD CITIZEN.
Acting as if it's fun seems to be intended to make it fun, or to lighten the attitude. Instead, it becrappens the attitude: if someone tells me what a grand fun adventure this is, I find myself noticing how non-fun it in fact is, and wanting to point that out to them. If someone instead thanks me fervently for all this hard work I'm doing, I would find myself saying no, no, I didn't mind at all! It was fun! See? Attitude improvement! ...And kind of an argumentative personality, apparently, but WHATEVER. No more chirping about how work is fun, is the point here.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...