Saturday, May 05, 2007

The down side of positive chi...

For many months now, I've had some really lucky opportunities come my way. (Knock on wood, please.) I have tried to make the most of those and count my blessings along the way. I have also let this positive streak impact my outlook. I have tried to be more of a positive person and focus on the good things I have going on. In general, this has made me a much happier person.

If any of you watched the Oprah show recently about the laws of attraction, it is that sort of thing--positivity breeds more good things in your life and attracts positive attention rather than the opposite.

And, I'm happy to say, this little experiment is really working like gangbusters. But, while I'm trying to be the optimist, I do have to say I have actually found a NEGATIVE in all of this positivity.

Last week, I got a mysterious phone call from my minister, mentioning wanting to have lunch or coffee to talk about "an opportunity that he really sees as ideal for me." He didn't really specify, he only mentioned that he feels I have "some gifts" that I could offer to the children's ministries in our church.

Red flags went up for me and I was a nervous mess days before our lunch meeting. Our church recently had to let go its Director of Children's' Ministries, who also happened to be a friend of mine. Financially, the church couldn't support her position right now. And, so our minister said he planned to head up the children's activities himself, with a lot of help from parents in the church. I was on board with this, attending children's ministry meetings and so forth, offering my feedback and help where I could.

And, then my life got a little crazy. I became the editor of a magazine and I faced the insanity that is post-spring break with my son's school and activities. (If we make it to June, I will be doing the dance of joy, no doubt!) And, I continued to help out at church where I could, but I can only do so much.

Right before I went to the lunch with my minister, I got an email from a close friend with whom I'd shared this mysterious phone call, who jokingly told me, "Congratulations on being the new Children's Minister to your church." She, like I, over-commits herself and knows the dangerous path I was on--one filled with guilt for not helping out more at the church and a overly booked schedule that makes it hard for me to even read a book anymore.

I laughed and then gulped deeply because there was a feeling in the pit of my stomach that didn't sit well with me. And, as it turns out, that pit feeling was right on target. My minister, after a long string of idle chit-chat, got down to brass tacks and offered me a job with the church. A mini-coordinator type of job that would be paid and would require just about 10-15 hours a week of my time. Lots of perks were thrown in, like my daughter could attend MDO free there and I could work my own hours, etc. And, of course, the comments about how this might be my calling and I'd be ideal for the role, yadda, yadda.


When I got over the shock of it all, I quite frankly asked him why he'd thought of me. I explained that I grew up in a small town church that was too small to even have Sunday school. I felt like I didn't have the Biblical knowledge to be in such a role for our church, to be honest. It was very flattering, but was he sure he wanted ME? He explained to me why he'd thought of me instantly and why he was sure that this was the role for me. And, his explanations made sense. Based on his description of the job, I would be very well suited and probably would exceed in what they needed me to do. The role would actually be similar to my Editor's role where I would be the hub, the point man for things, but mainly delegating and making sure those things were done, without really having to do them myself.

As I drove home from the meeting, I felt sick inside. I knew deep down that I would have to disappoint the church. I cannot take on this role in my life right now. My daughter is moving to three days a week preschool so that I can even continue on in my role as editor of the magazine. While logistically, I know I could make this job work, it would mean giving up any free time I had for things like working out, cleaning my house, and just me time. I don't have a ton of that time as it is. So, while technically, I do the job, I will be telling him no and not taking it.

And, now back to that negative side of the positive mojo.... when you are busy putting out a happy aura, and drawing in that positive chi, you are bound to draw in offers that you don't want or need. And, hence, even in my new attempts to be an optimist, I have shown my true skill as a pessimist. People, I can find a negative in anything. It's a gift...

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Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Good for you saying No. It's okay to say No. They always think it's okay to ask a busy person to do more. These pastors forget that we have lives beyond what they see on Sunday or at a couple of meetings...
Note: Never ever go to lunch with the pastor.

5:30 AM, May 07, 2007  
Blogger Nicole said...

Amen to the above comment. I'm proud of you for saying no. Don't ever do anything out of guilt! You have to have some "you" time or you and your family will suffer. The world will not stop turning if you say no!

10:55 AM, May 07, 2007  

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